My latest interview is with author Grant Thompson, who has been writing for longer than he cares to remember, a reformed screenwriter that has branched out into novels and is now preparing a series of instructional books. Married with child, lover of dogs, sports coach and busy parent.
Books & Writing: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Grant Thompson: I don't exactly remember the first story I wrote, but two things I remember from being a kid was winning an essay contest where I won a pair of football tickets to a Kansas City Chiefs game against the San Diego Chargers who were my favorite professional football team, the game was played in a heavy rain, the field a muddy mess, a weather disaster, players sliding every which way in the mud, great fun game. The other early writing memory was that of being a huge James Bond fan, movies and books, and I wrote a story for school ripped off from a scene one of the Bond novels by Ian Fleming. Now, I can't imagine what that teacher thought with the semi-adult material, but I received a good grade. Thanks, 007.
Books & Writing: Were you inspired by someone or something?
Grant Thompson: For some reason I always wanted to be a writer, probably the James Bond secret agent thing, and really the inspiration is what inspires males universally: Women, even at a young age I was quite aware of
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a bit about the instructional books you are working on at the moment?
Grant Thompson: The instructional books on which I am working are for two different audiences, juvenile and adult. The juvenile books are written combing fiction and instruction, not only do they inform, they entertain and keep the younger reader interested in the content as they learn, the information precise and reduced to the essential elements for easy understanding and learning. The adult series maintains that precision as I use experts in the chosen field who reduce the information to essential points, they are instructional guides for the busy person who wants information quickly and pertinent to learning. The first book in the juvenile series is on the skill of hitting a softball, the series will include many sports instructional books and expand into other areas that interests youth. The first book for adults will be on the lap-band weight loss procedure, primarily from the psychological point of view, my expert not only having the the procedure himself, but also is a therapist who has extensive experience in this area. I envision the series somewhat similar to the "Dummies" type of book, but in a refined version that can be quickly processed and learned.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the idea for the books?
Grant Thompson: The idea originated for the books from being a parent. Living in Los Angeles allows for a great opportunity to learn from experts at the top of their field, the more lessons my daughter took, and still takes, the more I have learned about methods to impart information that is quickly understood and gives results. The expert I used for softball is a veteran hitting coach who after giving thousands and thousands of lessons and studying the swings of great players has come up with methods to easily convey the essentials of a great swing, his method can be utilized from the beginner to the veteran player.
Books & Writing: You also published a book called “Unplayable Lies” which is a golf novel. Can you share a bit about the book and characters?
Grant Thompson: The main character is Jack Wilson, an aging golf hustler who has been sponsored in his gambling activities for many years. He is wanting to break away from that shady element and see if he can play golf for real and decides to make a stab at qualifying for the tour. As he is doing this, he encounters a female hustler who has her eyes set on defeating the legendary hustler. Not only does it turn out she wants to beat him on the course, they develop a relationship off the course as well. Not only does Jack need to find out if he is a solid enough golfer to go legit, he has to decide if he can relent the hold his past hustling life has over him.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the story for that book?
Grant Thompson: I was always interested in hustlers, guys like Titantic Thompson who would be on anything, particularly when he had it rigged so he couldn't lose, combining that with "The Mob" which is always interesting and my experience and love of golf, I found it an interesting, edgy take on the golf novel. It was written during the height of "The Sopranos" and I was taking a similar course with an emphasis on the humanity and not just the criminal and hustler aspects.
Books & Writing: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing?
Grant Thompson: I see continuously creating new instructional books as there are so many things to learn in the refreshing style that I see for the book series. I also will keep writing novels as it is something that I imagine doing until my death.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Grant Thompson: Read, read a lot, that is where I really learned how to write.
Books & Writing: Which author inspires you?
Grant Thompson: Major influences were Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Albert Camus, William S. Burroughs and Anthony Burgess.
Books & Writing: What is the last book you read?
Grant Thompson: Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up," he is a genius, not only funny, but talented in so many areas, and having known many comedians, I wanted to discover his viewpoint on the created process and to see if he was as insecure and nutty as most comics.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Grant Thompson: "Unplayable Lies" is available on Amazon as both a paperback or on Kindle. For the nonfiction series, my agent, Pauline Vilain (http://www.vilaininnovations.eu/) and I are looking for the right publisher for the series.
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on internet?
Grant Thompson: My twitter is @GrantThompson7, I have a blog, yippingoneputtatatime.blogspot.com and I will have a website up soon. Twitter is best for keeping updated.
Books & Writing: Is there anything else you want to share with the readers?
Grant Thompson: I hope you will check out my novel and look for the instructional series in the future and thanks for your interest.