"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.

Julius: I am a high school language arts teacher and I love the classics, such as To Kill A Mockingbird, Great Gatsby, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Of Mice And Men and Pride and Prejudice. I love introducing students to these books and I love reading them again and again. I’m also an avid reader of mystery novels, and the idea there is something behind the door that can be good or evil. The reader must discern the answer and this creates interest.

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.

Julius: As a writer, Terry Kay has always been an inspiritation with his word choices and images of life in North Georgia. Kay described life in Hart County and I wanted to describe life in Barrow County.
               In his novel, To Dance with the White Dog, Kay delves into southern storytelling at its best. It’s a novel of life, loss, mystery and hope. Sam Peek’s children are worried. Since that “Saddest Day” when Cora, his beloved wife of fifty-seven years, died, no one knows how he will survive. And when Sam begins telling his children about a dog as white as the pure driven snow---who is invisible to everyone but him---his children think that grief and old age have finally taken their toll.
               In my novel, I have a character, Andy Michael Pilgrim, who is faced with challenges from the past. There is an element of mystery in a character named Joe Boy, even to people who know him; there is still an element of anonymity. Like Kay’s book, my novel is a heart warming story of friendship and love. However in my book, there are sinister forces waiting to wreck havoc.

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.

Julius: My favorite book of all time is “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. It’s my favorite because Harper Lee teaches me how to take characters in a small town and make them live! They are living people with strong relationships that pulls the reader into the story line.                                

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?

Julius: The best book I’ve read in the last month, Degrees of Separation by Sue Henry. It’s a Jessie Arnold Mystery.  The author has a strong grasp of tense storytelling and strong characterization. The setting is a small town in Alaska that has been shaken with a murder that disrupts the tranquility of a winter in the land of snow and ice.
       It’s a fascinating “Who done it” book that keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  What is the next clue to be uncovered?

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?

Julius: I want to read a book a week, but this is not feasible. I’m a high school English teacher and must grade papers and keep up with the required books for my American Literature and British Literature Classes.
      I try to finish a book every two or three weeks. I read whenever I have free time, usually on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I love reading in the afternoon on the deck and feeling the cool breeze and listening to the birds in the trees.
      If I can’t go outdoors, because of the weather, then I read in my office surrounded by my books. I look out the window at the trees swaying in the wind. This is calming and puts me in the mood to really enjoy reading.

Kiki: If pressed, could you choose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?

Julius: Choosing the favorite from among my three books is like asking a parent to choose which child he/she likes best. Each book, A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Philly Style and Philly Profile and Ghost of Atlanta offers something different and was a step in my development as a writer. Each is important because they gave me a chance to express something deep in my personality I wanted to share with readers all over the world.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?

Julius: What developed confidence in my writing ability occurred on a faithful fall day when I was a junior at Bushwick High School in Brooklyn, New York.
           I was scared to express any thoughts, any opinions, and had trouble looking people in the eye. Self-Esteem and self-confidence was lacking in my personality.
           I knew I had this ability to write, but the motivation and confidence was zero. I was in my second year, at Bushwick, after moving from
Statham, Georgia , population 300 and segregated, to Brooklyn , population 3,000,000 and integrated.
          I got up enough nerve to ask my English teacher and student council/general organization sponsor, Miss Egan, the question. If the answer was negative, all my hopes and dreams of becoming the next great writer would be dashed.
          I knocked hard on the door to her office, entered, and asked her, "Can I be a writer?"
       She stared at me for a few seconds and then said, "Do it."
      I haven't looked back.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?

Julius: I feel I’m talented in all areas of writing, but what comes easy to me is Character Development, Plot Structure and dialogue.  When I’m in the groove, these elements sparkle and bring characters closer to life.

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.

Julius: I want to share my motto as a writer. It’s something that I think about all the time. It’s a phrase, “Keep Writing, Keep Believing, and never ever give up on your dreams.” I want all writers to be confident in the writing life.

About Julius Thompson:
Julius Thompson grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York and attended Bushwick High School. The sixties in Brooklyn was an era that had a personality, a feel, and a life-force that changed a generation. Mr. Thompson felt this energy and experienced these fires of social change.

After high school, Mr. Thompson spent the next four years riding the "A" train to Harlem, in upper Manhattan, to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of New York. At CCNY, which was located just a few blocks from the famous Apollo Theater, Wednesday afternoons was hard on the undergraduates. The matinee performances of the major R&B groups of the times were more tempting than attending a boring college lecture. Most of the time Mr. Thompson succumbed to the temptation, but still earned a college degree from one of the best universities in the country.

At CCNY, literature instructors like Prof. Thomas Tashiro, fueled the fire in him to become a writer!  Brooklyn, New York and attended

Mr. Thompson’s journey to compose a trilogy began in 1995. The fourteen year fictional journey of character Andy Michael Pilgrim from Brooklyn, to Philadelphia and finally Atlanta is now complete. In this pilgrimage, readers experience places that are filled with hopes, dreams, challenges and fears that make us human.

The novels that make up the trilogy are A Brownstone in Brooklyn which was published in 2001, Philly Style and Philly Profile in 2007 and Ghost of Atlanta which will be published the first week of January 2011.
Mr. Thompson received the Georgia Author of the Year nomination for Philly Style and Philly Profile, from the Georgia Writers Association, in 2007.

Mr. Thompson is writing his fourth novel, Purple Phantoms, which is a story about the haunting of a mythical high school basketball team.
Mr. Thompson is currently a Creative Writing/Publishing Instructor at Atlanta’s Evening at Emory’s Writers Studio. For more information please visit him at www.ghostofatlanta.com.

The author has graciously offered to give away one ebook of Ghost of Atlanta
Please leave a comment to be entered to win!
I will choose the winner one week from today.
Please remember to include your email with your comment :)

 About Ghost of Atlanta:
In The Ghost of Atlanta, Andy Michael Pilgrim faces demons from his youth that haunted his life. These are the ghosts in the crawl spaces of his life; some are real and some supernatural.
After landing a job with The Atlanta Defender, Andy returns home and visits the place where he finally faces remembrances of his deceased abusive father. While walking around the grounds, he meets his mysterious cousin, Joe Boy, and finds out that the property is going to be sold by unscrupulous cousins.
While Andy fights this battle, he must confront the personal demon of a possible drug addiction, breaking the color barrier at the south’s largest newspaper, The Atlanta Defender, meeting his old girl friend and fighting the lingering effects of segregation in small-town Georgia life.
As the story unwinds, all these forces push Andy toward the breaking point, where he almost quits on life. Malevolent mortal deeds are committed and Andy could be next in line.
"The Ghost of Atlanta" is, overall, a superbly written book. 5 stars!~Readers Favorite

Rating: 5 Stars - Readers Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest
The Ghost of Atlanta
          Julius Thompson is a superb writer. "The Ghost of Atlanta" is, overall, a superbly written book. This novel is the third in a series. The book is a very fast read that builds up slowly and has a fantastic ending. Mr. Thompson has included all the ingredients that make for a well-written novel: great character descriptions, an exciting well-thought-out plot, edge-of-your-seat adventure with all the proper descriptives (old love and love rekindled, friendships-new and old, hate-the kind that festers, murder-brutal and heartless, drugs-of the worst kind, family ties-both good and bad, etc.).
          The story takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, present day, the main character, Andy Pilgrim, is a newspaper reporter. His life is full of ups and downs with a past that haunts him daily, hence, 'Ghost in Atlanta'.
Only Andy can, and must, have the courage to face his ghosts, one-on-one. He has many friends and family that help him along the way, and those that would like to see him fail miserably. Can he defeat his ghosts and continue on with his life?
          I will not spoil the book for you but I will say that the story is full of excitement and is really very ethereal. The reason I say that is because the characters themselves present the reader with many questions, such as, How can Andy`s friend, Philip, always be there for him just at the right time? How is it that certain characters are praying for Andy just at the right moment? How can a family cousin appear to Andy in the blink of an eye and then disappear just as quickly? How can friends and family in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Atlanta be so in tune with each other, helping Andy when he needs it the most?
          All these ingredients make this novel taste like your favorite pie flavor. All these ingredients make you want to continue reading this novel in just one sitting.
          I now have a very strong desire to read Julius` first two novels in the series. I can hardly wait for the next one. Julius, please keep writing. To the reader, don't hesitate to read this; you will not be disappointed. I, for one, am very glad that I read this book and I rate this book 5 stars, wholeheartedly."

Julius Thompson Websites/Purchase Links


Purchase Links

Barnes & Nobles.Com

Passionate Writer Publishers


In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.