Hello! This month, I'm interviewing a fellow Scrivenings Press author, and very interesting guy, C. Kevin Thompson. I've gotten to know Kevin a bit over the last year, despite not living anywhere near each other, and I'm thrilled to help you get to know him, too. So, without further ado, read on to find out more about him and his amazing story, The Letters, which I just read recently and enjoyed.
Kevin, your bio says your love of writing grew in middle school (mine, too). Is there a book or two you can think of that really stuck with you and made you want to write something like that? Or was it more the teacher?
I liked the creative aspect of writing, I guess, like many other kids in elementary and middle school. As I grew up, I was always thinking of scenarios and coming up with spoofs of stories or situations that I always thought would make great commercials. That’s why I appreciate so much the GEICO commercials. They are so creative. The Pinocchio as a motivational speaker one is my favorite. “You have potential! And you have potential. And you have—oh boy…” So good.
Although I liked the creative aspect of writing, I was not much a reader until I hit the age of 13 (So, there is hope out there, all you Moms with boys.) The book that got me interested in reading was Jaws. I wanted to be a marine biologist growing up, until I realized spending months at sea was part of the job description. I get deathly seasick, and when I attempted to take up scuba diving, I knew that was not something that would work for me. However, marine biology was what got me interested in Jaws. That book got me interested in reading. Reading got me interested in so many other things. Now look at me. Award-winning author. Two Masters Degrees. Former ELA teacher and now an administrator. You see? It can happen.
Congratulations on being a Finalist for the 2021 Selah awards. Can you tell us a little about The Letters and what inspired you to write it?
Thank you (He says with a smile). The Letters came from a heart and desire to deal with an issue that I didn’t feel was handled very much, if at all, and when it was, not very well (abortion). I also was working on a personal study at the time wherein passages like Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8, where it talks about a day to the Lord is like a thousand years, and vice versa. This coupled with a conversation about abortion and what happens to all the aborted children caused me to seek a Biblical perspective on how God views time and redemption. Other passages like, Jeremiah 1:5, made me realize that time to us and time to God are two entirely different things. We are tied to clocks and calendars. He isn’t. He can stand over time and see the past and into the future simultaneously. How else could he see Jeremiah in his mother’s womb and know he’s going to be a prophet? How else could He know to put two angels on the Ark of the Covenant, creating the Mercy Seat, and then hundreds of years later, recreate that same concept at the Resurrection when the two angels sat at the head and foot of the place where Jesus was laid (and no doubt sat when He rose from the dead), thus recreating the Mercy Seat all over again (cf. John 20:12)?
This study came on the heels of when The Shack came out and took the Church by storm. I personally had trouble with the theology of that book, and wanted to make sure I dealt Biblically with the theology of The Letters.
It also is written with a tinge of allegory sprinkled in for good measure, but instead of giving everything away, I’ll let the reader determine who plays the role of Satan and who plays the role of Jesus.
I know you've worked as a pastor and now are an assistant principal. Do you ever put bits from your real life into your stories?
I do. However, I usually put little pieces in that do not play huge, plot-altering roles. Like, for example, the car Micah Gregson drives in The Serpent’s Grasp is a Ford Mustang. I used to have one of those back in the day. It was a 1971, fire engine red, Mach 1 with a 351 Cleveland engine. Man, do I miss that car.
I also have used my grandchildren’s names in my stories as well. Those characters always play supporting cast kind of roles, but I thought it would be cool for them to show to their children someday.
As far as using pastor-like things or assistant principal-like things, my first foray into middle grades fiction uses a great deal of experiences from my AP days. It’s titled Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Case of the Terrorists’ Cell. It’s set in middle school, specifically 6th grade. It’s done, and I’m in the process of trying to find a publisher. I truly think it’s one of the best things I’ve written so far. It’s funny, serious, fast-moving, and sets the stage for a long, lasting series of standalones that will be designed to “grow” with the characters into adult fiction. If you know of an agent or publisher who might be interested, let me know.
That sounds amazing! I hope you can find a publisher soon.
What made you pick thrillers as your main type of book to write?
I like the fast-paced, mystery aspect of a thriller. Don’t get me wrong, I love mysteries too. But thrillers take mysteries to a higher-octane level and can do some things mysteries typically do not.
Can you tell us about any future projects you've got in the works right now?
Well, I mentioned my Oliver Wendell Holmes series. I plan to work more on that. I already have Book 2 kind of mapped out. It’s tentatively titled Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Case of the Framed Photograph. I’m trying to make all my titles in this series have or carry in them a double-entendre too. That’s not easy!
If you had to pick only five books to read for the rest of your life, could you do it? Ha! And what would they be?
Only five, huh? I could pick just one. The Bible. And that’s not cliché either. I could live with just this one. However, if you’re talking fiction, non-fiction, earthly writers, etc., etc., as well, then five gets a little harder to choose, but I’ll try to add four more:
1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
2. Timeline by Michael Crichton (the movie did not do the book justice)
3. Jaws by Peter Benchley
4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
One last question, which I always throw out there for my authors. Can you tell us one interesting thing about yourself that very few people know?
As you can see by all the pictures of me out there in the web, I wear glasses. I do so because I have keratoconus. It developed when I was thirty years old, which I was told was rare because patients with this disease form it in their teens. It usually stops its spread by the age of thirty. I had 20/15 vision before it happened. Now, I see mostly out of one eye. The other one is pretty much useless (20/200 without glasses). It makes writing harder because of the strain it puts on my one good eye that is 20/30 with glasses. I often get headaches in my forehead because of the strain. When that happens, I have to shut everything down and call it a day. Of course, computer work makes it worse, and being an AP in a COVID-19 world, we’ve gone to computers more than ever. However, I don’t let it run my life or get me down. It could be worse.
Well, I'm impressed. Your vision is definitely worse than mine, and I have days when I have to stop and shut things down early, too, because of the headaches from staring at a screen. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Keep reading below to find out more about his book, The Letters, and where you can follow him.
Rachel Hamar—a Manhattan bank teller—lives nothing close to a Manhattan lifestyle. Residing in Washington Heights, NY, the only thing keeping her in The Big Apple is her mother—a long-time patient in a local psychiatric hospital. It’s December 2014, and the twentieth anniversary of her high school sweetheart’s tragic death. She’s not sure how much more heartache she can endure, especially after being told earlier in the day she no longer has a job at the bank. A casualty of downsizing.
In the midst of spiraling depression, Rachel receives a mysterious letter in the mail. When she opens it, she becomes cautious and skeptical of its contents and discards it as a mistake, concluding it’s simply addressed incorrectly or a postal worker’s faux pas in the midst of a busy Christmas season. But another letter arrives the next day. And another the day after that. Before long, she is in possession of several letters. Each one more puzzling than the last.
Thinking that someone may be playing a cruel game, she contacts the police, and this propels Rachel and the two detectives into one of the most bizarre cases they’ve ever encountered. Is it a friend’s cruel joke? Is it some stalker’s perverse idea of manipulation? Or is it something more?
Find out more here.
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a kid at heart. Often referred to as “crazy” by his grandchildren, it’s only because he is. He’s a writer. Need he say more? Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, NCIS, Criminal Minds, BBC shows Broadchurch, Shetland, Hinterland, and Wallander, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic too. But you will never catch him wearing a deerstalker. Ever.
Follow him at any of these places:
Kevin’s Writer’s Blog: www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/
Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
ACFW Fiction Finder: https://www.fictionfinder.com/author/detail/595
Christian Authors Network: https://christianauthorsnetwork.com/c-kevinthompson/
Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson
BookBub: C. Kevin Thompson
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
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