Author Crush Friday: Mary Thompson
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Mary Thompson, author of Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee (October 11, 2016; G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers). Thank you for talking to us today, Mary! We’re honored!
GLITTER: For those who haven’t read your book yet, how would you describe Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee?
MARY: When they were ten and twelve years old, Amy and her cousin, Dee, were kidnapped by Kyle, a childlike man obsessed with dolls. He gave them new names and forced them to pretend their old lives were gone. Now Amy has come home alone, and she refuses to tell anyone who kidnapped her or where Dee is. The story is about how Amy adjusts to being home and figures out how to protect those she loves and survive.
GLITTER: For those who haven’t read your writing yet, how would you describe it to a new reader?
MARY: This book is very psychological. How do different people react to trauma? Why do people behave the way they do, especially under difficult circumstances? I tried to get inside the head of someone who has been through what Amy’s been through and also consider how her kidnapping would affect her loved ones. People who are traumatized behave differently from people living ordinary lives, and different personalities react in different ways, too. I wanted to explore how people as different as Amy and Dee would react to similar circumstances. The story is told through Amy’s perspective, and she’s keeping secrets from her family and even, to a certain degree, from herself. This allowed me to tell the story from the perspective of an imperfect human mind working its way through a traumatic event.
GLITTER: Describe Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee in 160 characters or less.
MARY: Six years ago, Amy and her cousin, Dee, were kidnapped. Now Amy has come home alone. How did she escape and what happened to Dee?
GLITTER: Have your past jobs helped shape the book into what it is now?
MARY: I used to be a lawyer, and I worked with sexual assault victims and learned a lot about the way trauma affects people. But the cases I worked on were so different from the situation in the book that they don’t really compare. My past as a lawyer did help me figure out some legal issues that show up in the book.
GLITTER: Did you always want to be an author? Did you ever feel like giving up? Did you receive rejection letters in the beginning? How did you get over them?
MARY: I always wanted to write in some kind of way, but I got serious about becoming an author about nine years ago. I can’t say I ever really felt like giving up. I’ve certainly been discouraged/frustrated/angry and everything else that comes with rejection, but I have a delusional optimism that gets me through! The way to get over rejections is to continue working and improving your craft. If you keep getting better, eventually you will be good.
GLITTER: What one book do you wish you would’ve penned and why?
MARY: Feed by M.T. Anderson. It’s the perfect blend of YA and sci-fi and social commentary, and it’s still just as topical as it was when it came out in 2002.
GLITTER: Do you have any crazy writing rituals?
MARY: The only ritual I have is spending a certain number of hours every week writing.
GLITTER: One thing you can’t write without?
MARY: I like the big screen on my iMac. I sometimes write on my laptop or even on my iPhone when I’m in a pinch, but there’s nothing like having a huge screen to work with and a real mouse. Plus coffee and chocolate.
GLITTER: What are you currently working on?
MARY: My next book is a teen fantasy called Flicker and Mist. It will be in stores January 3, 2017. It’s about a girl who can become invisible in a world where invisibility is a dangerous secret. I’m also working on another contemporary thriller.
Mary G. Thompson was raised in Cottage Grove and Eugene, Oregon. She was a practicing attorney for more than 7 years, including almost 5 years in the U.S. Navy. She graduated from The New School’s Writing for Children program in 2012 and is now a law librarian in Washington, DC.