Interview with Thriller Author, Nancy S. Thompson

Posted by Lisa L. on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Welcome to this stop on Nancy S. Thompson's blog tour for her debut novel, The Mistaken!

I am thrilled to have Nancy here today.  If you haven't already seen her new book around the blogosphere, just know that it is an incredible, pulse-pounding read!  Here's the short synopsis:

Obsessed with revenge following the violent death of his pregnant wife, Tyler Karras pledges the woman responsible to sex-traffickers in San Francisco’s Russian Mafia.  In exchange, they’ll finally let his brother, Nick, leave the business for good—with his debt wiped clean and his heart still beating.  But when Tyler mistakenly targets the wrong woman, he’s forced to protect her from the very enemy he's unleashed, and the Russians are holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal.  Caught in a no-win situation, Ty must find a way to save himself, his brother, and the woman, but with the Russian Mafia, even two out of three makes for very long odds.  

I've invited Nancy here today to answer some questions about her new book, so here goes:

Thanks for having me aboard, Lisa!  Let’s dive right into your questions.

What prompted you to write The Mistaken?

It was new song on my iPod—30 Seconds To Mars’ Hurricane—that prompted me.  I was struck by the lyrics:  “Tell me, would you kill to save a life?  Would you kill to prove you’re right?”  It made me wonder what would drive a man, especially a good man, toward violence, to do something completely against his character.  And from there, The Mistaken was borne.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

That song planted a seed I just couldn’t seem to let go.  I truly don’t know what made me decide to write at all, let alone an entire novel.  It was like I was possessed—truly compelled.  The whole time I was writing, it felt like someone was standing over my shoulder, whispering in my ear, telling me exactly what to write.  It took me about three months total to get the first complete draft written.  Then another eighteen months to revise and polish it.

Your main characters go through a lot in this novel.  Why put them through such hell?

Good question!  The one comment I seem to get from everyone who reads it is, “Just when I think they’ve been through enough, you do something even worse to them.”  That makes me laugh.  But as far as why, I guess it’s because of where the male protagonist starts out.  Sure, he’s a great guy, very nice, kind of square.  But he’s also rather judgmental.  He believes he’s always right just because he follows the letter of the law.  He thinks everyone else should be held to the same standard, that there’s never a reason to bend the rules.  He accepts no excuses.  So perhaps everything he goes through is a lesson that life is not all black and white, that every situation, and every person’s reaction to it, is based on their own life experience.  He learns that there are consequences to not listening to others and not taking their side and perspective into consideration. 

Where did you get the idea to incorporate the Russian mafia into this book?

Well, this hits a bit close to home, actually.  Twenty years ago, I had a friend of Russian descent.  Her family lived in the Outer Richmond District in San Francisco, a predominantly Russian neighborhood, and where part of my book is set.  My friend was getting married and invited me to her bachelorette party being held at a suites-style hotel where she unwisely partook in some of the evening’s “entertainment.”  I guess her betrothed heard some rumors afterwards because during their wedding reception, he and a couple of his large “friends” cornered me in the ladies’ room and encouraged me to tell them what I knew.  I played dumb, of course, which they completely saw through.  And after some unnerving threats, they left me with a warning.  Later, I found out they were all connected to the Russian Mafia.  So yeah, pretty darn scary in retrospect.  

What was the toughest part on your road to publication?

I think every part is tough, especially when you’re a novice like I was.  But if I had to pick, I’d say querying is the most difficult, from writing the darn query itself, to researching the agents, to sending them out, and bouncing back from the inevitable rejection.  It’s so true what they say:  writers must develop very thick skin to survive.

What advice would you give to writers who are just starting out on their road to publication?

I have so much advice, it wouldn’t fit here in one post, but if I had to sum it all up, it’d be this:  Write what you love.  Get the story down first before worrying about how to revise it.  Get yourself a team of die-hard critique partners, the more brutal the better.  Listen to them, but follow your heart.  And lastly, but most importantly, never, ever quit.  I think it was here on this blog where I first read “The biggest difference between the published writer and the unpublished one is perseverance.”  And damn if that ain’t the truth!

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 websiteGoodreadsTwitter, and Facebook

You can find her at on the remainder of her blog tour at all of these places:

The Mistaken Blog tour:

10/23:  Julie Musil

10/25:  Matthew MacNish

10/26:  LG Smith

10/27: Aimee Jodoin

10/30:  Lisa Regan

11/1:    Angela Peart & Livia Peterson

11/19:  Arlee Bird

And here is what other authors are saying about this incredible book:

Early 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’BrienNew 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

Tags: "nancy s. thompson" "the mistaken" 

About Me

Lisa Regan I am the author of Finding Claire Fletcher, Losing Leah Holloway, Kill For You, Hold Still, Cold-Blooded and the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling Detective Josie Quinn series (Vanishing Girls, The Girl With No Name, Her Mother's Grave). You can email me directly at



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