Monday, October 29, 2012

The Mistaken Blog Tour - Nancy S. Thompson

So, I have a guest.

A very special guest.

A special, author guest. 

Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken.

Welcome, Nancy!


I’m excited to be here with Stormy and Heather.  I’m a great fan of both. 

Last spring, I was trying to decide whether or not to compromise on a key event in my novel just to acquire a publishing contract. 

I asked Heather if she would read my manuscript and tell me what she thought.  Though I posted on my blog about this dilemma, and Heather commented that she wanted “ meet this flawed unforgivable male. People screw up. People deserve a second chance...” –after reading through to that scene, she sent me an email.  In it she said:

You're writing is utterly fantastic. It’s smooth and flows easily. It's descriptive. It's beautiful.  Your characters are interesting, completely flawed and totally human...  But, I couldn't get over that scene...  I cried during the scene. Then I got really angry. Then I stopped reading.

Yeah.  She stopped reading.  Not good.  Not good at all. 

Most people who read my manuscript said that, while the scene was brutal, it didn’t bother them enough that they would recommend revising it.  Trouble was, the publisher who was interested felt the same way as Heather and would only offer me a deal if I did revise it.  But I had sworn to myself early on that I wouldn’t because, no matter how brutal, that scene was at the very heart of the story.  After all, the premise was:  What could make a genuinely good man commit a violent crime, and could he ever be the man he once was?  I wanted to know how far over into the dark side this man could be pushed.  Well, perhaps I pushed him too far.

In the end, I chose to revise that scene, to bring that character to the very brink then hold him back, have him look at what he was only seconds from doing, destroying a life.  After I rewrote that scene, I realized that just having him capable of such an act was enough, that having his victim open his eyes while on the very cusp of losing his own humanity was perhaps even more thought provoking, because it meant that he would never truly know the kind of man he was down deep inside, a monster or simply a man driven too far.

Some thought it was wrong to compromise, especially when I said I never would.  Some thought it was just to get published.  Well, you know, they’re right in a way.  I did desperately want to get published.  I wanted this story to be published.  And this was a way to do that.  But compromising taught me a lesson.  It taught me to listen, to be less rigid, which, in the end, was the moral lesson of the book, what the terribly flawed protagonist learned from his own mistakes, to be less rigid.  So I’m glad I compromised.  That’s how things get done, how progress is made.  I just wish someone would tell that to the US Congress. 

Visit Nancy’s blog, follow, and leave a comment during her book tour for a chance to win an ARC of The Mistaken.  Plus, 5 runner-up winners will each receive an ebook. 

You can also find her on her publisher’s website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Purchase here:

Also available at Sony, Kobo, iBooks, Diesel Bookstore, and Baker & Taylor in 2-3 weeks

Praise for The Mistaken:
“A deliciously slow burn that builds to a ferocious crescendo, Nancy S. Thompson's THE MISTAKEN kept me riveted until the very last page. Tyler Karras is a complex and flawed protagonist, and his redemptive journey makes him the perfect anti-hero. This psychological suspense is a standout, and I can't wait for Thompson's next book.”
~ Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and FREAK

“Nancy S. Thompson's debut novel, The Mistaken, is a first-rate thriller full of hair-raising twists and turns.  Pursued by the police and the Russian mafia in San Francisco, brothers Tyler and Nick Karras are fascinating, fully-drawn, desperate characters.  The action is non-stop.  Thompson's taut, intriguing tale of revenge, mistaken identity, kidnapping and murder will keep you enthralled and entertained.” 
~Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of DISTURBED and TERRIFIED

“Fast-paced and emotionally gripping - once the ride begins, you won't stop reading until it ends."  ~Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTAR

Next stops on The Mistaken Blog Tour:

11/19:  Arlee Bird


Thank you for stopping in on your book tour, Nancy! I wish you the best of luck!

Happy Halloween!


  1. I'm glad you changed it, as it would've been too difficult for me to read as well.

  2. Heather, you are always good for some honest feedback. She's never afraid to tell you how it is...and I love that about you! Congrats Nancy on the published book. I will have to download it for my Nook! It sounds delicious!

    Happy Halloween - hope the little kiddies don't get blown to bits in the hurricane! Or maybe I do - more chocolate for me! /evil laugh


  3. wow! what a reaction! some things take a book to another level, glad you found a way to keep it sharp without turning people away! now you're drawing them in!

    thanks for telling us about part of your journey to published!

  4. I don't think I could ever push my characters to those limits, but then again, I don't write those kinds of books.

  5. Sounds like the compromise you made only strengthened the scene. Maybe it's good to be open to compromise, if it makes us dig a little deeper and think things through from a different angle.

  6. I think feedback from others, if it's constructive can really help you think more clearly about what your story means and what it should be. Interesting post. :)

  7. Nancy, Congrats on the book.

    Heather had discussed her reaction to the scene with me and how strong her feelings were. Sounds like you found an excellent way to solve your dilemma. Wonder if the scene you altered would have worked with a different character committing the act- it may be that you had written your male so well that this character failure for him, in Heather's eyes, was not an option.

  8. What a lovely, wonderful post on this issue. I think you did the right thing. I love the book both ways and I was okay with it as it was but I can see how many readers would not be. I am just glad that your wonderful book is available to readers now!

  9. Oh, I love this post. It raises an important issue for writers. Best of luck to you, Nancy.

  10. Sounds like compromising was the right thing to do for the story and for your character. I can't wait to read it.

  11. Good post.
    I'd imagine that the difficult part is not the actual compromise, but being able to recognize when it's the right time to do so.

  12. "Just having him capable of such an act was enough." This is an excellent point! Great post! :)

  13. Thanks for the support. It was a difficult decision, but Heather helped me to understand why it was so important. I am forever grateful!

  14. One piece of advice I wished I'd been given: At a book reading, can you read the scene in question? Answering that question has put a whole new emphasis on my determination to not edit out tough scenes. I had a similar situation as you had, and I softened the scene. Even so I still have problems reading it out loud. At my last reading, I read chapter one, the beginning of chapter two, then skipped to chapter 4. I explained to the audience why I did that. Later, a gentleman came up to me and said he found the scene riveting. I smiled because he was a man, not a woman. And his perspective would reflect that.

    Even without reading the scene, I think you made the wise choice. The reader's ability to fill in the blanks will always exist.

  15. I'm learning this too Nancy. It's important to see what's best for the story (and essentially our readers) and loosen up that vice on the way we WANT it to be. SOmetimes we're wrong no matter how bad it hurts to hear it. So I say, good for you for being flexible! I'm sure every author does it at some point.

    Stormy is too cute as a fireman!!

  16. You guys are great! Thanks for all the support! Nancy you honor me with your kind words. I'm glad my honesty with you paid off and didn't cause us problem between us. That's more important to me than anything else! Best of luck!!!

  17. "...just having him capable of such an act was enough."

    Too true, Nancy! It's just as powerful. :)

  18. Agree with Carrie. I haven't read the book yet, but from what I see here, you made the right choice. ;)

    I was riveted to this blog post, totally engaged and reading it almost without blinking. And then I got to the part about congress and busted out laughing. xD Amen! Preach it, sister!!! :D

  19. I can't wait to read it, Nancy :)

    Waving at Heather.

  20. Yeah, compromising can be a tough thing to do considering detail can do A LOT to a story. I agree with Carrie and Melissa though. You gotta know when it's too much and just right.

    I'm currently reading THE MISTAKEN and the description is great. Can't wait to continue to read it, if I ever find the time...

    Great post, Nancy!

    Thanks Heather for having her over here!

    *hugs Nancy*
    *waves at Heather*

  21. Sounds like you made a good decision for all of the right reasons! I'm glad that Heather stood by her convictions, and that you respected her even more for it! Julie

  22. Thank you all so much for coming and commenting on Nancy's post! Great group of friends!

  23. This is a really thought-provoking post, and timely for me. I've had a few comments on the first chapter of my book, and I really want to change it for the better, but I wasn't sure I wanted to change the part I was asked to change (does that make any sense). I decided a few days ago that my commenters were right - it needs to change, at least a little.
    If a compromise strengthens your writing, then I think it's good. If it doesn't, then . . .it needs to be reconsidered.

  24. I think when we ask the opinions of others we shouldn't be saying, I'll take your critique if I agree.

    You made the right decision, of course. Happy ending.


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