Recently I had the great honour to interview Scott Thompson, Author of the wonderful book
Young Men Shall See
"This book is a vivid slice of growing up Southern in a time of racial truce if not yet true peace with honor. It's a fresh, honest look at that life in the 80s."
- Richard Monaco, author of the Parsival books
I really enjoyed this book and it's one of those that linger with you for a long time and it was great to be able to catch up with Scott. It is also a wonderfully presented book.
Where did the idea come from for your book and what was that initial spark that inspired it?
Young Men Shall See was a story that was inside me for years. Many writers seem to have a story that they have to tell first, before they can write other stories. My hometown, during my teenage years, was very similar to River Falls, but the place in the book has been altered to fit my imagination. Many of the characters are based on people I knew, even though the characters evolved into their own. If I don’t let characters become their own people then I won’t let them do the things they need to do to become believable. If I relate a character too closely to a real person I care about I won’t let that character do the things that make them human. Even the best of us struggle with bad emotions and desires, and I wouldn’t let a character I related to someone I love do what they need to do.
Are you much of a planner and an outliner or do you just write and see what happens and can you give us an insight into how your writing process works?
With this novel I had a basic outline, but allowed the story to go where it needed to go. In the novel that will be out this summer — Children of the Mist — I created a much more extensive outline, and took many more notes before writing, but I still let the story go where it needed to. I recently started my third novel and I have a good outline, but will follow the story where it takes me.
My writing process becomes more structured with each book. My craft is improving. I use what I learned from the last to make writing the next easier, and hopefully, better. There’s still a great deal of gut involved, because no matter how good I become at the craft I can’t stray from the soul of writing.
Have you always wanted to write and what books or authors do you enjoy and inspire you?
I have enjoyed writing since I was very young. I’ve written in one form or the other most of my adult life. Writing novels came late for me, but it’s something I’ll continue for many more years.
I enjoy reading American Southern authors, but also like reading anything that is good or that makes me think. I hate to get stuck in one genre as a reader. I like books targeted to women, African American authors, Young Adult books, and even business books. My favorite authors include Ron Rash, Peter Jenkins, and Terry Kay. Ask me this same question later and my list will probably be different.
What can readers expect from you in the near future, what else have you got coming up in the pipeline and what are your long term plans?
I have a new novel that will be out this summer. It’s a sequel to Young Men Shall See. I’ve been writing magazine articles and short stories too. My third novel should be out next year (2014). In the third novel I’ve taken a different direction in writing style and story content. I have several notebooks of notes for future books that I’ll write in the coming years.
What advice would you give to other writers who are trying to develop their craft and aiming at publication?
Write, write, write. Read, read, read. You have to do those first. Then it takes discipline. There are amazing writers we’ll never read because they don’t have the discipline to finish their novels and stories. After writing, reading, and discipline you have to get over your fears and put your work out there. Sharing your writing is tough, but you have to do it if you want to become a published author.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I enjoy doing anything outdoors. I like fishing, hiking, and camping. First, I’m a father and a husband. Being there for my little boys and my wife is the most important thing I’ll ever do. No one may be reading my writing a century from now, but the type of man I am now, for my family, will influence generations.
How supportive have your friends and family been over the years with your writing and how do you balance writing with family life?
My friends and family have been very supportive. They were the first to read my writing and offer suggestions and support. It’s difficult to do everything, but I write early in the morning, while most people are still asleep. That’s a time I don’t have to take away from my family.
Georgia sounds like a wonderful and inspiring place to live but where is the most amazing country or place you have been to visit?
I love to visit new places and I’m lucky to live on a continent that has so much diversity of people and landscapes. California is in the U.S., just like Georgia, but it’s a very different place, and California is one of my favorite places. I’m not a fan of big cities but I love San Francisco. Yosemite National Park, in California, is what I hope my Heaven looks like. Yosemite defines breathtaking for me.
Thanks Scott for a lovely interview and you really are a talented young Author that I will have to keep an eye on. I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get the interview online, thanks for your patience. You can find out more about Scott and his books on his website. He can also be found on Twitter at