Mystic Thompson is a veteran educator currently teaching high school Physical Education in Metropolitan Los Angeles. Although she presently resides in California, she is a native Southerner who grew up in North Georgia. Despite the fact that she is slowly transitioning into a Californian, she is still very proud of her Southern heritage and maintains close ties to Southern culture.
Fighting Kudzu, released Friday, September 5, 2014 by Musa Publishing, is her first published novel but certainly not the last.
We caught up with Mystic just 2 days after the publication of her debut novel where she very kindly answered questions within our How Stories Connect Us series of interviews.
Which book do you own that puts a smile on your face and makes you happy just by holding it in your hand?
That would have to be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I actually have a signed 35th edition, which was not easy to obtain. While I refuse to take this prized possession outside my home, I often pick it up and read passages from it, or simply stare at Harper Lee's signature. It is beginning to show a little wear, so I should probably stop touching it, but it really makes me happy.
Which book or series do you read which makes you feel nostalgic, remembering the period in your life you first read it?
The Flowers in the Attic series by V.C. Andrews was huge for me during my youth. I read and re-read the entire series. I was both terrified and fascinated by the idea of growing up isolated from the world at large. This series was the first that really just completely captured my imagination.
Again, I also have to mention To Kill A Mockingbird. This book was by far the single most inspirational piece of art I've ever encountered. Reading this is what created in me an understanding of the power of literature. It wasn't just a great story, it was a look into human nature in a way that was touching and deeply disturbing all at once. Brilliant and beautiful.
Which book or series do you read that makes your blood pump and your palms sweaty?
Anything by James Rollins or Dan Brown really gets my blood flowing. Both of these authors are brilliant at weaving intricate plots that incorporate history, spirituality, morality, adventure, and suspense. I have read everything that these two authors have ever written, but my favourites would be James Rollins' Amazonia and Dan Brown's Angels and Demons.
Which book or series is your guilty pleasure? The one you read when no one else is watching? Maybe it's the Twilight Saga with the dust jacket of War and Peace?
As a teacher, I never apologize for anything I read. I believe, in this high tech world, if one is reading, it's a great thing, no matter the material. With that said, I proudly admit to loving what I call “man fiction”. This refers to books that generally have a rugged male protagonist who saves the world in some incredible adventure. It also usually ends with this same protagonist getting the beautiful woman. She is often times an international spy. Clive Cussler is my favourite of these “man fiction” authors. I secretly fantasize about being Dirk Pitt. So much fun to read!!
Which book or series do you think you could implant one of your own characters into? Would you want them to thrive and integrate or want them to burn it all down?
Once again I have to go to my favourite, To Kill a Mockingbird. Noble Thorvald could land right smack in the middle of Scout, Jem, and Dill, and she would fit in perfectly. This group of children manages to explore life through vivid imaginations, while also learning heavy lessons about humanity. Noble would thrive here in Depression era Maycomb, Alabama. She and Scout Finch would be the best of friends.
Mystic Thompson, September 2014
We would like to thank Mystic for taking part in our “How Stories Connect Us” series of questions and answers. Her debut novel Fighting Kudzu is available now and you can discover more about it by reading the synopsis below and by visiting the links provided.
In 1972 on a hot, late spring day in Georgia, five-year-old Noble Thorvald plays contentedly, alone in her suburban backyard. Her only companions… an imaginary professional football team. As she plays in her world of wonder and adventure, Noble is unaware of the challenges life will hurl in her direction-challenges that will redefine her more than once. Fighting Kudzu is the lyrical saga that traces Noble’s life as she emerges into adulthood and discovers herself.