Thursday, November 1, 2012

Author Spotlight: Nancy S. Thompson

The Mistaken by Nancy Thompson

Please welcome the now published author, NANCY S. THOMPSON!

Thanks, Livia, for having me over today. 

If you’re a writer seeking publication, you’ve likely heard that you should “build a platform.”  I didn’t know what that meant two years ago when I wrote a book out of the blue and started researching what it took to get published.  In a nutshell, it means that, as an author, you need to have a voice, a way in which to make yourself heard and, more importantly, get noticed.  Most often, this means having a blog or website where you can share your wisdom or experiences.  This platform is a way to connect, mostly with other writers, but also with publishers and literary agents and anyone else who might have a hand in the industry.

I found building my platform—my blog—to be a major chore and a challenge.  It’s labor intensive and was very slow-going at first.  But, day by day, I made more and more connections and built a solid following, at least for someone who wasn’t yet published.  It was these very connections that helped me get published.  When I found a blog I liked or thought useful, I followed and began commenting.  The blogger, in turn, usually reciprocated, as is the custom, except sometimes with rookie bloggers who often don’t understand the “rules.”  Soon, many of those connections became friendships.  Some turned into partnerships as we exchanged manuscripts and critiqued each others’ work. 

I entered as many blogfests and contests as I could.  Those are usually a great resource for new followers.  Hopping from blog to blog, I would hear about so-and-so just landing an agent, or you-know-who finally scoring a book deal.  That gave me hope that I, too, might find some measure of success someday, after I had paid my dues, of course. 

But more than that, these connections, this network of writers and authors, both aspiring and published, gave me advice on invaluable resources that would improve my craft, help write a query, advise me on finding the appropriate agent, or research which publishers accept submissions without representation.  And best of all, they assisted in making my novel all it could be.  My critique partners pulled things out of me I never even knew existed.  They enriched my book beyond mere words. 

Some writers think, since writing is a solitary profession, that they can go it alone.  But I’m telling you, you shouldn’t.  I have more friends now—people who understand my desire to write, my obsession with characters, other worlds, quirky mannerisms, and gaping plot holes—than I ever had before.  And whereas most professionals are determinedly competitive, it’s not unusual for writers to refer their associates back to their own agent or publisher, giving them a foot in the door and a leg up in the decidedly depressing circle of hell that is getting published. 

Without my blogging, I wouldn’t have found my critique partners.  I wouldn’t have learned the ropes and honed my craft.  I wouldn’t have had the insight I received from querying my friends’ agents.  I wouldn’t have known how to write a query, let alone polish one.  I wouldn’t have understood how the publishing business is changing at an alarming rate.  I wouldn’t have found my publisher and therefore wouldn’t have signed a deal, which means my friends who followed right after me might not have penned their own deals. 

Sure, I wrote a book.  But being an author is so much more than just reaching a word count.  We writers in this blogosphere are a real community, supportive of each other in the good times and bad.  We pick each other up after every rejection, and, after a gentle shoulder-shaking, send each other back out into the big, bad world that is publishing.  I am where I am because of my experience with blogging, with building my platform.  So take it seriously and devote a good amount of attention to it.  You never know when you’re going to make that one connection that will change your whole world.      

       * * *

Obsessed with revenge following the violent death of his pregnant wife, Tyler Karras pledges the woman responsible to sex-traffickers in San Francisco’s Russian Mafia.  In exchange, they’ll finally let his brother leave the business for good—with his debt wiped clean and his heart still beating.  But when Tyler mistakenly targets the wrong woman, he’s forced to protect her from the very enemy he's unleashed, and the Russians are holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal.  Caught in a no-win situation, Ty must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian Mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.    

Early praise for The Mistaken
“A deliciously slow burn that builds to a ferocious crescendo, Nancy S. Thompson's THE MISTAKEN kept me riveted until the very last page. Tyler Karras is a complex and flawed protagonist, and his redemptive journey makes him the perfect anti-hero. This psychological suspense is a standout, and I can't wait for Thompson's next book.” ~Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and FREAK

“Nancy S. Thompson's debut novel, The Mistaken, is a first-rate thriller full of hair-raising twists and turns.  Pursued by the police and the Russian mafia in San Francisco, brothers Tyler and Nick Karras are fascinating, fully-drawn, desperate characters.  The action is non-stop.  Thompson's taut, intriguing tale of revenge, mistaken identity, kidnapping and murder will keep you enthralled and entertained.”  ~Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of DISTURBED and TERRIFIED

“Fast-paced and emotionally gripping - once the ride begins, you won't stop reading until it ends."  ~Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTAR

* * *

Nancy is an interior designer with her own business since 1997.  A California transplant, she currently lives with her husband of 21 years near Seattle, WA.  They have one son together, a college freshman at Arizona State University.  She was recently contracted as a freelance editor for Sapphire Star Publishing. 


  1. Great interview and wonderful to hear more about your 'journey' Nancy. More proof that all that time we spend blogging isn't wasted!

  2. Hi Livia!

    Nancy's book is all over the place! So fantastic!
    And she gives some excellent advice on platform. It's so great having such a passionate and clever network of writers.

  3. Hey,

    Nancy... hmmm... Nancy Thompson... the name sounds familiar... let me check my bookshelf... (wanders back after a mo.) I knew it!

    Nancy S. Thompson, the author. I have her book y'all, right next to Frederick Forsythe's :)


    PS: In all seriousness, I'm so proud to have "met" and gotten to know Nancy this past year - and to witness the success she has achieved is an inspiration.

    Thanks, Livia for having her over, and thanks Nancy, for sharing the bits of the journey I didn't know (congrats on the editing position) and good luck with all your future endeavours :)

  4. Well said, Nancy! That's exactly how I feel. I did have a book deal when I started blogging, but otherwise the paths are the same. It all comes down to the friends I've made through blogging.

  5. Congratulations, Nancy!! Your book looks very intriguing!

  6. Congrats, Nancy. I've been blogging for over seven years, and while other social sites have come and gone for me, I refuse to give up blogging.

  7. What a great post and all so true. This community is amazing and I'm honored to be a part of it! I can't believe how much time and effort other writers are willing to give of themselves to help another writer out! It's amazing.

  8. Very nice post. I think this is indeed the greatest benefit to blogging, the connections forged with 'kindred spirits', and what we can learn from - and teach - each other.

  9. Well, that IS how I met all of you people! And I'm so grateful I did. Thank you all!

  10. And thank you, Livia, for being so supportive!

  11. Ditto the above. Great post. I've learned so much on this tour. Thank you Livia & Nancy.

  12. great points--i know blogging has pushed me out there!

  13. Great post, Nancy! It's so true about the connections we build in the blogging community and how important it is not to stay solitary in our writing life.
    Thanks, Livia for having her!

  14. Well said. Blogging is really about the connections. Found so many great friends through the blog.

  15. You're right in that writing doesn't have to be as solitary a profession as it's made out to be. Actually, it wasn't until I started blogging that I "met" many other writers with similar dreams as mine; it felt good to be part of a community like that.

  16. Looks like a fascinating book, Nancy!

  17. I meant to comment on this the other day. This community gives me such hope and encouragement that I can make my dreams HAPPEN. The best part? That I don't have to go at it alone :)