Get to know the inimitable Tex Thompson better!
What drew you to write in your genre?
I grew up adoring epic fantasy, but it wasn’t until after college that I finally asked myself why I was trying to write European fantasy. I’m not European – I’m from Texas! “Yurp” is one syllable here! So I decided that I would write an epic fantasy rooted in American history – specifically, an alternate history of the colonial Southwest – and the rest is... well, I’m afraid it’s simply the finest ‘rural fantasy’ trilogy ever penned by a human being. You are welcome.
What other genre would you like to write in?
You know, now that you mention it, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing a good old-fashioned New York Times bestseller...!
What are your most influential books/favorite authors?
I have two author-patroni – Terry Pratchett and William Faulkner – and for largely the same reasons: they write with compassion and humor about a fictionalized version of their own backyard, and treat every one of their characters as a fully-realized human being – even the bad ones.
What do you think makes a story memorable?
Massively offensive stereotypes, backwards text, and a nude author photo. :) But is ‘memorable’ really the goal?
What do you think is essential in a classroom?
Enthusiasm – for your subject, and for your students. You communicate the former when you are positive, prepared, and passionate about your material. And the latter means asking your students questions – soliciting their feedback – respecting their time and being generous with yours. That’s how you build up the reservoir of good will that motivates them to give you their absolute best effort, and that helps you recover when you inevitably make a mistake.
What did you learn from your favorite and/or best teacher?
Your students’ experience is more important than your own dignity. Go ahead and make an ass of yourself in front of the entire class if you have to. Be funny, outrageous, clever, bizarre, stupid – try as hard as you can to help them associate what you’re teaching with some kind of strong feeling, and they will retain so much more. Not everything you try will work, and that’s okay. The only truly mortal sin is indifference.
What makes for the most "success" in a student?
A sustained and pugnacious failure to quit!
How did you come to teach at The Writer's Path?
A little professional networking with Carmen Goldthwaite, followed by an uncharacteristic lapse in judgment by Suzanne Frank, and here I am – delighted to call them my colleagues and thankful on the daily!