Guest Author: Colleen Thompson
Mes amis, when a publisher asks you to review “a couple of chapters” of a textbook, how many pages do YOU imagine yourself reviewing? 500, by any chance?
Me neither. I wonder if I can rebel and say, Look, 500 pages is not a couple of chapters. 500 pages is a couple of books. Me no have time for this between New Year’s and the start of the semester.
Well. I have much, much, much to tell you about slime and snails and frogleg tales, but I’m going to diverge briefly to Colleen Thompson, instead. Colleen is a GCC author who is releasing her SIXTH book.
Sixth. Me, I am still working on getting number TWO out. (It’s done, and I love it, but we must convince others to love it, which may be another story. The verdict is still out.)
Given that Colleen is on her SIXTH book and I am (I hope) on my TWOTH book, I thought maybe I should ask Colleen some writing questions in hopes of absorbing the secret to her success.
Laura: If you could change one thing that you have done in your writing/publishing history, what would it be? Or, another way of thinking about this, if you could warn unpublished authors away from any one error, what would it be?
Colleen: I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my career, taken plenty of risks that failed, and sometimes trusted the wrong people. But I’d far rather miss the mark when shooting at a risky target than bore myself (and readers) by settling for the same-old, same-old. And as for advice to other authors, I’d say this: if the money’s not flowing *into* your hands, it’s moving in the wrong direction. This goes for everything from dealings with agents to editors to publicists.
Laura: Yes, the only thing worse than a risk that failed is a risk you didn’t ever take in the first place.� So when you need to take a break from writing, clear your head, and get the creative juices flowing again, whether for half an hour in the day or for longer periods, what do you do?
Colleen: I like to walk, to get out into the world and closer to nature, when I’m struck. More often than not, the repetitive movement and the fresh air untangle whatever knotty problem I’m having.
Laura: Writers always like to walk!� Maybe it’s an exercise that also lets us observe–whether others or our own thoughts?� So I draw very strongly on my own experiences for my writing, sometimes in large ways (a memoir!), sometimes in ways that are very subtle. What is an experience of yours that fed into this book?
Colleen: Just after college, I relocated from the East Coast to an Arizona desert town where I’d been recruited to work as a teacher. The barren desert landscape made a huge impression on me. Stark and inhospitable to human life, it had a beauty that compelled me to take up hiking and learn as much as I could about the plants and animals adapted to life there. I came to have a grudging admiration for even the “ick factor” creatures, from the tarantulas and scorpions to the rattlesnakes and coyotes. Some years later, I found myself living in the Houston area, but my affinity for the desert led me to discover the desert portions of West Texas, where my family often vacations.
Because of these experiences, I understood the way the desert both attracts and repels newcomers and the way the land acts as a metaphor for the most desolate stretches of a human life.
Laura: I agree with you on the beauty of Arizona. I spent one summer as a “desert rat”, helping out during a family member’s too-close-call, and I used to travel there a lot. Sébastien has never seen it, and it’s on our list for a trip, if we get time between France trips!
Thanks for sharing a little bit about your writing life, Colleen!
Chers lecteurs, Colleen’s new book is THE SALT MAIDEN. Here’s a little bit more about it!
Houston veterinarian, Dana Vanover, in search of her troubled missing sister, the birth mother of a child in desperate need of a bone-marrow transplant. In spite of her ambivalence about her sister, Dana braves heat, rattlesnakes, and hostile locals — as well as her attraction to the handsome sheriff who wants her gone.
“Poetic use of language, intricate plotting and a wealth of fascinating details make Thompson’s latest novel a masterful work of suspense. Readers will come for the action and stay for the three-dimensional characters and well-crafted narrative. This is a fabulous read!”
Romantic Times BOOKreviews Top Pick,
2007 Reviewers Choice Nominee, Best Romantic Suspense
An excellent thriller with a touch of romance. I could not bring myself to set the book down. I simply HAD to know what would happen next. From the beginning it is non-stop action, drama, and mystery. Fans of Tess Gerritsen, Tami Hoag, and Sandra Brown will adore this tale. Phenomenal!
Detra Fitch, Huntress Book Reviews
THE SALT MAIDEN is a great book filled with action of all kinds – from steamy love scenes to terror ridden suspense. Just when you think you have it all figured out – wham, something unexpected happens. The plot of the story is interesting and the characters in the book are very lifelike. The book touches on the complexities of mother-daughter and sibling relationships. If you want to spend some wonderful time being entertained, you need to invest the time and money in reading this book.
Dana Henderson, Romance Junkies
Wait until you read the ending of this marvelous suspense thriller. You’ll never guess and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. I have never missed a Colleen Thompson thriller and never will. THE SALT MAIDEN is yet another treasure you cannot miss. It’s wrought with intensity, mystery, intrigue, passion and a roller coaster ride until the last page is turned. Take the ride; you’ll be glad you did.
Suzanne Tucker, Fresh Fiction
Colleen Thompson is an author waiting to “happen”. Oh, she has been out there, is well respected as a growing talent. She has a solid backlist of amazing tales; only, she just has that presence of an author ready to have that break out novel. The Salt Maiden is that book. Her skill and flow of the prose marks her as a master wordsmith. She weaves an intricate plot into this eerie, sinister tale that kept me spellbound. This simply is Colleen Thompson at her very best.
Deborah MacGillivray, The Best Reviews
THE SALT MAIDEN by Colleen Thompson is riveting suspense with an emotionally satisfying romance. The finely detailed characterization combines with an eerie exquisitely written landscape to make this novel a reading and re-reading pleasure...Colleen Thompson creates a romance that is reflective in tone through her portrait of the wasteland, adding a fresh intriguing vision to the genre.
Merrimon Book Reviews
It looks as if it’s flying off the shelves, too! Congratulations, Colleen, and thanks for stopping by! May some of your writerly wits and wisdom and gift for page-turning rub off on me!