Monday, December 6, 2010

Expose Yourself #3 - Evil Can't Hide from Jim


In this series of articles, I talk to people who have been successful at taking control of their lives, making a name for themselves, and helping others to do the same. I’m very fortunate to have met them, and very thankful they have agreed to spend a few minutes talking with me to share part of their stories. We’re going to delve into what it took to propel these people from ordinary lives into extraordinary lives. We’ll find out where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going as each guest is asked to “Expose Yourself”.

You may recall that I was stationed aboard the USS Bataan, affectionately known as a Gator Freighter because we hauled Marines and their gear around the globe. Today’s guest was never one of the guys who crowded me out of the chow line, but he probably did it to someone else a few years back when he was a Marine.

Nowadays, though, he writes books. He’s already written two: Hidden Evil and Mysterious Lady, and is finishing up the 2009 RPLA award winning Rusty Steele, and he spends his time helping other writers perfect their craft as he heads the Port Orange Scribes. As if that wasn’t keeping him busy enough, he’s also webmaster for two chapters of the FWA, regularly volunteers for Hospice in Daytona Beach, is president and CEO of JollyOne Enterprises, and still finds time to be an avid scuba diver. Let’s give a great big OORAH to J. W. Thompson!

JC: Hey Jim, thanks for stopping by. Glad you’re not wearing your tree disguise; it would’ve brought back too many bad memories of walking through the forest on the ship.*

JW: It’s at the dry cleaners. We’re going out to Ruth Chris Steakhouse later tonight and I need to look my best.

JC: Awesome! Let’s get right into this: Where are you in your life, or your career, or the pursuit of your goals?

JW: Right now I have two books out, "Hidden Evil" and "Mysterious Lady," selling in quite respectable numbers. I have two more in different stages of editing, one of which is a romance novel. And I’ve just started rewriting a new series about a tough as nails CIA agent named Rusty Steele, which won an RPLA award last year. So I’d say I’m well on my way to being a novelist.

JC: Wow! Sounds to me like you’re gonna give Stephen King some competition for prolificness. How did you get started?

JW: I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a child. Until recently, I wrote only for my own eyes and never dared to dream of becoming a published author.

JC: Really? How recently are we talking?

JW: Five years ago, my wife and friends urged me to seek publication.

JC: How did you get where you are?

JW: The encouragement of family and friends who believed in me and the help of other writers are responsible for where I am. Joining the Florida Writers Association was the best thing I could have done. Writers helping Writers is their slogan, and they mean it.

JC: Where are you going next?

JW: My goal now is to make it to the bestseller list and bring as many writers as I can with me.

JC: That sounds excellent! What are you doing to get there?

JW: I try to improve my writing every day. I have a vast network of friends and fans on the internet and I try to help every writer with encouragement and by passing along the knowledge that I have picked up along my journey.

JC: Ah yes, I noticed that you run several different webpages I wanted to ask you about. You've got a page on Facebook, another one on Myspace, even a video on YouTube, all jam packed with fans from all over the world. How important are these sites to your success?

JW: It's all about the fans, not the sites. The fans are the life and inspiration for me to continue writing. They are also the secret to my success in marketing my books.

JC: Is it a lot of work to keep them updated?

JW: It requires from two to four hours a day.

JC: That's a lot of work. It sounds to me like you’ve got a lot going on and we can continue to expect great things from you. Any last words? Anything to put on your tombstone?

JW: Never give up your dreams.

* Note: To let you in on the joke, when aboard an amphibious ship like Bataan, the Marines usually dress in their cammies for comfort. We often pretend they're invisible (because they're camouflaged), or refer to them as trees. A group of them would therefore be a forest. Most squids think the Marines are too dumb to think of a good comeback, but really they just immensely enjoy knowing we're jealous of them.

Note2: After I coerced this poor woman into taking pictures of us, Jim coerced her into buying his books.



  1. Great interview, Jim. I still need to learn about all that international networking! And good of you to credit Florida Writers Association for being true to their motto, "Writers helping writers." We do, don't we? I've certainly learned a lot since I joined eight years ago.

  2. Nice job, you guys, but now I have to find out what a URL is in the "Comment as" box. Is it short for something in a mens' room?

  3. No, dave, it's so you can tell us what your website is. You see how Ronnie did hers, she typed in her name, and then her website where it asked for URL, and boom! Now if you click her name, you go to her website and find out what she's doing with her life. Give it a try, Dave!


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