Here is a Q&A Thomas White ,author of Justice Rules, did a little bit ago for a virtual book blog tour he did in late 2010. He will be our guest tomorrow on our Gelati’s Scoop The GZONE blogtalk radio show.
Justice Rules is his first novel and was nominated as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2010 Literary contest.
Thank you for this interview, Thomas. Do you remember writing stories as a child or did the writing bug come later? Do you remember your first published piece?
A: I grew up with a group of kids in my neighborhood who, when we weren't playing kick ball or war, used to put on plays. Me and one older guy did all of the writing, well, I don't think anything was ever put on paper but we told everyone what to say and do. I hadn't actually considered that until now but I went on with both of those endeavors in my professional career. Funny how things work out, I wonder what the other guy is doing? Steve Zelinkski, if you read this e-mail me.
What do you consider as the most frustrating side of becoming a published author and what has been the most rewarding?
A: The most frustrating side is simple, not selling enough books. Justice Rules is a story that I think everyone who reads this genre would enjoy, at least judging from the five-star rating on Amazon.com people are enjoying it. Not having wider spread distribution is frustrating. The most rewarding part is that people have been reading it and enjoying it. I get a tremendous amount of pleasure when a review is posted and someone I have never met says wonderful things, I mean, how cool is that?
Are you married or single and how do you combine the writing life with home life? Do you have support?
A: I have a fantastic wife and two daughters. My wife is a neuro-surgical nurse practitioner and my daughters are 21 and 18. Having her own career she understands the commitment it takes to accomplish something. Combining my writing and my life is not an issue at all. I would have never considered it even something to ask. I work a few hours every morning, every day. I then attend to the other things in my life such as my other business. I write everyday regardless however, sometimes it is work related and sometime it is writing related. I produce theatrical and corporate events and often I have to create pieces or video for these events. I do all of the producing, directing and writing for all of them.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing? Where do you like to vacation? Can you tell us briefly about this?
A: I am a die hard, San Diego Charger fan. I live in the Pacific Northwest and this will be my 30th year as a season ticket holder. It's an obsession. I have been through the twelve-step program twice and it has done nothing for me. As for vacation, my wife and I love the Caribbean. We will go there at least once a year.
If you could be anywhere in the world for one hour right now, where would that place be and why?
A: Well, as I said, I am a San Diego Charger fan and this weekend is a big football weekend that I will not be able to attend. Obviously, sitting in Section 46 with my buddies eating hot dogs and cheering on another late season victory would do it for me.
Who is your biggest fan?
A: My wife. What can I say? I'm a lucky guy. Throughout my life I have been a free lancer. I direct theatre, I produce corporate events, I write and there has never been a moment of security over the past twenty-five years. All through it she has supported my crazy ideas and encouraged me to trust in myself. Years ago, with a 6 month old baby daughter, we moved to NYC because I had this crazy idea I could produce and direct a show based on a cartoon character. A year later Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out Of Their Shells opened at Radio City Music Hall. That is the kind of trust she has. When I told her I was going to publish a novel she didn't laugh or give me grief, she said, "If anyone can do that it's you." Like I said, luckiest guy in the world.
Where’s your favorite place to write at home?
A: My favorite place to write, oddly enough, is on a plane. The solitude and serenity of uninterrupted time is very conducive to my creative process. Especially when I get the upgrade and have space for my elbows to stick out. I sit down, pop on the headphones, no music, just the headphones to dissuade the friendly chatter of a neighbor, and off I go. As Stephen King described it in The Dark Half, the hole in the paper opens up and I fall through. When I am at home I have a comfy office, covered in Charger paraphernalia. It is my lair.
Do you have any pets?
A: Not an animal person, I mean if there is one in the street I swerve to avoid hitting it but would never take it home.
Tell us a secret no one else knows.
A: I have a compulsive habit of recycling office waste; paper and light cardboard. I save tags from clothes and receipts for gum and recycle them all. If I am in a hotel room I bring all of the scrap paper back with me to be sure that it is recycled. You know, like the little envelope the key comes in and those kind of things. That's kinda weird now that I see it in print. Don't judge me.
What’s on your to do list today?
A: Today actually is a very busy day. In addition to finishing this interview I will be assisting my wife in her side job. She owns a catering company called Just A Couple Of Moms Catering and being December she is very busy this month. So today is a catering day, tomorrow is a huge Christmas Party for a local business as well as a Charger football game.
Now I’ve got a couple of fun questions for you. If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of your book, how would that help him find a way off the island?
A: Oddly enough, my main character, Brian Wylie FBI Profiler, has an affliction in that he is deathly afraid of wooded areas. Not a great phobia to have in Eastern Washington. In an event, he finds himself lost in the woods while being hunted by the bad guys, in the dead of night. Terrified as he is, he manages to control the fear and use his ingenuity to get back to civilization. I think if Tom were to read the book, he would find inspiration in Brian's actions and calm his own fears to find a way home. Other than that, he could tie it to the end of a long pole and use it as an oar.
You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara Dioguardi and the newest addition, Ellen DeGeneres, to determine whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay where you’d make millions of dollars. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your author photo – and why?
A: Well, certainly not my photo, if it did I would have been on one of the other talent shows by now and who would need them. The cover I find intriguing but it is only a picture. I would have to say any book worth winning on a show like this would have to present an excerpt in order to be successful. After all, it's all about the writing. I have actually had one or two reviews of Justice Rules that have opened with quotes from the novel. I was very pleased with that.
You just got word that your book has received the 2010 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony to give an acceptance speech. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. What would you say and who would you thank?
A: I will be speaking for Thomas White tonight. Thomas unfortunately had a heart attack and collapsed upon hearing the news that he won the 2010 NY Times Bestselling Book Award. Had he survived I am sure he would be most grateful.
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