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An Interview with Jessica Thompson

I delighted that busy American author, Jessica Thompson has taken time to stop by and chat with me about her new book.

Jessica, firstly, thank you very much for agreeing to an Author Interview with me. Could you tell my readers a little about yourself?

Hi! I’m Jessica Thompson, a culinary cozy mystery author. I’m originally from California, though I spent some childhood in Japan, and now I live outside Austin Texas. My parents have even moved here and bought a longhorn cattle ranch, so, other than not being able to say ‘y’all’, I’m pretty darn Texan now.

What inspired you to become an author?

It sounds terrible, but it always seems too competitive and unattainable until I read a really terrible book. Then, if that author could be a bestselling author and even just get published, then so could I!

What is the best thing about being an author?

The best part is the flexible schedule, but as a natural procrastinator, it might also be the worst part.

What is your writing routine like?

My writing routine is erratic. I would say it’s months of thinking and outlining, three months of actual writing, then complaining about having to edit, then having to market, for another 6 months.

How much time do you spend on research?

Luckily I don’t have to do a ton since my stories are contemporary. Plus, I have already learned a lot about poisons because of ranch-life and my background in horticulture, and I know a bit about hand-to-hand combat (for the final conflict) because of my background in martial arts. That makes it all easier, but I do have a police-friend whom I ask procedural questions and a nurse-friend whom I ask my physiological questions, especially since I like to be correct. Anyway, I guessI research more than I need to because I spend a lot of time outlining.

How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?

All of it. Every single bit. Or at least I think I have it planned by the time I start writing. Surprises do pop-up while writing, but before I start I have a floorplan, I can picture the setting, I have real people cast as the characters, I have a beginning and ending, I have who, what, when, where and why … all of it.

What do you think is most important when writing a book?

I deeeefinintely lean towards plot. Perhaps that’s why I write mysteries instead of some other type of fiction. After I write the rough draft, I usually have to go back in and say more about the characters. I know all about them, but I forget to put it down on the page until the second draft. I just want to get straight to the plot!

What is your latest book about?

The book I am writing right now is a prequel that I always planned to write. It’s a prequel to my published books, “A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “A Caterer’s Guide to Holidays and Homicide.” It goes back in time to when a bunch of our beloved characters met.

What inspired it?

I always knew I wanted to write a book about when my characters met through a case, but I knew I was not ready to write a meet-cute yet. Instead, I went forward in time to a stage of her life that would be easiest to write for me. The newly-wed.

Any new books or plans for the future?

This third book of the series (but really first chronologically for the characters) should come out early next year. So in enough time to read the first two books of the series, “A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “A Caterer’s Guide to Holidays and Homicide.”

What genres do you read most often?

Most often is probably cozy mysteries, especially the culinary ones about food, but I’ll read anything that’s not erotica. I’m still not old enough to read those, and never will be.

Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?

I know I’ve plugged my books, but Val’s books are great too! “Hunter’s Rules” just came out and I’ve already read it. I can definitely recommend it. “Hunter’s Rules” was a great chase, an intriguing mystery, and was great fun as an American because I could hear the accents of all the characters!

Jessica, you are too kind! Best of luck with the books and your writing career.

About the Author

When Jessica discovered mystery novels with recipes, she knew she had found her niche.

Now Jessica is the author of the Amazon best-selling culinary cozy mysteries "A Caterer's Guide to Love and Murder" and “A Caterer’s Guide to Holidays and Homicide." Her second book is currently a Whitney Award nominee in the mystery category for 2021. To be published in 2022 is an anthology of short stories that she is curating. She is active in her local writing community and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and the Storymakers Guild. She received a bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University but has always enjoyed writing and reading mysteries.

As an avid home chef and food science geek, Jessica has won cooking competitions and been featured in the online Taste of Home recipe collection. She also tends to be the go-to source for recipes, taste-testing, and food advice among her peers.

Jessica is originally from California, but now has adopted the Austin, Texas lifestyle. She enjoys living in the suburbs with her husband and young children, but also enjoys helping her parents with their nearby longhorn cattle ranch.

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