Hello All! Very pleased to say, today, I am happy to welcome Marilyn Thompson. She is the author of The Spike, Guns, Horses, and Death: The Life of a Wanted Man, Outlaw Children A World Re-Created, Outlaw Children: Sacrifice and Redemption, God Really Does Have a Sense of Humor and Whispers in My Heart.
Marilyn is someone who extends a helping hand to new authors and I’ve certainly benefited from her great advices. She is an amazing Writer, dedicated Reader, awesome Reviewer and a professional Proof Reader. Marilyn is a writer with two published novels, one novella, and one short story. She is currently working on a short story compilation as well as a book of poetry.
Hi Marilyn, thank you for participating in this interview.
1. Tell me a little about yourself and your background? What were you like at school? Were you good at English? What are your ambitions for your writing career? Which writers inspire you?
I have a theory that there are two kinds of people, those who have a brain for numbers, and those who have a brain for words. I fall into the latter. I suffer from a condition known as Aphantasia, which means I cannot see images in my mind. I think that is why I write in such detail. As a child, I suffered a traumatic brain injury and perhaps that is what contributed to my condition.
- What was your life like before becoming an author?
My life has not changed since I published my first book. I am completely happy with my life and hope it never changes. I am not wealthy but have everything I could ever need or want. Should my books ever begin to sell well, all proceeds will go to helping the less fortunate. As I said I have everything I need, my house is small, but it is a warm a place out of the elements, I do not need as larger house. My car is five years old but it runs perfectly, I do not need a new car. I have food and clothing. I see so many without these things and I only write for the love of the story and hopefully someday be able to help others through the sales of my writing.
- When did you decide to become a writer?
It really wasn’t a decision; it was more of a part of who I am. I have always written stories for my children, and poetry, and stories for myself. I decided to publish however in 2005.
- Which comes first – the character’s story or the idea for the novel?
I have had it happen both ways. Sometimes the character’s story is the strongest driving force. In that case, the novel seems to write its self, building around everything that is happening in the life of that character. When the novel is driven by the character’s story, I rarely have the need for outlines. Other times the idea for the novel is the foundation and when that is the case, I find myself using outlines to build storylines and characters.
- Why do you write? What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I write for the love of storytelling. It has been something that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I think that I first fell in love with literature because of my dad. He would often tell stories, and recite Poe, Longfellow and Twain. After I learned to read and write, I read everything I could find, I even read the encyclopedia. I began by writing short stories and poems in second grade. As I got older, I began to write poetry based on whatever I was going through emotionally at the time. As for aspiring writers I would tell them to read everything they can. Reading gives insight into how to structure the plotline and how to create good character dialog and action.
- So, what have you written?
I have written so much over the years, but as far as published works I have two novels that are part of a series, book 1 is Outlaw Children Sacrifice and Redemption, and book 2 is Outlaw Children a World Recreated. I have one novella, a western, Guns Horses and Death the life of a Wanted Man. One short story in the horror genre, entitled The Spike. One humor book based on things that actually have happened called God Really Does Have a Sense of Humor, and one book of poetry, Whispers in My Heart.
- Where people can buy or see them?
They can be found on all Amazon sites worldwide, here on my author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BM9AXI
I try to run a free promotion once a month at the end of every month.
- Give me an insight into your main character from your last novel /first novel/. What does he/she do that is so special?
I will tell you about Mike Bishop my first main character from the Outlaw Children books. Mike is a strong and intelligent character. He begins as a hunter of imperfect people and evolves into their champion. Due to events in his life he becomes compassionate, but his ability to be ruthless remains and he uses that to overcome a government that has no tolerance for those with less than perfect genetics.
- What sparked the idea for your book/s?
I cannot say what sparked the idea for my first book Outlaw Children Sacrifice and Redemption it just came into being. I wrote A World Recreated because so many people requested a sequel.
I wrote The Spike for my then thirteen-year old daughter who loves to read, and who, by the way writes short stories and poetry as well. The idea for it came because I thought of how much a writer is willing to sacrifice for success.
Guns, Horses and Death came from my love westerns and wondered if I could write one. So I sat down and drew from all of the westerns I had ever read or seen, and used that style to develop the characters and story.
God Really Does Have a Sense of Humor is a compilation of all of the unfortunate humorous things that have happened to my wonderful husband over the years.
- Are there any character traits in your book that are based on someone you know?
Yes, I have put character traits of friends and family into most of my characters. One character in the Outlaw Children book is based solely on characteristics of several serial killers.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
When I am not writing I am reading. I have many favorite authors some you may have heard of others probably not. Stephen King is one of the more well known. As for lesser-known authors, Neil Davies, Nick Christofides, C.J. Lawson and Patti Morelli are at the top of the list.
- Where is your favorite place to read and write?
I don’t really have a favorite place to read or write as long as it is quiet without distractions I can do either almost anywhere.
- How do you market your book/s?
I have to admit I am not very good at marketing. Most of my marketing is through social media and word of mouth.
- Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
No but I could use some. 🙂
- What do you do to get book reviews?
I try to get reviews through giveaways and social media; unfortunately most people who get my books through these methods do not leave reviews.
- What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Don’t do it for the money, do it for the love of writing. Don’t take a bad review personally; use it to make your writing better. Read all that you can and pay attention to what you are reading, notice what really catches your attention and what turns you away from story then use those things to make your writing the best you can. If you cannot afford to pay someone to proof and edit your book, be vigilant when you edit. I spent six months writing my first novel and over twelve editing it. It is easy to read a missing word in a sentence just because you know it should be there. Editing is the most important part of publishing. You can write the most fantastic story in the world and if it is filled with spelling, grammar, punctuation, and timeline errors, the reader will not enjoy it and it will reflect on your writing ability.
- Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I also do reviews as well as editing. Authors can go to my blog and send me a request. I blog the reviews as well as posting on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and Good Reads.
Also when writing I have discovered that for me my ability to write is directly tied to what I eat. I know that sounds odd but whenever I have hit a wall and was faced with writers block if I increased the amount of protein in my diet I was able break it in a couple of days. I made this discovery purely by accident while writing my first novel. Since then, I always increase my protein intake before starting a project and keep the levels high until I have finished. I haven’t had writers block since.
- How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Go to my website. There you will find excerpts and a few of my other writings. At my blog I post reviews for other writers.