USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson writes Christian coastal city and
beach town romance with flavors of women’s fiction, Christian romantic suspense
with elements of mystery, and inspirational near-future technothrillers with threads
of sweet Christian romance. Jan’s books are for readers who love inspiring stories
of faith, family, and friends.
Jan Thompson Interview
What do you like to read?
I’ve never kept myself to one genre when I read. As a fan of history, I love reading historical romance, especially those set in the American colonial days. In fact, I tried to write one. My research took me several years, and I found myself enjoying the real-life history of the people and places more than doing my book research. Years later, I put my historical romance on hold because I found that other Christian novelists have done such a good job of it that I’d rather read their books than whatever I tried to write.
I’ve always enjoyed suspense and mysteries, although I don’t like to read gore and bad language. And I like to read contemporary thrillers such as detective, medical, and legal thrillers. From time to time, I do read science fiction. Back in the nineties, it was very hard to find Christian versions of these genres. Most of the intriguing novels were from mainstream secular publishers. In the mid-1990s, I realized that I needed to write what I want to read: clean suspense from a Christian viewpoint. So I did. My first cyber thriller took me three years to complete. And then I shelved it because I became a mother and that took priority.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I wish I could say that all my books take me an average of X number of days to write. That would make my writing life so much easier. Unfortunately, I go where the story takes me. Sometimes, I only spend a week drafting a novel but sometimes, months, or yes, years.
Thanks to family life priorities, I have only been able to write part time. As such, some of my books have taken me at least a decade to complete, from idea concept to rough sketch to draft to revision to edits. It could start out at 40,000 words but end up at 100,000 words before I am happily satisfied with the book and I could write no more. Then I send it to my editor.
Now that I’m an empty nester with no little kids at home, I hope to write full time. Lord willing, if I get to write all day long, perhaps the time it takes from concept to completion wouldn’t take years!
Tell us about your latest book.
Pray for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 5) is my latest contemporary Christian romance novel, and Zero Trust (Binary Hackers Book 4) is my latest near-future Christian romantic technothriller novella, debuting in the Winter Deceptions anthology.
When I wrote Smile for Me, the first novel in my Vacation Sweethearts series, I knew that the main character’s cousin, Augustus Moss, would have his own story someday. It took six years before I finally got around to Gus’s novel.
Leaving the corporate world behind, Gus finds joy in serving the Lord as a landscaper at the Chapel by the Sea Christian school in the Bahamas. He gets to garden and enjoy the fresh air and Caribbean sunshine. However, things take a downturn when his girlfriend leaves him and marries another man. He has to get out of Nassau. So he flies away from his idyllic island life to the landlocked busy metropolis of Atlanta, Georgia, where his friend, women’s ministry director Tally Fitzpatrick, promptly puts him to work serving as a volunteer in the Midtown Chapel summer ministries. Next thing Gus knows, he’s falling in love with Tally. It’s unplanned, but then again, his own best-laid plans haven’t worked out. Maybe it’s time to let God take charge.
Swinging out to the world of cyberspace and technology, Zero Trust takes us into a world of drones, prosthetics, networks, hackers, illusions, and assassins.
Years after Mira Proskouriakova’s mother was murdered, she is determined to use her inheritance to hunt down the assassin who killed her mother. An eye for an eye. She decides to hire someone she trusts to do the deed, and along comes former soldier Briscoe Hall, whom Mira already has a crush on. When her father finds out about this, he also hires Briscoe, but to keep his daughter safe. Briscoe and Mira embark on the crazy quest which leads them to the great winter outdoors of the North Georgia Mountains, where the assassin is waiting for them.
What inspired you to write this story?
Since I’m giving away a free copy of the Pray for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 5), I’ll focus on only this novel to answer this question.
My novels tend to explore more than one concept or theme. In Pray for Me, one of the themes is to differentiate between the call of God and the challenges within the call. Gus and Tally are both Christians with established careers that they work hard to maintain. I wanted to explore the notion that even when they know God has called them to certain professions, they still need to experience challenges. Do they quit and find other less stressful jobs when the going gets tough? Or do they affirm that God has indeed called them to do this or that, and go through the conflicts, knowing that God will also deliver them?
Sometimes God calls us to one profession for such a time as this, and then later on, when the chapter closes, He calls us to another profession for such a time as that. Gus and Tally must learn to be flexible and pliable in the palm of God, as the clay is in the master potter’s hand. That way, they will always be in God’s perfect will for their careers and lives.
Other themes in this novel include church life, family life, long-distance relationships, and international romance.
Thank you, Ginger, for this wonderful interview. I appreciate the invitation and I had a fun time answering these great questions!
More about Pray for Me:
A gentleman gardener…
A pastor’s daughter…
A friendship blooming into romance…
When his ex-fiancée marries someone else, CEO-turned-landscaper Augustus Moss III takes a vacation away from the Bahamas, visits his cousin in Atlanta, Georgia, and falls in love with a pastor’s daughter. Is it just romance on the rebound or is this for real? Find out in this friends to more international romance.
One Caribbean summer in Atlanta, love comes walking in…
Pray for Me is the fifth novel in USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson’s Vacation Sweethearts series of standalone Christian travel romances. We first met Gus in Smile for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 1). At that time, he had left the corporate world and was a landscape gardener in the Bahamas. Pray for Me is his story.
Unwanted time off…
After losing Veronique to another man, Augustus “Gus” Moss III needs a distraction and a change of scenery. He takes a leave of absence from his landscaping job in Nassau and flies to Atlanta, Georgia, to visit his cousin, Byron Moss. When Byron’s whole family catches a cold, Gus ends up staying at Pastor Fitzpatrick’s house, and finds himself drafted into serving in some of Midtown Chapel’s summer ministries. He agrees to help because he is a friend of the pastor’s eldest daughter, who seems to believe strongly in charity work.
Women’s Ministry Director Tallulah “Tally” Fitzpatrick is busy ministering to women at conferences, and building a village of tiny homes for single mothers. Pulled in multiple directions, she is grateful to have Gus nearby—a steady friend who is around at just the right place and time. Although she has made up her mind to only marry an ordained pastor, she can’t help being drawn to Gus, the landscaper with an accounting background and an MBA in finance.
Are Gus and Tallulah just flirting with each other for the summer, or will the romance last into the winter of their lives? When the man of her dreams arrives in town, Tallulah has to choose between the two. Who will she let go? For sure, both Tallulah and Gus need a lot of prayer.
If you enjoy this novel, you might enjoy the other novels in the Vacation Sweethearts series:
• Book 0 (Prequel): Time for Me
• Book 1: Smile for Me
• Book 2: Reach for Me (Romance with Suspense)
• Book 3: Wait for Me (Romance with Suspense)
• Book 4: Look for Me (Romance with Suspense)
• Book 5: Pray for Me
• Book 6: Cheer for Me – coming soon
• Book 7: Care for Me – coming soon
Thanks for joining us, Jan, and I look forward to reading your newest releases.
As she said above, Jan is offering one lucky commenter a free copy of Pray for Me, just answer this question: What is/would be (if money/time is no issue) your favorite vacation destination? Winner will be announced next Wednesday, October 5th.