INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH DR. MAXINE THOMPSON

1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would tell them to take a Creative Writing Class and an Advanced Creative Writing Class to learn the mechanics of writing a novel. I would also suggest taking a Screenwriting class to help with the pacing of the book so that it will read like a movie. I would suggest that they learn how to make a storyboard for the entire arc of the novel. It will help you see the beginning, middle, and end of the story. You can use pictures or 3X5 index cards to show the plotting and progress of your story. You can see clearly where you need to add more drama, dialogue or an action scene.

2. What is your daily writing schedule like?
I rise between five-thirty and six. I have coffee, exercise until seven-thirty, eat breakfast and then begin writing by eight. I work until five or six. I do this five days a week and sometimes six days if I’m falling behind in my schedule. I try to write a chapter a day. When I’m finished I spend about six to eight weeks editing my book. Then I let two to three people I trust read my book, get their feed back and go back through the editing process again. Then, finally, I send the manuscript off to my agent.

3. Do you plan on writing a non-fiction book?
Yes. I’ve written a proposal for one now. It’s about a woman who survived the H1N1 virus. She was misdiagnosed and suffered for weeks until the doctors finally came to the conclusion that she had the virus. She also has a son who was hospitalized at the same time of her illness and suffers from cerebral palsy. It’s a touching story and a triumphant one. Her husband kept everything together and was the saving grace. Their marriage, family and faith, is stronger because of his family’s medical challenges.

I also have another book I’m writing about my cousin’s daughter killing her grandmother. She stabbed her 96 times at age fourteen and was sentenced to forty years in prison. She’s almost thirty-one now and might be out on parole next year.

4 Do you plan to co-author a book with anyone?

Yes. I’d love to co-author a book with my son, Shannon. He helped edit my first five books. I would have been lost without his input. We’ve learned that we work well together. He’s got great ideas and fresh metaphors that impress me. He’s very busy as a computer engineer, so it will probably be about five years before we’re able to get the novel completed.

I also would like to co-author a book with my friend Fredricka Crowe. She’s a born philosopher. She has excellent skills in English and grammar. In my opinion, she’s a genius at storytelling. I’ve read three books that she’s written and they’re all profound. I admire her work and her work ethic. I think we would make a good writing team.

5 What cities are on your book tour?

I’ll be going to Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, Louisville, KY, Lexington, KY, Jackson, MS, Tupelo, MS, Jackson, TN, Little Rock, AR, Detroit, MI, Atlanta, and Dallas, TX. I would love to make a stop in New York, California, and Birmingham, AL. If I’m able to make more stops, I will post the dates and venues on my website.

6 Where do you get your story ideas?

I get them from newspapers, blogs, and friends. I also watch CNN and try to incorporate some of the hottest topics into my work. Law & Order Special Victims Unit has also inspired some of my subplots. My husband and I, watch Law & Order everyday. Even if we’ve seen the program before, we still make comments about what’s happening.

My friends and family constantly fill me in on the drama that’s going on in their lives. Most want me to tell their story so someone can understand what they are going through. I’m very happy to oblige.

7 Can you see any of your books ever being optioned for movies?

Yes. I believe my first book, Knowing, would make a good movie. It has plenty of drama and lots of action. I’ve been approached by producers about some of my books being made into movies, but we’re only in the talking stages. Hopefully, in the near future you’ll see my work on the big screen. I also have written two screenplays and a soap opera that I hope to have produced as well. One screenplay was written for Denzel Washington in mind.

8 What do you think about social media?

I think it’s a good thing. Blogging, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook are here to stay. You can connect with your readers instantly and get feedback daily. I would suggest to anyone who has a business or is a writer, to get a PR coach like Pam Perry or Alvin Romer. They are experts in social media. Both of them have helped me tremendously. I am not the greatest blogger and am terrible at Twitter, but I’m trying.

9 Do married people really have sex like the characters in your novels?

Yes. Statistics say that married people have the best sex. You know your partner. You know the best positions and what his or her likes or dislikes are. You don’t have to waste time trying to explore different scenarios, when you’re well versed with your partner’s needs. My husband and I have always enjoyed a passionate sex life. We’re very comfortable with each other and each other’s bodies. I love his thighs. He loves my buttocks and skin. We’ve slowed down some, but the desire is still strong. Married people know that their partner is going to be there every night, and that thought is comforting. Feeling his or her arms wrap around you is a powerful feeling. Being married makes the coupling all the more special because of the commitment you’ve made to each other.

10 How long do you plan to write?

I can see myself writing for another twenty to twenty-five more years. I’d like to travel more, and incorporate my travels into my novels. I never run out of story ideas. I don’t suffer from writer’s block. My mind races so fast, I need a tape recorder near my bed or in my car to keep up with my thoughts. Writing is my passion and I hope to get better at it as each year passes.


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