Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Nancy S. Thompson. She is the author of The Mistaken Series. Nancy writes Mystery & Thrillers and Romance novels.
Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction, Romance
Nancy S. Thompson
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Nancy S. Thompson is the award-winning author of the dark romantic thrillers, The Mistaken and Leverage, and Stirred, a contemporary romantic suspense. She is a California transplant currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband. Besides moonlighting as a freelance editor, she also has her own interior design business within the model home merchandising industry.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
I’m working on my fourth book, a romantic political/military thriller tentatively titled AGAINST ORDERS. I’m only about a third of the way done, so I don’t have a release date as of yet. I wanted to get back to my roots, take my time, and write what I know, rather than what’s in vogue. Hopefully, it’ll be out before the end of this year.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
I’m a little torn over Twitter. When I sold my first book, my publisher told me I had to tweet multiple times every single day. They even sent me to a Twitter course! And while I don’t really enjoy tweeting, I feel now I have to keep it up because perhaps some of my sales are generated from there. Who knows...
I can say, at least, that my following is organic. Since I don’t truly engage like I probably should, I don’t generally follow others unless they follow first and they genuinely interest me.
As far as social media goes, I prefer Facebook, where I can engage more fully and feel like those who’ve friended me truly want to socialize and hear what I have to say. Still, with my genre—romantic thrillers—social media isn’t as vital as it is to, say, a pure romance author, whose fans are a bit more rabid and very different from mine.
As far as a carry-over goes, I wrote my third book, Stirred, based on an encounter I had with a Twitter follower who got a little too close for comfort.
Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
Yes, when I can. I’m doing the 2017 Readers & Writers Seattle book signing event in June, and I’m hoping to attend Fictionally Yours Melbourne in Australia in September. I do enjoy interviews. I even did a one-hour live interview on LA Talk Radio a couple years ago. That was really fun, though a bit nerve-wracking. I’ve never been invited to speak to appear anywhere. Maybe someday!
In the meantime, anyone who’s interested can find me on my FB author page
, or, better yet, just friend me on my timeline
. I love making new friends, especially those who like to engage.
You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
My first cover for The Mistaken was made by my publisher. I had some input, what I liked or didn’t like, but, other than that, it was more or less out of my hands. I hired a designer, Carrie Butler, owner of Forward Authority, for Leverage, my second, but I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted, and she did a great job of putting it all together. For my third, Stirred, I used Regina Wamba at Mae I Design. She asked for some general info and gave me a few custom drafts to choose from, but I had far less influence on that one. I do love how it turned out though. Though I sometimes ask readers their cover preferences, likes and dislikes, I don't usually include them in the design process.
You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) They look very professional. Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers? Do you use the trailer in your character development? Are the pictures and background the way you see your characters and scenes?
Aw, thanks! My first one (The Mistaken) was made before many authors even produced trailers for books. I hired that one out, and, though simple, I was specific on what I wanted. I used the online site Stupeflix to make trailers for both Leverage and Stirred myself, and I do love how they turned out. I’d like to use video images for my fourth one though. I’m not sure how well they do at actually selling books, but I have used them for marketing from time to time.
I use my synopsis (Amazon blurb) as a script, find images that work with each important line, and then time it to whatever soundtrack I’ve chosen. It’s fun, but tedious. My trailers always come after I’m done with the book, so they don’t go toward character development. But I try to customize each trailer as I see the stories in my head, including the characters.
You have converted The Mistaken into an audio book. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience for you?
Yes, the audiobook rights for The Mistaken and Leverage were bought by Cherry Hill Publishing. They did a great job of finding voice talent and marrying that with a great soundtrack and packaging. I even became friends with my narrator! I chose not to seek an audiobook for Stirred, as it’s pretty steamy, and I wasn’t confident that could be adequately portrayed in audio format without sounding cheesy. It's hard to say if they've had any impact on sales, but producing audiobooks allows me to reach an audience I might not otherwise be able to because they might have eyesight issues or simply not have the time to sit down and read.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
I do the occasional paperback giveaway on Goodreads, and I’m constantly participating in promotions and giving ebooks away, especially during online review or release tours. I also donate both paperbacks (plus bookmarks) and ebooks for auctions, etc. to raise money for worthy causes. I do the same for book signings when the organizers want to give away or auction swag bags. I even participate in pop-up promotions on Facebook to garner new readers and reviews.
It’s hard to say what effect they have, if they actually result in new readers and fans, but I don’t mind, regardless of the outcome. I try to do what it takes to connect with potential readers.
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
Well, I do have a mailing list. It can be found at
It can also be found on my FB author page. I started it at the suggestion of a very successful romance author friend of mine. I asked other author friends to join me in a holiday drive and giveaway, and we were pretty successful, gaining hundreds of new subscribers each. But I’ve yet to use it to send emails to market my books. It takes a lot of work to produce a newsletter and can feel intrusive to send, so I’m waiting for more organic interest so it feels more worth my while and I won't fear them just being tossed away without being read.
What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?
My reviews are mostly organic, which is important to me. With so many big names getting caught in the sock-puppet review controversy, Amazon has become very strict on the origins of reviews, and I don’t want to do anything to risk losing the reviews I do have, so the only time I employ professionals is during the initial book release. I use online tour companies for those book launches, and those tours usually include some bloggers who participate and provide reviews. But generally speaking, my reviews come the natural way, after a reader has purchased and read my books. Those tend to be more honest and influential.
Your website features a section called the A to Z Challenge. That was a very interesting reading. How did you come to highlight A to Z on your site? What kind of reaction did you get from your readers and social media? Are you going to feature Challenge?
Ah, the good old days before becoming a published author! Seven, eight years ago, it was said, in order for a writer to be more likely to find a literary agent and publisher, he or she needed a platform. In those days, that meant blogging. So I started my own blog and met hundreds of other aspiring writers and published authors. A few of them, all close friends at the time, came up with the A to Z challenge. Every April, for thirty days, each participating blogger writes a brief post. April 1st is for a topic starting with the letter A, and so on. There’s a master list with links to every participating blog so they’re easy to find. It’s a way to bring more traffic and hopefully followers to each blogger.
I did it a couple times, I think, focusing on my writing journey since I prefer to write about what I know, and I did enjoy it, but it was a tremendous amount of work to write and post, then visit hundreds of blogs every single day for thirty days. And after I was published, I had to focus more on writing new books and less on blogging. But it’s still an ongoing annual event every April and I remain friends with most of the organizers.
Author's Book List
- The Mistaken Series Book 1
All Tyler Karras wants is to enjoy life with his expectant bride. What he gets instead is a graveside seat at her funeral. With the woman who killed her uncharged and still free, all Ty wants now is revenge.
His brother, Nick, has dangerous connections and suggests a sadistic plan: grab the woman responsible and hand her over to his associates--sex-traffickers in San Francisco's Russian Mafia. They offer Ty more than he dreamed possible. In exchange for the woman, they'll finally let his brother leave the business for good--with his debt wiped clean and his heart still beating.
There's just one problem: Ty kidnaps the wrong woman.
Now he must protect Hannah Maguire from the very enemy he's unleashed, but the Russians are holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal. Caught in a no-win situation, Ty must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian Mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.
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- The Mistaken Series Book 2
Four years ago, Tyler Karras' quest to avenge his wife's death led to all-out war with San Francisco's Russian Mafia. With the Bratva's collapse and its king long dead, all Ty wants now is to put it behind him and enjoy a second chance at life with his new bride, Hannah. But the Bratva's heir has returned, bitter and determined. He wants his kingdom back, and he's more than willing to leverage Ty's new family to get it.
First he targets Conner, Ty's brooding nineteen-year-old stepson, manipulating the boy into a vortex of sex, drugs, alcohol,and gambling. Then he turns his sights on Hannah. At eight months pregnant, she's the ultimate bargaining chip. With all their lives in jeopardy, Ty has little choice but to do as commanded. But Tyler swore he'd never kill again. He buried that monster years ago and means to keep it that way.
With his family on the line, Ty crosses further into the dark side than ever before, challenging everything he believes about himself and forcing him to face the ghosts of his past. Only then will he discover if he has the strength to sacrifice his last chance at redemption in exchange for the lives of those he loves most.
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Fate screwed Eden MacLaird at the age of twenty-one, stole her first love, then her first child. Twenty years later, she still hasn't found her happily-ever-after. Sure, from the outside, she appears to have it all, including Declan, her gorgeous, rich-as-sin husband. But things aren't what they seem, and catching Declan in bed with her best friend destroys any dreams she harbors for love, much less sexual fulfillment.
Then in walks Sean Bennett...
Just months away from earning his law degree, Sean's smart, driven, and serious, but an unexpected encounter between them in a bar one night changes everything. His best friend, Trinitee, warns against getting too involved, but the heat between them is beyond intense, and neither of them are willing to walk away.
With Eden's marriage in shambles, she's eager to make a go of it with Sean, despite their sixteen-year age difference. But while she relishes her sexual reawakening, she fears giving up the posh life she's grown accustomed to. That life, however, and everything in it, comes crashing down as bodies start piling up around them, and all clues point to Eden and Sean.
Secrets, betrayal, and revenge threaten to destroy not just her carefully-crafted reputation, but her very life. With their freedom at stake, Sean and Eden join forces to uncover those plotting against them. But as doubt and evidence mount, she must choose: give in to her suspicions and save herself, or trust their new-found love and save them both.
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