In 1995, a long, long time ago when Star Wars was the latest cinema rage, I started to pen my first novel called A Brownstone in Brooklyn. I wanted to write a novel and see could I actually put together a storyline that would interest readers…I wanted just one story published and see it in book form.
Well, I worked long and hard with a few disturbing ups and downs, including bad agents and negative comments and thoughtless critical people trying to keep a wonderful theme and book buried in the files of unpublished books.
I fought against the temptation of quitting.
I kept working and finally came up with a thesis or main idea for the book that was spawned out of my high school and early City College years in New York City: A Brownstone In Brooklyn chronicles the life-altering events that shape the future of Andy Michael Pilgrim, a young man growing up in the turbulent sixties.
Once I got the main idea, then it was many long nights writing. I remember one evening starting to write at 11:00 pm, I’m really a night writer, and working until 4:00 am. That would be good, but I’m a high school teacher and I had to be up at 5:30am and teach seventy juniors and senior high school English all day. That was a long, long day but I kept thinking about the 3,000 plus words I wrote and the wonderful character, Sister Love, that came into existence.
Tonight, I’m sitting at my typewriter on this rainy evening in Atlanta, Georgia, I mean computer (smile). I was using a typewriter in the early nineties, and thinking A Brownstone in Brooklyn will celebrate its’ 15th year of publication in late summer of 2016. That’s right, the book was published in 2001.
I started in 1995 and finished writing the book in late 1999. After editing and many disappoints, including finding a publisher, God Blessed me in 2001 to see the book in print. When the book arrived at my apartment, I ripped open the box and felt the smooth book cover and shed a tear.
One of the greatest thrills of my life was that my mother, Goldie Parks, read Brownstone and one of my greatest fans, Frances Grieff, an English teacher enjoyed my novels before leaving this earth.
I know I have two fans still pulling for me in heaven!
It’s been a long journey, but I’m still enthusiastic about writing and look forward writing many more novels.
Now, A Brownstone in Brooklyn, is on the shelves of Barnes & Nobles brick and mortar stores and on the shelves of public libraries from Chicago to Atlanta.
I want to share with you what has kept me going, from 1995 until today, as I pen my fifth novel, Stormy Winds:
And never give up on your dreams!”
Happy Writing and God Bless you!
J. E. Thompson