Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Jamaica is a place where the surreal is simply everyday reality. When a ruthless American aluminum company plans to strip mine the Jamaican rainforest, they send former Navy SEAL Will Taylor to Montego Bay to deal with local resistance on their behalf. But he’s unaware that the British had signed a treaty deeding the rainforest to the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves, over 300 years ago. The Maroons fought and died for their land then, and are more than willing to do so now, whether it’s the British or the Americans who threaten them this time around.
Upon Will’s arrival, a series of inexplicable murders begin, some carried out with deadly snake daggers that were owned and used by Annie Palmer, a voodoo priestess better known as the White Witch. She was killed 200 years prior, but is said to still haunt the island at night, and the local Jamaicans are certain she’s responsible for the gruesome murders, her form of retaliation against the new turmoil taking place in the rainforest.
And Will has been forced directly into the middle of it. After a few close calls, he’s finally convinced to leave his company and join forces with the Maroons, headed by Vertise Broderick, a Maroon who resigned from her position at the New York Times to return to Jamaica to stop the mining. Together they hire a Jamaican attorney to prove that the Maroon/British treaty is still valid to stop the mining, and they take it upon themselves to solve the White Witch murders, because the legend of the White Witch can’t possibly be true…
Purchase Link: Amazon
Interview with author Larry D Thompson
AB: Please tell us something about yourself.
After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Larry spent the first half of his professional life as a trial lawyer. He tried well over 300 cases and won more than 95% of them. Although he had not taken a writing class since freshman English (back when they wrote on stone tablets), he figured that he had read enough novels and knew enough about trials, lawyers, judges, and courtrooms that he could do it. Besides, his late, older brother, Thomas Thompson, was one of the best true crime writers to ever set a pen to paper; so, just maybe, there was something in the Thompson gene pool that would be guide him into this new career. He started writing his first novel about a dozen years ago and published it a couple of years thereafter. He has now written five highly acclaimed legal thrillers. White Witch is number six with many more to come.
Larry is married to his wife, Vicki. He has three children scattered from Colorado to Austin to Boca Raton, and four grandchildren. He has been trying to retire from the law practice to devote full time to writing. Hopefully, that will occur by the end of 2018. He still lives in Houston, but spends his summers in Vail CO, high on a mountain where he is inspired by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
AB: What prompted you to actually start writing your first book?
Probably several things. First, I started reading books when I was six and still love a really good novel. Then, my mother was an English teacher. And, my late brother, Thomas Thompson, was one of the best true crime writers that ever lived. So, writing was probably always in my gene pool. However, I chose to become a lawyer and spent most of my adult life trying cases and raising kids. Only when my youngest son graduated from SMU did I decide it was time to try to write a novel. That was six books ago.
AB: What types of scenes do you find the most difficult to write and why?
Boy, I’m really bad at writing sex scenes. Usually, I just get the couple in a romantic situation and the lights go out. Fortunately, my thrillers don’t need much sex.
AB: Do you try to be more original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I choose to be original and hope that is what the reader wants. My ultimate goal is to tell such a great story that the reader will keep turning the pages until the end and then be sorry that the story is over. I just had a reader tell me that she got White Witch and decided she would just read a few pages. That was at ten in the morning. She says she finished the book at two the next morning. That makes a writer’s heart flutter just a little.
AB: What is it about your books that separate them from other thrillers?
Most of my books are legal thrillers. I have spent 45 years as a trial lawyer. So, I know firsthand about courts, judges, juries, witnesses and lawyers. I am certain that I have tried more cases than all of the other lawyers-turned- writers combined. So, I’ve been there and done that. As a trial lawyer I have to be able to weave my facts into a story that will keep the jury’s attention. That same skill is required of a thriller writer.
AB: What does literary success look like to you?
Success is having readers finish one of my books and wish that it was not over. And, of course, the more readers the better.
AB: Can you tell us a bit more about your newest release “White Witch”?
WHITE WITCH is really about the Maroons in Jamaica, descendants of slaves who won their freedom and their land from the British three hundred years ago. During that time they led a quiet life up in the mountains above Montego Bay. Then a giant American company, Global American Metals, announced they were going to mine bauxite in the rainforest that had been deeded to them by the British. In return, the Maroons declare war on Global. When murders begin to occur, Will Taylor, the head of Global’s security, must solve the murders. Many suspect that the legendary White Witch has risen from her grave and is somehow involved since several are done with snake daggers, said to have been buried with the White Witch. Will looks beyond the legend and is shocked to find the real killer.
AB: What do you love most about this story?
The story is a classic David v. Goliath tale. The Maroons won their land and their freedom in 1739 by being willing to fight to the death for their right to be free from enslavement by the British. Now, they are willing to do it again, to fight once more for their land and way of life. It was also fun to write about the White Witch. After all, how could I write a thriller set in Jamaica without a pinch of voodoo?
AB: As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
My next book will be my third about Jack Bryant, a rich lawyer who retired early to his hometown of Fort Worth to do pro bono work for the poor and disadvantaged. I didn’t know when I wrote my first two stories about Jack that my readers would enjoy his adventures so much. So, I now expect to revisit him every second or third book, just to see what he is up to.
AB: What question do you wish someone would ask about you or your book but nobody has?
Why do all of your novels have an underlying message? When I wrote my first novel, I decided that I wanted to write a really good story that would keep the reader turning pages. I have done so with each so far. I also want my readers to finish and close the book having learned something about a problem in our society, or maybe the world, that they knew existed but only from afar. I don’t want the message to be heavy handed by any means. Thus, while White Witch is a fine thriller, I want the reader to finish it, recognizing that we need to do more about preserving the rainforests throughout the world.