Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Author Interview: James F.W. Thompson

James F.W. Thompson
Q: How long have you been writing, and what kind of stories do you most like to write?

A: I've been writing stories basically since I've been writing. My parents have “books” that I wrote when I was 4. Back then they were mostly about aliens and mutants. Sci-fi stuff...with lots of page-filling pictures and spelling mistakes. Nowadays I most enjoy writing comedy. I really enjoy it when people laugh because of something I came up with.

Q: What's the title of your story in Unearthed? In general, do you get the title first, or do you write the story first? Do you remember what prompted this particular title? 

A: My story in Unearthed is 'Fitting In.' I usually come up with the title almost immediately after I come up with the initial concept. Usually it's a joke about the story itself, which is probably why it pops into my head so quickly. Then I just have to hope the rest of the story fits with it. I remember I thought of that title because it is usually the last thought you would have when you are in... the situation my character (or characters) find themselves in in my story. No spoilers here!

Q: Please tell us: one book you've read recently, one book you're reading now, and one book on your to-read list.

A: A book I've read recently is That is All by John Hodgman. A book I'm reading now is God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert. A book on my to-read (or rather to re-read) list is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, but I've currently got a very tall stack of to-read books, so the next book could be literally anything. Literally. Books. Awesome.

Q: What's the best/worst writing advice you've ever been given?

A: The worst writing advice I ever got was “you can't treat everything like a joke. You have to treat some material very seriously.” This was in reference to a project in junior high where we had to write an alternate ending to a fictional story from a “Reader” (anyone remember Readers?) so obviously it was very serious stuff. Writing itself should be taken very seriously, but not always the content. I have made a point of making jokes about most things I can think of since then. It works okay.

Q: Have you ever read something and thought, “I wish I'd written that!”? What was it?

A: When I read the play 'Variations on the Death of Trotsky' by David Ives I instantly wished I had written it. If you haven't read it, you should. If you have read it but you forget who wrote it... I did.

You can visit James online at his website/blog: 

Thanks, James!