J.R. Thomas – Dream Walker

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Dream Walker is my debut novel scheduled for release on March 4th, 2011 by The Wild Rose Press.

Jay Gibbs is drawn to his grandfather’s ranch by disturbing dreams of wolves. Wolves that speak of a Cherokee legend and a prophecy to be fulfilled. As Jay stumbles deeper into his mysterious connection with the wolves, an ancient voice speaks…from his soul. A voice which tells him he must choose to protect ageless secrets…or destroy hope for all mankind.

Day Star “Daisy” Evans of the powerful Cherokee Wolf Clan, has walked in dreams before. But now, the dreams are not her own. And the mysterious young man who seeks her gaze with ageless eyes draws her close, with an unspoken promise of their connected souls, and a secret that must be guarded forever.

Tell us something about yourself.

I was born at the foot of the Rockies back in ‘59’ and followed numerous family members into the military and found a career in Navy Engineering before I retired in ’96.’ I traveled numerous countries, experienced numerous cultures and fell in love with South Carolina where I live today.

I started working at the age of thirteen in a family restaurant, and learned the value of strong familial ties, hard work and perseverance. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life and constantly search for another good book.

What inspired you to write this book?

Reprints, and reruns of old storylines, or books. I wanted a new story that I hadn’t seen, or read before. So, I decided to write one.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I usually start very early in the morning. Sometimes with a legal pad, pencil, and another cup of coffee in the kitchen, under the stove’s small light. By the time the household awakens, I’m usually itching to get at my keyboard.

Moreso, I don’t pressure myself to produce a book. When the story starts bonging around in my head, I work quickly to get the idea written somewhere. I may, or may not incorporate the thought in the current book, but I’m constantly reviewing old work to revive past thoughts, or resolutions to conflict, etc. If I reach a point in the story where I’m stalled going forward, I’ll outline a few ideas to find the best way to proceed.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

My biggest problem was overcoming the clipped military, or technical writing style from years past. It was difficult at first to describe the use of all five senses in a given scene. The easiest way to overcome that problem was to write the initial story in the First Person perspective and later switched to Third.

The path to publication didn’t seem as difficult as what other writers described on various online workshops. I had a couple of stories I kept in mind as I studied the industry markets, demographics of the readers, and desires of the publishers. The numbers led me to The Wild Rose Press after a dozen other rejections from agents.

During my search for publication, I worked on video production, promotional ideas, and other areas of the industry. Most importantly, I kept writing, trying to improve the story.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

Real books as opposed to e-books. (Just because of the tiny screens on e-readers.) I’ll read most any genre, especially if I’m tackling a new genre in my writing. If I’m struggling with a female character in my story, I’ll select a female author featuring a female protagonist, or antagonist.

As to favorites? Anna Sewell’s perspective in Black Beauty was a favorite as a child, as well as Walter Farley. I’ve enjoyed simple, fast stories like Don Pendleton’s ‘Executioner Series,’ and complex stories of Tom Clancy. Iris Johannson is an author I refer to many times when looking for help with female characters of my own. I suppose the authors I’ve read the most are Clive Cussler, and Stuart Woods. From his original book of ‘Chiefs’ to whatever is on the shelf in the library. I don’t think there’s a single book by either of the latter two writers that I haven’t read.

The sole memoir I’ve read in recent years is ‘Decision Points,’ by G.W. Bush.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

First, don’t quit your day job. Second, don’t quit. Read, read, and read some more. Research your market, tailor your story to fit the market’s demand. Don’t try to write the next Harry Potter, or Twilight tale. Write one better. Don’t accept less than your best effort, and be prepared for numerous rewrites. (There’s editors out there at every publisher, and they know what they can sell.)

Writing a good story is easy. Selling one is not. Practice the art of queries, synopsis, and taglines. Research the firms where you plan on sending a submission.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

The person who enjoys mystery, historical Cherokee legends, suspense and paranormal romance.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

‘Dream Walker,’ by J.R. Thomas can be found at Amazon.com, or direct from the publisher at thewildrosepress.com.

Also, J.R. Thomas is a penname. If a reader wants to look up Tom Rivera on facebook, I’ll be happy to address them directly.