Today we have the talented Thomas White with us. Thomas began his career as an actor. Several years later he found himself as an Artistic Director for a theatre in Southern California and the winner of several Drama-Logue and Critics awards for directing. As Tom’s career grew, he directed and co-produced the world tour of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out Of Their Shells”. The show toured for over two years, was translated into seven different languages and seen by over a million children. Tom served as President and Creative Director for Maiden Lane Entertainment for 24 years and worked on many large-scale corporate event productions that included Harley Davidson, Microsoft, Medtronic Diabetes, and dozens of others. The Siren’s Scream is Tom’s second novel that follows up Justice Rules which was nominated as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2010 Literary contest.
Tom’s latest book is the mystery/horror, The Siren’s Scream.
Thanks for this interview, Thomas. Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regard to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing? Can you tell us about your journey?
This journey started over 20 years ago. This was my first novel, what I referred to as my practice novel. I wrote it, re-wrote it, finished it, re-wrote it again and then finally shelved it. In the interim I took a few online classes through UCLA with an amazing teacher named Jessica Barksdale Inclan. She taught me how to write a novel. But they say, you can be taught how to write a novel, but you can’t be taught how to write. In the words of Stephan King, “If you ever come across a writer who writes, ‘The sunset was indescribable,’ tell that writer to get another job because it is their job to describe the sunset.” Once I published my first novel, Justice Rules, I went back and pulled The Siren’s Scream off the shelf for another look. It was a decent story but so poorly written. I scrapped everything but the outline, re-worked it, discovered the ‘catch’ that I needed to make it interesting and suddenly, I had something I could be proud of.
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?
I am an avid NFL fan. I plan my year around games both watching and traveling to away games. I am also in Las Vegas in the entertainment field and do several different shows around town in different capacities.
What makes your book stand out from the rest?
This is a different look at the mermaid/siren lore. The mythology is as old as time and I wanted to find a new perspective to tell the siren story. I was at a family dinner dealing with a particularly difficult sister when it I wondered if mermaids had to deal with this family drama. That opened up a different train of thought. Do mermaids have a lineage? Do siren’s do things for a reason or are they just murderous? Once I started down that path the story took shape quickly.
Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?
Sausalito, CA – Present Day
Henry Childs led a life of total inconsequence. He had no friends, no hobbies, no guilty pleasures. He had spent his thirty-eight years in the space behind his mother’s aggression, lacking the courage to reach for anything more than this pitiless world deigned to dish to him.
Edith Childs screamed at Henry from the other room, “Henry, I’m bored. I want to go for a drive.”
Henry’s face scrunched in disdain, and the folds in his ample neck turned red. There was no denying her, not that he had ever had the backbone to attempt anything so drastic.
With a stoic exhale, he paused his video game, gulped down his cinnamon roll, lifted his considerable bulk out of the comfort of his reclining chair, and began the routine that would eventually get his mother from her bedroom to her wheelchair and into the car.
He grabbed her yellow sweater to be sure that she would stay warm.
“Henry, I’m not a child. I know if I’m cold or not.”
He held up the cardigan and attempted to help her into it.
If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?
This is clearly a Halloween story. There is enough scary stuff in it to be a great Halloween theme party.
Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?
This particular story line has a definitive ending so a series would not be possible. However, my first novel, Justice Rules has a second book stewing in my brain.
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
My passion has always been the theatre. I have worked my entire career in and around the entertainment business which was actually my pathway to writing. Writing is storytelling and if it presents itself in the form of a book, a song, or a play or movie, it all comes down to storytelling. My background as a director and actor has helped me immensely as a writer because I can develop characters the way an actor would and get inside their heads in a very specific manner. As a director telling the story visually is the main thing I do. Writing is just an extension of telling that story with words and creating pictures in the readers mind so that they see what you see.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on my third novel, a time travel story tentatively called, A Stitch In Time. (I will be finding another title) It’s a different experience this time around because I am adapting a screenplay that I wrote a few years back. When writing a screenplay you write character and action. There is no need for specific description because that will be someone else’s job, i.e. you set the scene by saying, ‘A 1904 Train station’ and the art director takes it from there. In the novel form you must describe that train station in detail to paint that picture. It’s a very challenging process but I have found that while writing the screenplay I had the visual images in my head. Now I am in the process of putting them on paper and filling in the blanks. You can keep track of my progress at Thomas-white-author.com.
The Siren's Scream
An old mansion sits atop of a cliff, overlooking the ocean, in Santa Cruz, CA. A young realtor, Darcy Wainwright, manages to sell the dilapidated old house to Henry Childs, an obese nebbish who is obsessed with the property. In the backyard is a pool. Not an ordinary pool but a giant tide pool. In the tide pool is a siren with an evil agenda for revenge.
The Thornton Mansion was a talisman for the death and mystery that surrounded it. Unoccupied for years until Henry Childs was summoned by the house. As directed, he reached out to unsuspecting, novice realtor Darcy Wainwright. Darcy finds herself intricately involved with the house, its history and the haunting tide pool that filled the backyard. It was the pool that beckoned her, and it was the pool that would decide if she lives or dies. The Siren’s Scream. Available on Amazon.
Release Date: October 5, 2022
Publisher: Savvy Books
Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1088067819; 480 pages; $21.14
Purchase your copy at the author’s website: https://thomas-white-author.com/