How long have you been writing novels?
Paul Thompson: One year. Well… I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I wrote small stuff as a kid, a first draft of a novel in 2017, but as far as writing with the intention of publishing: one year.
What are your influences? Who or what inspires you?
Paul: My favorite authors include Lewis, Tolkien, Dumas, as well as a smattering of others. I love hearing a great symphony, movie score, or reading a book with compelling characters and solid plot. It all makes me want to create. I also do quite a bit of counseling and speaking about spiritual abuse and abuse recovery. The theme of power differentials and the little guy fighting back is very near and dear to my heart and weaves its way into my stories as well.
What can you tell me about your upcoming novel "Dance of the nutcracker"?
Paul: It is the third book of a trilogy prequel to The Nutcracker ballet. It follows Drosselmeyer from early teens through adulthood as he becomes a powerful wizard, solves mysteries, and fights bad people. Ike Wicked is to the Wizard of Oz, my trilogy re-contextualizes the ballet in a “Harry Potter meets Jason Bourne” style adventure.
What has the writing process been like for this book?
Paul: A LOT more work than I anticipated. I write music for a living and my foret into the book world was a learning process. I like to map out my story before putting pen to paper, as it were. I rely heavily on the Save the Cat beat sheet but adjust my story as I see fit. After the first draft, I do two re-writes, then send to a spelling/punctuation editor. I send that manuscript to several beta readers and after a meeting with each one, I make changes based on their input. After that, it goes to a content editor, then a layout designer. After I know how many pages the finished manuscript is, I can tell my graphic designer to make the cover/spine fit. Then it’s the advertising and marketing and launch.
Do you create art with a specific message, or do you prefer art for arts sake?
Paul: I don’t believe “art for art’s sake” is actually art. All art should have purpose or intention. I don’t write libertarian manifestos but my stories do exalt the principles of liberty and personal responsibility along with other large themes. Ultimately, I try to make a good character and a riveting plot.
What is your creative process like? What tools and methods do you use to write your novels?
Paul: Like I said earlier, I use Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat beat sheet to help map out my book. I find the guideline keeps me focused and minimizes clutter in my writing.
I do enjoy listening to music while I write. Other than my laptop, my most frequently used tools are coffee and whisky.
How long have you considered yourself a libertarian?
Paul: I’ve claimed Libertarian since 2016 ish… I made the journey from Republican to conservative to independent - it was the trump victory over Cruz that made me jump ship and claim libertarianism. After reading and conversing about the liberty philosophy, I officially joined my party in 2020. Covid shutdowns nearly ruined my business so I became politically active in 2021 and am currently serving in several capacities for my county as well as state party.
What do you think the role of art should be in the libertarian movement?
Paul: I would love to see libertarians artists become extremely popular, famous, and rich and THEN spread the liberty message openly once they have a foothold in pop culture. Nobody likes getting a political message thrown at them so I encourage my fellow libertarian artists to create good art and save the political screes for private conversations - at the beginning, at least. We can create liberty positive messages that influence culture without making someone feel like they’re joining a party - and that has lasting effect. The “David and Goliath” themes are extremely effective at tapping into the individualist mind set and can help someone see how an all powerful Goliath state wants to dominate a seemingly weak David (individual). Stories like these change minds without the vitriol of political discourse; but we, the artists, need to have cultural relevance before the populace will take us seriously and listen.
Where can people go to find your new novel “Dance of the Nutcracker”?
Paul: My first two books (Drosselmeyer: Curse of the Rat King and Drosselmeyer: The Watcher’s Realm) are available everywhere books are sold Here’s a list of places you can buy them: https://books2read.com/Curse-of-the-Rat-King and https://books2read.com/The-Watchers-Realm
Drosselmeyer: Dance of the Nutcracker will be available for pre-order soon at www.thenutcrackertrilogy.com