It’s a glorious September, isn’t it?
Well, okay, there’s been some rain. And the leaves are turning colors, which means winter’s coming. But hey, it’s still nice!
Today we have Jessica Thompson visiting on the Monday Morning Author Interview.
When Jessica discovered mystery novels with recipes, she knew she had found her niche. As an avid home chef and food science geek, Jessica has won cooking competitions and been featured in the online Taste of Home recipe collection. She also tends to be the go-to source for recipes, taste-testing, and food advice among her peers. Jessica is active in her local writing community and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University but has always enjoyed writing and reading mysteries.
But let’s hear right from her!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
For me it was always this unattainably competitive field that made me shy away and leave it to those smarter than me, even as a kid. That is until I found culinary cozy mysteries and read one that was just awful. Then I had a niche that fit me perfectly and a bar that I thought I could clear.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I love mysteries and cooking, so a lot of my time is spent reading and and watching mysteries for ideas to twist, and doing everything to do with cooking, even including the fringes like butchering and gardening
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Kinda feast or famine
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I had to ask my friends. They say it’s both that I stay up way too late and that I’m a sprinter, in that I’ll write nothing for a few days, then write like 5,000 words in a day
How do books get published?
When an author and a publisher love each other very much …
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m a stay-at-home mom, and apparently that involves a lot more DIY in my mind than in other people’s minds. I consider it my job to save money, which means you can catch me doing anything from changing the oil on the car to butchering an animal. But I guess the things I enjoy doing are more like gardening, sewing, and always lots of cooking!
What do you think makes a good story?
I find that most readers lean towards character, but I need a deep and involved plot. It’s a must. That may be why I love mysteries more than other genres.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I think it’s either thinking that you’re not good enough or that you’re so good you feel entitled or don’t need to improve anymore. All writers are, hopefully, continually learning. There is no bad or good writers, it’s just how far along you are on that journey. I find that immensely encouraging. So, if you feel like your writing isn’t good, that’s a good thing as long as it pushes you to improve.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Getting to the action and forgetting to talk about the setting. Or feelings. I think a main character needs bigger feelings than I naturally have.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I don’t think I feel emotions strongly and I need to make those feelings bigger on the page. I need to work on that in my writing. But, like with anything else, that can come and improve with more practice and learning. Not feeling emotions strongly might actually help in the field. You need a thick skin as a writer and the people I think of with big feelings could, more easily, be crippled by the inevitable rejections and critiques and one-star reviews.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would tell her about this sub-genre that I found, cozy mysteries with recipes. If I had known that was a thing, then I might have thrown my hat in the ring a lot earlier.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
My favorite novel is Agatha Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.” I think that’s under-appreciated. Most people I know have not read it, then I force them to, then their minds are blown! I can’t talk about it, but … wow. Just wow. I read and listen to it over and over.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
My family says I’m a bat. Great hearing – check! Weird immune system – check! Naturally nocturnal – check! But I try to fight that one.
Thanks so much for stopping by! How can your fans get hold of you?
Well, I’m active on Instagram, and they can also come by my website.
Anything else you’d like to share?
How about a sample of my book?