7 Seconds in Heaven with James Whitfield Thomson

Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield ThomsonOur guest today: James Whitfield Thomson Why we love him: His writing is haunting...

His latest: Lies You Wanted to Hear

The scoop: Alone in an empty house, Lucy tries to imagine the lives of her two young children. They have been gone for seven years, and she is tormented by the role she played in that heartbreaking loss. You can hardly see a glimpse of the sexy, edgy woman she used to be. Back then, she was a magnet for men like Matt, who loved her beyond reason, and Griffin, who wouldn't let go but always left her wanting more. Now the lies they told and the choices they made have come to haunt all three of them.

With shattering turns, Lies You Wanted to Hear explores the way good people talk themselves into doing terrible, unthinkable things. What happens when we come to believe our own lies? And what price must we pay for our mistakes?

Our thoughts: A major page turner!

Giveaway: One copy!  Leave a comment and we'll choose the winners after 3pm on Sunday, December 8th.

Where to read more about James: His website and Facebook.


James Whitfield Thomson_credit Patrick Sullivan-1 copy

1. I kept journals for each of my three children for eighteen years. Like Lucy in Lies You Wanted to Hear, who writes letters in a bound journal to her missing children, I wrote to my own children, beginning when they were ages two, five and ten. I kept no schedule, just wrote about whatever seemed important at the time. I gave them the journals (about 275 handwritten pages each) on Christmas 2000, and they opened them and started reading at random. “Oh, my God, Dad,” said Kelly, laughing. “This is about the time I called you an asshole.”

2. I never give a piece of fiction a title until I’m finished with the first draft. Bit of superstition here. I used to make up titles when I was a young man but never wrote any stories. Now I do it the other way around.

3. Back when I was a navigator in the Navy (1968-70).  I made four Pacific crossings, navigating virtually the entire way by the stars. The instruments I was using then were much closer to those of Lord Nelson in 1780 than the equipment mariners have at their disposal today.

4. I’m an incurable insomniac. It’s not always pleasant, but some of my best writing gets done at three in the morning.

5. My head is filled with a ridiculous amount of trivia. True story. I was in a leather shop a few years ago talking to two clerks when a bearded fellow came in dressed in a fringed jacket and full hippie regalia. As the conversation quickly turned back to his heyday in Haight-Ashbury, someone mentioned the year 1967.  The fellow got a loopy grin on his face and said, “Back when people were free and music was music.” “Yeah,” I said, “and the number one song of the year was Sugar Shack.” Some of those songs from the ‘70s made their way into Lies.

6. I grew up with a mother, father, sister and brother.  By the age of 46, I was the only one still alive. That had a huge impact on how I’ve lived the last 22 years of my life.

7. I was a minor football star in high school, which earned me a bunch of recruiting letters and a few scholarship offers. But my most significant athletic feat was impressing my wife Elizabeth on our second or third date by walking across her backyard on my hands.

Thanks, James!