Interview with Sara O. Thompson   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with Sara O. Thompson. Welcome to the blog.


Thank you so much for having me! I’m very happy to be here.


Tell us something about yourself. 


Sara Thompson author picI write, work, love, and play in Louisville, Kentucky. We ARE part of the South, so don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I have a day job, as does my husband (he’s a critical care nurse). We have twin sons who are almost 4. When I’m not working, writing, or wrangling toddlers, I perform improv comedy with my troupe, Project Improv. I also love cooking and baking, crafts, and movies.



I know a lot of folks from Louisville … so many that I even know how to pronounce the name of your town correctly. It’s one of those places I have missed in my travels, but hope to visit someday. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?


I wrote the first twelve or so pages of a book when I was maybe eleven. It was a blatant rip off of Lord of the Flies and I spent most of those twelve pages talking about the various socio-economic classes and personalities of the school kids on board. I think I still have it up on my blog somewhere.



You put your first writing out on public display? Very brave! Tell us about your writing process.


I’m a hybrid plotter/pantser. This series is so big (10 books), I wrote a 70-something page outline. It gets vaguer and sparser the closer to the end, but it’s pretty much all there. I use a lot of improv techniques to outline and write.



Where did this myth come from that discovery writers can’t use an outline sort of as a roadmap that doesn’t constrain our creativity? I completely understand. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?


I try to read as much as I can in my genre and books like mine, which are urban fantasy with a female protagonist. I love science fiction, historical fiction, and steam punk. I especially love books that are a mashup of other genres and ideas.



What is something you cannot live without?


My husband, my kids, my laptop, pretty notebooks and pens, dresses, wine (because of the kids), my Kindle full of books, undereye concealer (because of the kids), cheese, lipstick, and wi-fi.



I used to babysit my twin cousins. They gang up on you. When you are not writing, what do you do?


I’ve been performing improv for about 6 years. I love it so much. It has helped me so much as a writer that I have developed a workshop on using improv skills as a writer. I perform with a really great group and it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.



That sounds like an interesting project … a different way of approaching writing. Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?


I steal like a crow with a basket of baubles. I collect ideas, tidbits of dialogue, character sketches. Then I make a book out of them. You must cast you net wide, for in the pond where you least expect it, there will be fish.



Nice concept. What sort of research do you do for your novels?


I’m guilty of falling into the Wikipedia hole more than anything. I read, listen to podcasts, get newsletters. I’m just always on the lookout.


Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?


I had a professor in grad school who said every writer has a holy trinity: the three things you always write about, even if you try not to. For me, I’d say my holy trinity is religion, food, and possession (think Exorcist). I was raised Roman Catholic, but I enjoy exploring and challenging the ideas I was brought up with. I also like to point out similarities between religions and ask what would happen if…. For instance, I answer the question, “What would happen to world religions if we learned the stories about fairies and demons were not fantasy, but fact?” As far as food, my characters always eat on a regular basis.



You wouldn’t want them to get low blood sugar. Fainted characters just aren’t all that interesting. So, I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?


Does this cabin have wi-fi? That will make a difference. I’ll also have lots of notebooks, pens, markers, my laptop and power cord. Wine for the evenings. I’m bringing whatever book I’m reading at the time plus a Kindle full of others. Oh, and probably a gun, because…Alaska.



The gun and notebooks are practical ideas. Currently, the cabin doesn’t even have electricity. We’re way backwoods here … we even have a resident grizzly bear that saunters through occasionally.  But you are only 50 miles from the second largest city in the state. Talk about your books individually.


Sara Thompson Muddy WatersMy debut novel, Muddy Waters (Book 1 of Otherwhere series), came out in April. This was a book I wrote because it’s the kind of thing I want to read. It has a female protagonist who is smart, funny, and magic. It is not at all what I thought I would first publish with. I thought I’d write some big literary fiction book and, well, best laid plans and all that. This story came easily and I enjoy writing this world.



What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?


I’d like them to have been entertained, to maybe have had a laugh or two, and perhaps thought something they hadn’t thought before. Above all, I’d like to be unignorable.


Links to find Sara and her books.














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