Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kristine Cayne's Author Spotlight: Why I Write by L.H. Thomson + #Giveaway

Hello everyone, please help me in welcoming back L.H. Thomson. A couple months ago, I hosted L.H. while he was on a book tour for Quinn Checks In, a fast-paced hard-boiled mystery. I was so excited to post my review of this amazing book, that I neglected to include L.H.'s fabulous post about the reasons why he's a novelist. Some of them may surprise you!

L.H. has generously agreed to give away one copy of Quinn Checks In to a lucky commenter! Details are below.

Why I Write by L.H. Thomson
A confession: some of my fiction choices have selfish underpinnings.

For one, my Max Castillo novels are based in Spain because I love that nation’s history and character.

For another, Liam Quinn was co-invented by my wife, who said she found it hard to see the characteristics that she liked in men in most of her favorite authors’ work. She had plenty of heroines to root for, but not many consistent heroes.

For a third, I write the odd science fiction story – The Process Server was my first sci-fi novel – because of my own fear of mortality.

As an agnostic I cleave to just one belief, which is that something after death is possible as long as we can never prove it isn't. It’s my one core non-objective, non-rationalized belief, but as a consequence I think I spend more time than most people wondering what life will be like in the future, when we might well be able to prolong life far beyond its current shy-of-a-century average.

If a recent scientific development turns into anything anytime soon, of course, all bets are off. A scientist recently developed a theory that would allow for the production of “warp bubbles”, allowing us to cross the galaxy in weeks instead of light years by expanding or compressing space around a vehicle. And nano-technology is, away from public view for the most part, advancing in leaps and bounds. If we can do all that, slowing cellular degeneration won’t be that far off.

But I probably won’t be here for it. We’re not that far ahead. I’m 42, and so writing Sci Fi and imagining other futures is likely as close as I’ll get to experiencing  the real thing.

I suppose we all write, to some degree, based on the sum of our experiences, and that makes it all a little selfish, even when we’re trying our darndest to entertain others. Maybe that makes the exercise a little more valid, not a little less, and is true for any writer. We may draw from our own experiences, or those of others. But we write because we care about the subjects that make their way into our stories.

My big project right now is an allegorical novel about Cordoba in the 11th century, in which the fates of locals are tied into the historic division in Islam between the Hashim and Umayya clans and their respective social approaches to the application of their faith.

There are some pretty startling messages to be found  in that era, messages about tolerance and peace that are often forgotten by regional geo-politics, in favor of fomenting hatred by preying on people’s faith. Back then, that kind of behavior ended with the most powerful family in Islam being all-but-wiped out and effectively exiled from the Middle East.

At the time the book was written, Cordoba was the world’s jewel, a city of between 500,000 and a million souls, with street lights and running water during a period when many in Europe were still living in mud huts. The selfish rationale behind that story? I've got this insane – and probably insanely common – hope that before I kick off, people over there will stop killing one another, or going violent deranged at every small provocation.  And then the vast majority of people in those countries – the civil, sane people – might have a chance at achieving something great again.

A book alone won’t lead to that, of course, but it might make people think a little, and that’s always good. Besides, I get plenty of opportunity to entertain people and am grateful for the change of pace. I have enough projects in my wait cue now that I’ll be writing fiction long into my twilight years, and most of them are just fun. This one is something a little bit more than that, and I want to give it my all.


In preparation for the upcoming release of the second book in the Liam Quinn series, L.H. is giving away an ecopy of Quinn Checks In, the first book in the seriesto one lucky commenter. Please leave your email address in the comment so that we can contact you.

Reader Question: What's your favorite hard-boiled mystery and why?

Click here to read my review and an excerpt of Quinn Checks In. I loved this book! http://kristinecayne.blogspot.com/2012/10/spotlight-lh-thomson-author-of-quinn.html

Liam Quinn is back in his hometown Philly after three years in the pen for forgery. Now the ex-boxer, ex-art student has been given a chance to make amends by working as an insurance investigator, restoring a little of his family's pride and getting another chance at Nora Garcia de Soria, the woman of his dreams.

But a gallery heist isn't what it seems, and pretty soon, Quinn is running out of people to trust. The biggest mobster in town, a sweetheart named "Vin The Shin," is calling him out; a steady string of lowlifes want his head, and the local police think he's hiding something.

Hey, when trouble comes knocking?

That's when Quinn Checks In.

Lowell's blog
Lowell's books on Amazon
Quinn Checks In on Amazon

Thank you, L.H. for your super post, and to all the readers for joining us today. Good luck with the giveaway everyone!



  1. I would be really thrilled to win a copy of Quinn Checks In. The fact that Quinn had a lot of creative input from L.H. Thomson's wife to make a more consistent hero made me realize how few male character's I really connect with. My two favorite are Roarke in J.D. Robbs In Death books and Quinn in Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series. cfierstein@cox.net

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, CatFire. Quinn Checks In is truly a wonderful book. Thank you for your recommendations. I'll have to check them out. Good luck!