This woman is a force to be reckoned with – four kids, a loving husband, a full-time job and the woman can write! I’m lucky enough to work in a very close critique circle with Renee and am proud to call her friend. Insightful, kind and generous at every turn, Renee is also insanely talented.
Her writing is so smooth I almost always forget that I’m even reading. Something magical happens when I read her work. Everything just slips away and time disappears. She deals in dark subjects that delve to the heart of the human condition, but there’s so much humor and light and kindness at the heart of her characters that it’s impossible not get swept up in her world.
Renee lives in the Midwest with her husband and four kids. She worked as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for over many years, but now manages her family-owned business. Her spare time is spent hovering over her laptop, trying to transcribe the romance novels playing out in her head. There are several going on at once though, so keeping up with them is hard. She hopes to have her first novel published sometime this winter.
Renee can be found at:
So without further ado, I bring to you, Renee Grace Thompson!
Me: Okay. Let’s dive right in. I’d love to know your secrets. Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?
Uh, no. None that jump out at me. With a job and a family of six, basically, I do what I can when I can. Ideally, I would say to spend time alone and immerse yourself in your characters’ minds and feel what they’re feeling as the scene plays out. In reality, that’s really hard to do when you’re watching the clock because you have to take Little Johnny to baseball practice or attend a dinner meeting for the day job.
You can’t do much about family and work obligations, but one thing that I recently tried is using scents to put me in the zone. I’d heard about a writer who wore a different perfume with each book she wrote. This was the scent of the female main character of that book, and it helped her delve into the character deeper. I modified this idea and got a fragrant wax kit with a floral scent. My series seems to revolve around roses, and I really do think it lifts my spirit as I write. I find it comforting and motivational.
Really! I’ve never even thought to do that. In addition to motivational scents, do you have a favorite motivational phrase?
Oh my. The list could go on and on and on. I have an entire book about Mother Teresa that’s filled with her quotes that I love. She was an amazing woman and made everything so simplistic. Her words are humbling, yet motivating all at once.
But the first phrase that comes to mind is “To Thine Own Self Be True.” This can take on so many meanings, depending on the situation. But it’s important to be your own person. You’ll never be content if you don’t stay true to yourself. To me that’s the key to life. I actually recite this phrase to my kids all the time as they are now at the age where bullying is an issue and they struggle with wanting to do their own thing but feel the need to conform to the group.
I just know you’re a wonderful mom. Those are wise words. Is that how you knew you wanted to write? How did you decide to become a writer?
Two years ago. I’m a chronic daydreamer, and after reading a novel that I didn’t necessarily enjoy, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head. Seriously. I didn’t know that feeling really existed, but I had the old clichéd epiphany. I thought to myself that my daydreams were better than that book I’d just read. All I had to do was transcribe what went on in my imagination. And with the ease of indie publishing these days, there was no reason for me not to. And so it began. It was really that simple.
That’s a bit how it was for me too. Like the flipping of a switch. The decision may have been simple, but I know well what comes after is harder. So you plan to self-publish. I’m looking into this now myself. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I try not to speculate on that too much, because I’m not privy enough to know what’s going on behind the scenes in the publishing houses or Amazon. I don’t think traditional books will ever go away, but I do think ebooks will continue to evolve as technology continues to develop at a rampant pace. Amazon has been king of ebooks for several years now, but just like every great thing, it will eventually lose its luster and the other competitors such as Nook will gain a bigger portion of the market. It will be interesting to see what happens, that’s for sure.
More wisdom! When you’re actually in the story and writing away. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Yes. Actually, I leave it for much longer than a month. I write another entire novel, and then I go back and edit. Several months pass, and other characters and scenes are much more prominent in my mind, so seeing the “stewing” novel is a big eye opener. Some parts are so bad I can’t believe I actually wrote it. Other parts I think “Ha! Now that was clever!
Ah! So true. Fresh eyes are invaluable and no one can do that as well as the author themselves. Thank you Renee! So much fun chatting!