Today I welcome Solstice author David W. Thompson. David is an award-winning author, a native of Southern Maryland, and a graduate of University of Maryland, University College. Prior to retirement from a position with a major Aerospace Corporation, he tried his hand at a variety of occupations – from grocery store clerk to warehousing, shoveling coal to construction. During his four-year stint with the U.S. Army, he was awarded the prestigious Army Commendation Medal (Arcom). When he isn’t writing, he enjoys time with his family and grandchildren, kayaking (mostly flat water please), fishing, hiking, hunting, wine-making, and pursuing his other “creative passion”- woodcarving.
He feels his characters carved little niches in his mind- showing their worlds, and their possibilities. He hopes to honestly convey the stories they whisper in his ears.
Today he’s talking about Sister Witch: The Life of Moll Dyer. It’s Book 1 in the Legends of the Family Dyer series. Click here to view the book on Amazon. (Note the publication date!)
Late breaking news:
Sister Witch: The Life of Moll Dyer has won the prestigious Golden Quill award for the best paranormal novel of the year! See why!!
About the book:
Moll Dyer wants to leave her troubles behind when she immigrates to the New World… but even an ocean cannot keep the Dyer family curse from following her! Wanting only to find peace, she fights injustice in a new land founded on tolerance, but ruled by bigotry. In 1607, the ancient enemy returns, and Moll takes a stand. 300 years later, is the world finally ready for Moll’s story?
Life in the British colonies is tough on man and woman. Hunger, disease, Indian attacks, and drought test the resolve of the settlers daily. But troubles for the Dyers include another threat. In this land of religious fervor, devastating sickness, and persistent greed, can Moll turn back the evil alliance formed against her and her bloodline? Or will hell’s bloody wrath extinguish her dream of a new life in the New World? How far will she go to protect her family and their world?
Faith despite Betrayal. Courage in the face of Injustice. The triumph of love.
The legend of Moll Dyer originated in earliest colonial Maryland. Despite 300 years of civilization, and the advent of scientific reason, Moll’s name is still often heard there, especially around campfires late at night, or as a warning to misbehaving little people. Her spirit is often seen as a wisp of unnatural fog in the swampy woodlands near her homestead, with her half-wolf companion at her side.
E-book: click here
Published October 31, 21017 by Solstice Publishing
Why did you decide to write this book?
Moll Dyer’s story has intrigued me since I was a child. I’ve heard snippets of her tale for as long as I remember. It seems every local family has their own version of Moll’s life and tragedy. I felt she was maligned for too long. As if her horrid death wasn’t enough, she was cast in legend as a villain. She was a pariah in life and I hoped to give her some semblance of peace and acceptance in death. As it has been suggested to me that my ancestors may have been involved in the tragedy, perhaps I owed her that on a personal level. I hope I succeeded.
What genre is your book?
The way I categorize it is paranormal historical fiction. Magical Realism is a more recent term and Sister Witch won the Editors-Preditors poll as best in that category for 2017.
Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?
Character driven. I love stories with well developed characters whose actions propel the narrative. Characters that make things happen, and not just have things happen to them—that creates a more relatable story to me.
What makes your book unique?
Several things: It is a paranormal story with a strong social conscience. It aligns three distinct cultures- Old World, New World and Native American. It has a strong female protagonist which—although not undone—I still find rare in paranormal stories. I felt my grand-girls needed better examples than that! Although male characters play important parts, there are no fawning damsels in need of a male hero here.
Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
I guess I ‘m weird, as I do both. I start out with a vague idea, then write my main characters intro. By now I know him/her/them a bit better and jot down a very loose outline with plot points I anticipate. These change, and the outline gets fleshed out as the story progresses and my new friends tell me their tale. Moll Dyer became so real to me that I conversed with her in my dreams.
How do you develop the names for your characters?
I switch up my routine depending on the story. With Sister Witch, I was limited with surnames as Maryland was a very small colony at the time. Some I choose from “Baby Names” books that give the meaning behind them. Other names just seem to fit the person I’m writing about and I’ve been known to change the name at the mid-point of the novel when I learn more about them.
How do you decide on the setting?
Thus far, my settings have been areas I am very familiar with or have lived in. I don’t always name them as such but setting is too important to me to rely on descriptive snippets from Google or recollections from a weekend trip.
Do you have a writing mentor?
No, I am a terrible introvert and I think that is pretty common for writers. There’s a bunch of writers who’ve influenced me however: Emerson, Poe, Camus, Thoreau and Tolkien. Don’t think I’m putting myself in the same category and I don’t try to emulate them but I can see their influence in my own writing.
What’s your writing schedule?
I don’t set a schedule in stone and I often take breaks when I hit a snag or a spot in my plot where “I can’t get there from here.” I do set goals (that I sometimes reach)- not for word count but to reach a certain point in the story. I get very single-minded with any project and need to be reminded when the mundane needs of life need to be addressed.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
I keep a pad with me usually and write down thoughts or corrections that pop into my head (at mostly inappropriate moments). I bring it all together on my couch looking out over a massive field with my laptop on my…lap.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for this interview, Nancy! Getting exposure is very important for new writers and your efforts are most appreciated!
Where can readers find you?
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/David-W.-Thompson/e/B076L9CF3W
I didn’t read this book, but read the second in the series, His Father’s Blood, the story of John Dyer, Moll’s great-great-grandson. Loved it! I enjoyed how David W. Thompson took a local legend and has made an engaging series out of it.
The great-great-grandson of Moll Dyer, John Dyer, only yearns for a place to call home. He sets out to homestead on lonely Devils Peak, and when he meets Ada Hartman, the daughter of travelling preacher Earnest Hartman, he has hopes that his dreams might come true. But life is not simple for John; his personal history and family history don’t allow it. He faces is needs invite tragedy. He’s betrayed by Sally Ann, a local woman who manipulates him into helping her. Using John’s teachings and magic, she opens herself to truly evil forces, who are determined to obliterate John and his heritage from the earth.
David W. Thompson has a very natural way of writing and of shifting viewpoints not only between men and women, but also between old and young, friend and foe, and good and evil. He also explored the true meaning of friendship. In addition, by creating Ada as the daughter of a travelling preacher, the author was able to bring up serious theological questions, examining the idea of a ‘Creator’ vs the ‘creations.’
For me, the book flowed naturally from any angle I looked at it: historical fiction, paranormal, horror, romantic suspense, magical realism. It was paced well, and I wasn’t really sure how it was going to end. In fact, I read the last few chapters two times! The first time, because I wanted to see what happened, and the second, to go back and savor the details.
I highly recommend this book.