Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Julius Thompson interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
     Without a doubt my best work is done late night around 11:00 p.m. It feels like early morning, the ideas start to flow; my minds’ eye is filled with the visuals. It’s just a great time to write.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
     I get a genesis of an idea and then write notes on the idea and figure out where my characters will fit in the storyline.
     I have various icons on my computer with folders. For example, I have Icon with organization. I number each folder for chapters from 1-to-60. I put all the information in each folder that I can use for that chapter.  I develop ideas and situations and then after I gather enough material, I’m almost ready to write.
   Before I start writing, I develop a character resume for the Point of view character, the antagonist and the influential minor characters.
   Now, I’m ready to write.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?
   The inspiration for writing the trilogy came from the people I’ve known, loved and imagined over the years and the situations I’ve encountered. I think about the great music of the era.
        As a college student in New York City in the sixties, I experienced the sit-ins at The City College of New York while looking at the gates of The College shut tight and wondering if I was going to graduate.
I can still smell the smoke from the burning buildings during the Brooklyn riots. From incidents like these the origin of the trilogy evolved.

4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
         My major goal is to develop characters unique to the book and is able carry a storyline. I do not worry about word count. I write until I’m almost finished for the nights, then I stop. I don’t’ complete the scene; I want to pick at that same point the next night.
5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?
Thanks for the compliment, but I’m not a self-published author, I was fortunate to get an incredible publisher, Passionate writer publishing, and they have a super cover artist, Allen Meeks. He captured the essence and tone of Ghost of Atlanta after reading the book.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
         I wanted to write a view of life in the Black American Community during the last thirty years of the twentieth century. People saw the sweeping changes, but I wanted to show the view of ordinary everyday people

7: Do you own an e-book reading devise?
         I’m a traditional person who loves to read paper books. I love the feel of the book in my hand and the turning of the pages. This creates an atmosphere that enhances the author-reader relationship. 
         I feel like I’m editing a book when I read it in e-book format. Most of my friends love the e-book, but this will have to be something I have to get used to doing…in the next lifetime (smile).         

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
The last book I read was Degrees of Separation by Sue Henry. It’s a Jessie Arnold Mystery.  The author has a strong grasp of intense storytelling and strong characterization. The setting is a small town in Alaska that has been shaken with a murder that disrupts the tranquility of a winter in the land of snow and ice.
       It’s a fascinating “Who done it” that keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  What is the next clue to be uncovered? 

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I love book trailers; it’s an effective way to communicate with your readers in a visual medium. Here’s the link to my Youtube book trailer from my Buffalo-Brooklyn book tour. When you get a chance, please watch and let me know your response:

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about? 
              I’m working on my fourth novel, Purple Phantoms, which is the story of the haunting of a high school basketball team. What sparked my interest in writing this book, as a basketball coach, I’ve seen too many young athletes die at an early age. I’m about 35, 000 words into the project.

Rating: 5 Stars - Readers Favorite Boo Reviews and Award Contest
The Ghost of Atlanta
         Julius Thompson is a superb writer. "The Ghost of Atlanta" is, overall, a superbly written book. This novel is the third in a series. The book is a very fast read that builds up slowly and has a fantastic ending. Mr. Thompson has included all the ingredients that make for a well-written novel: great character descriptions, an exciting well-thought-out plot, edge-of-your-seat adventure with all the proper descriptives (old love and love rekindled, friendships-new and old, hate-the kind that festers, murder-brutal and heartless, drugs-of the worst kind, family ties-both good and bad, etc.).
         The story takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, present day, the main character, Andy Pilgrim, is a newspaper reporter. His life is full of ups and downs with a past that haunts him daily, hence, 'Ghost in Atlanta'.
Only Andy can, and must, have the courage to face his ghosts, one-on-one. He has many friends and family that help him along the way, and those that would like to see him fail miserably. Can he defeat his ghosts and continue on with his life?
         I will not spoil the book for you but I will say that the story is full of excitement and is really very ethereal. The reason I say that is because the characters themselves present the reader with many questions, such as, How can Andy`s friend, Philip, 
always be there for him just at the right time? How is it that certain characters are praying for Andy just at the right moment? How can a family cousin appear to Andy in the blink of an eye and then disappear just as quickly? How can friends and family in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Atlanta be so in tune with each other, helping Andy when he needs it the most?
         All these ingredients make this novel taste like your favorite pie flavor. All these ingredients make you want to continue reading this novel in just one sitting.
         I now have a very strong desire to read Julius` first two novels in the series. I can hardly wait for the next one. Julius, please keep writing. To the reader, don't hesitate to read this; you will not be disappointed. I, for one, am very glad that I read this book and I rate this book 5 stars, wholeheartedly."

About Ghost of Atlanta:
In The Ghost of Atlanta, Andy Michael Pilgrim faces demons from his youth that haunted his life. These are the ghosts in the crawl spaces of his life; some are real and some supernatural.
After landing a job with The Atlanta Defender, Andy returns home and visits the place where he finally faces remembrances of his deceased abusive father. While walking around the grounds, he meets his mysterious cousin, Joe Boy, and finds out that the property is going to be sold by unscrupulous cousins.
While Andy fights this battle, he must confront the personal demon of a possible drug addiction, breaking the color barrier at the south’s largest newspaper, The Atlanta Defender, meeting his old girl friend and fighting the lingering effects of segregation in small-town Georgia life.
As the story unwinds, all these forces push Andy toward the breaking point, where he almost quits on life. Malevolent mortal deeds are committed and Andy could be next in line.
"The Ghost of Atlanta" is, overall, a superbly written book. 5 stars!~Readers Favorite

About Julius Thompson:
Julius Thompson grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York and attended Bushwick High School. The sixties in Brooklyn was an era that had a personality, a feel, and a life-force that changed a generation. Mr. Thompson felt this energy and experienced these fires of social change.

After high school, Mr. Thompson spent the next four years riding the "A" train to Harlem, in upper Manhattan, to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York. At CCNY, which was located just a few blocks from the famous Apollo Theater, Wednesday afternoons was hard on the undergraduates. The matinee performances of the major R&B groups of the times were more tempting than attending a boring college lecture. Most of the time Mr. Thompson succumbed to the temptation, but still earned a college degree from one of the best universities in the country.

At CCNY, literature instructors like Prof. Thomas Tashiro, fueled the fire in him to become a writer!  Brooklyn, New York and attended

Mr. Thompson’s journey to compose a trilogy began in 1995. The fourteen year fictional journey of character Andy Michael Pilgrim from Brooklyn, to Philadelphia and finally Atlanta is now complete. In this pilgrimage, readers experience places that are filled with hopes, dreams, challenges and fears that make us human.

The novels that make up the trilogy are A Brownstone in Brooklyn which was published in 2001, Philly Style and Philly Profile in 2007 and Ghost of Atlanta which will be published the first week of January 2011.
Mr. Thompson received the Georgia Author of the Year nomination for Philly Style and Philly Profile, from the Georgia Writers Association, in 2007.

Mr. Thompson is writing his fourth novel, Purple Phantoms, which is a story about the haunting of a mythical high school basketball team.
Mr. Thompson is currently a Creative Writing/Publishing Instructor at Atlanta’s Evening at Emory’s Writers Studio. For more information please visit him at www.ghostofatlanta.com.

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