Jack: Any writing I do must start with a cup of coffee. I like to get a running start, so I usually read through what I’ve already written until my fingers start moving on the keyboard.
Paul: What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Jack: I have what I would consider eclectic taste in books. I like reading Stephen King, Dr. Seuss, Homer, Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, and Elmore Leonard. The reality of the characters and how well they communicate to me is most important. Suspense and some surprises also help keep me interested.
Paul: If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Jack: A lot of clutter. It’s filled with all sorts of characters, scenery, places and ideas. They’d probably immediately hire a housekeeper to clean it up.
Paul: Do you have a favorite character in each of your series, aside from the lead? If so, which one and why?
Jack: One of my favorite characters is “Vinny,” Livinia Moore, introduced in The Color of Greed, Book 1 in the Raja Williams Series. She started as the computer hacker sidekick to Raja Williams but has become my favorite character in the books. She’s a strong, smart, beautiful and fiercely independent woman.
Paul: How do you find the time to write?
Jack: You don’t find the time to write, you have to make the time to write. If you think, “Someday when I have the time, I’ll write that great book I always wanted to,” you won’t. You have to make it a priority. I find that sitting down in front of the keyboard and not getting up until I write a certain number of words helps.
Paul: What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Jack: Don’t tell them how sometimes in the middle of a book I get so frustrated if a story doesn’t seem to be going where I want it to go, that I tell my wife I’m throwing the whole book away, giving up writing and starting a new career as a brick layer. Tell them instead that the words flow from my lips in grand Shakespearean fashion.
Paul: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Jack: I run when I can and plot when I have to.
Paul: Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Jack: Depending on what I’m writing, there might be no research or a lot. I don’t find research necessary, but I find it very helpful to inspire plot ideas and characters. Besides, I learn a lot of interesting things about the world.
Jack: My most recent book is the third in the Raja Williams mystery detective series, entitled Swimming Upstream. It takes place near Mt. Rainier in Washington State and in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Like any good detective mystery, there are dead bodies and plenty of evil doers.
Paul: What inspired you to write this book?
Jack: Reader demand for more of Raja Williams, and Vinny had a hand in it. (I’ve also fallen in love with the characters.) My interest in the global conflict between corporate successes and environmental protection also played a part in inspiring the story.
Paul: Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Jack: Yes. I published a book of poetry and a number of science fiction short stories. I also published some children’s fairy tales and stories under the pen name Fun London.
Paul: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Jack: I love playing with my Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab mix and my wife, not necessarily in that order.
Paul: Thanks, Jack, that was great. I wish you every success for the future.
According to Jack, whether reading or writing, what makes a story great is how well it communicates to the reader. Whether presenting him with a hero he wishes he could be or a villain he chooses to hate, the characters must relate to the reader on a personal level. A reader will leave a good story in an improved condition. He may have learned something new about the world or himself, or simply been well entertained. That's why Jack writes.
Jack's Blog: Jack Thompson
Jack on Twitter: @jack_writes
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Jack's latest book: The Color Of Greed (Amazon)