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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Author Interview: LaVerne Thompson

The Long and the Short of It is pleased to welcome LaVerne Thompson, whose latest book Day in the Sun was just released by Red Rose Publishing.

Reading and writing have always been a big part of her life. "Before I was old enough to understand what I was doing," she told me, "I'd add to a story or change the pig to a frog."

And, there never was a time she didn't consider herself a writer. "I've always known that's what I was," she said. "Even my first profession involved lots of writing; I was an attorney."

She tried to write her first book when she was thirteen. "My father had gotten robbed while in a cab," she explained, "and I wrote a story about it."

The idea for her first published book, Promises, was also taken from her life—it was inspired by her cousin who married someone they had grown up with.

Usually, as in those cases, the plot comes first; however a few stories she's written have been character driven—LaVerne will have a character in mind and write the story to fit. Or she might get an idea from a song—sometimes she gets titles from music as well or from an element in the plot or an emotion she's trying to evoke.

"The title for one of my stories, Without You, came from the U2 song 'With or Without You.' The plot of the story is about living without someone in your life," she told me.

LaVerne has several books and authors who have influenced her own writing. I asked her to tell us a bit about them and how they have affected her.

"Pride and Prejudice for straight undiluted romance with a touch of humor. Robert Jordon's Wheel of Time series for complexity and depth. Deborah Smith for faith. Dune has it all. Lord of the Rings-- it's only the bible for fantasy writers. Dragons of Pern series—love my dragons! Christina Dodd is the mistress of the written word, Sandra Kitt can entertain, and I want to write like Julie Garwood when I grow up."

She admitted she could have gone on with more, but decided to stop with those.

One of the things that LaVerne enjoys doing, along with reading, is spending time with her family. She has two active pre-driving daughters and a husband who travels a lot, so she admits to being able to multitask, for sure! And, the relationship she has with her husband is one of the things that influenced her to write interracial romances, as she's been having her own for more than 23 years. LaVerne is from Trinidad and her husband is Anglo-American, but racial conflict is not one of the factors in her book. The romance is the important thing. LaVerne has enough of a mixed heritage, she told me, that she didn't want to list them because she was afraid she would miss one and insult one of her ancestors. She also didn't want to label herself as a stereotype, because, as she said, "I have a tendency to do my damndest to break these."

I asked her to describe her writing space.

"A seemingly cluttered office," she responded.

On a random note:

What does LaVerne want to know about the future? --That it's still there.

She feels scientists should invent worm hole access.

She loves thunderstorms.

And, finally, if she could wish for anything she'd wish for an added hour in the morning and one at night.

"I'd wish for peace," she explained, "but I think we have a better chance of getting that extra hour. Maybe if people had more time to think about things we wouldn't be in such a mess."

You can keep up with LaVerne on her blog,

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