Monday, September 26, 2016

Interview With Author Bill Thompson

1.      What inspired you to write your book?
The inspiration came from three things: the events of 9/11, the ongoing threat of terrorist strikes in America and an unsettling idea—that with enough money and connections, dangerous people could put a man in the White House.  The idea for this book arose from my wondering what would happen if both the President and Vice President disappeared but were not conclusively dead. In such a situation there is no precedence for appointing a successor. In my story, many citizens believe terrorists are behind this so it’s imperative that order be restored quickly to avoid panic. Since Brian Sadler and the sitting president are college roommates and best friends (from a previous book in the series) it made sense that Brian could help.

2.      What is it about?
It’s about what happens when a boorish, dislikable career politician assumes the presidency, presumably to calm a tense situation. A billionaire in the Middle East wants to control a major U.S. corporation and suddenly—with Cham Parkes in the White House—he has a perfect way to make it happen.  Was it all part of a plan?  Brian Sadler is recruited by the CIA for a routine mission in London that involves the billionaire’s daughter, whichsuddenly turns deadly for Brian and his fiancée. He learns about Operation Condor and suddenly understands the high-stakes game that’s being played in the White House.

3.      What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
I haven’t considered everlasting thoughts as part of what my readers come away with, but it’s an interesting question! I hope people enjoy the tales I spin and want more. My goal is to create fiction that’s entertaining, satisfying and a fun read for those who like the genre in which I write. When I read for pleasure I often pick up books that are like mine—archaeological mysteries, thrillers set in remote jungles with dangerous people who make the books interesting.

4.      What advice do you have for writers?
Go for it! If you want to write, make it happen but treat it seriously. Make time in your life, force yourself to a schedule that’s realistic for you and go for your dream. It used to be harder to get a book into print than to write one. That’s not the case anymore. There are many great resources for indie authors today. Websites, blogs, webinars and chat rooms offer ideas and suggestions that are immensely helpful. I print the information that’s potentially important for me, mark it up and then mark it up again, highlighting the points that I want to try myself.  You may not sell a zillion books the first year, but if what you’re writing is really good, well edited and proofed, and you’re willing to devote as much time and resources to marketing and publicity as you do to writing, it could work. Why not give it a try?

5.      Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
Sometimes I think “real” books will disappear altogether and everyone on Earth will end up with a tablet to read on. But there are people of all ages who insist on paper books. They like the feeling when they hold one, turn a page, or flip back and forth.  When I research my books, it’s usually non-fiction I’m reading. For that I always buy paperbacks. I have to do it the old-fashioned way—with tabs, a highlighter and notes in the margin. Fiction, however, is a different story. I used to travel with twenty pounds of books in a briefcase. No more, thank God. That’s not going to change. Ebooks are here to stay and if you want to be successful you have to publish in that genre. Many authors do ebooks exclusively. As I said in the previous answer, it’s easier than ever to get a book into print. It sounds crazy, but that’s the simplest part. The competition for a reader’s attention, especially with the crazy number of indie author-publishers, demands that a serious author —one who actually wants writing to be a career—must be ready to make his or her book stand out somehow.  In an industry where thousands of books a week are published, only a few can possibly rise to the top of reader interest. That situation isn’t going to change.

6.      What challenges did you have in writing your book?
Sticking to a writing schedule, outlining, creating self-imposed deadlines and other such mundane back-office tasks are the easy part for me. My challenges usually come with the story line itself.  For me, it’s often the research—the things that make the story sound plausible—that present the challenge. This time was no exception, given the unprecedented premises of this book. Some of the ideas—a Supreme Court vacancy while the other political party controls Congress, for instance —are straight from today.  Dealing with the order of succession was more challenging, since neither top official had been declared dead. I had to draw on what would most likely have happened in real life for that one.

7.      If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
Order of Succession is meant to be a quick, entertaining read. A Kirkus review says “the baddie’s plan, as well as the good guys’ strategy to fight back, are riveting, featuring varying motives and inevitable double crosses.” I hope readers will find Brian Sadler and his attorney-fiancée Nicole Farber as engaging as other readers have, and will come away having enjoyed a getaway from the daily routine of life.

Bill Thompson became a corporate entrepreneur early when at age 12, he started a company that bought and sold coins. By age 25 he had founded an insurance agency that became one of the largest in Oklahoma. Expanding and adding to that firm, Thompson created a financial services holding company that operated in several states plus Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and England. He later sold his interests and joined his son as an executive in a computer memory manufacturing and distribution company, which by 1995 had grown to be in the top ten nationally by sales.

When that company sold, he decided to pursue a lifelong passion—writing archaeological thrillers. His burning interest in ancient sites, mysteries of the past, unexplained things in the jungle and stories of adventure in remote places drove him to frequent trips around the world. He has visited numerous historically significant sites, including Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, Avebury, Egypt, Petra and many ancient Olmec, Aztec and Maya cities in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.

For more information, please visit www.billthompsonbooks.comand connect with Thompson through Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Order of Succession can be purchased on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Don't forget to check out the next stop in the tour at Musings in the Middle!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.

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