Good morning everyone, I'm so pleased to introduce y'all to my friend and author, Jim Stow. Jim is a member of our Life Savers Edit Group here in Dallas, Texas, and I've had the privilege of living the exciting journey of Jim's first book THORN with he and the other writers in our group. It's exciting to watch a story from first draft to completion...especially exciting when it's not my book! LOL
Q. Jim, when, why, and how did you begin writing?
A. Other than writing essays in school (Ugh!), my first shot at writing was in fifth grade. It was my grandmother’s birthday. We bought her a little plastic man in chef’s garb who had basic grocery items printed on his chest. There were holes beside each item and red pegs to stick in the holes for needed items. My folks encouraged me to write a poem to accompany my grandma’s “little man.” I don’t remember writing anything before this other than school assignments.
I have written several poems since then and they seem to come at various times.
Thorn is the first story I have written and the first prose I have written longer than a couple of pages.
Q. Tell us about your family, your church, and your favorite scripture passage.
A. I grew up with both parents and a sister who is eight years older than me. She was my protector and idol, when I wasn’t being an irritating little brother.
I am now married to Sue. We have two sons, who are married. One son has a wife, son (fourteen) and daughter (thirteen), and a dog and cat. They are currently staying with us. Our other son has immigrated to Scotland. He lives there with his wife and twin sons (eleven) and they just acquired a German Shepherd puppy.
As I grew up, I considered extended family, almost as close as my immediate family. My cousins were my playmates and were like brothers and sisters.
My wife and I attend a small church in Plano, Texas. We have just over thirty adult regular attenders. We are a very active body and support and orphanage and other ministries in Uganda, Africa. I enjoy being a part of this church because every member is involved and the Lord is active with us and in our lives.
Regarding favorite scripture verses, I have difficulty narrowing to one. I can at least narrow to three, all from the NIV.
The first, which gives me hope and confidence, is Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The second, which gives me guidance in uncertain times, is 2 Chronicles 20: 12b - We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
The third, which shows me the heart of God and how He cares, is John 11:35 - Jesus wept.
Q. What motivated you to write “Thorn?”
A. Thorn had an interesting beginning, I would say an “urging.” I woke one morning with the name, Tommy John Rose, in my head. I don’t know anyone by that name. I thought, “I believe I’m supposed to write a story about this character.” So, I began tapping my laptop keys to see what might come out whether anyone else might be interested in reading my work, perhaps some family members. The characters began to “speak to me” and guide me as I wrote. Tommy John Rose gained the nickname, Thorn, from a fourth-grade tough guy. This became the title of the book.
I discovered a Christian edit group and joined to improved the quality of my story. When that first group disbanded, I joined another group. I have grown as an author and the quality of my work greatly improved. I began to believe that the circle would widen of those who would want to read my story. As a matter of fact, people in other edit groups have expressed an interest in reading my story.
The story has gone through several iterations and the current version bears little relation to the initial attempt. It doesn’t even take place in the same location.
Q. What is your heart’s desire for the reader to understand from this first book in the series?
A. First and most important, I want this story to be enjoyable to the reader, as enjoyable to them as it has been to me writing it. Second, I hope that Thorn may give hope and understanding, if a person is struggling with unforgiveness. They may relate to Thorn and walk with him as he gains a better grasp of God’s love.
Q. Do you have any advice for new writers or those folks who think they want to write?
A. The main thing for both new writers and those who have written many things it to Write, Write, Write. Each time they write to read, re-read and re-read what they have written, making changes and corrections each time.
Also, join an edit group if one is available in their location. If one is not available, seek out other writers and join together. Be kind as you correct others and be open to receive corrections from others.
Q. Where and when will this first book be available?
A. My book will be available on Amazon in the very near future! You all know all the hoops KDP makes a writer jump through. We're in that process.
Jim lives with his wife in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He has two sons and four grandchildren. He served in the Navy for four years. He gained a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Counseling. For over thirty years, he wrote computer programs including an involvement with Mariner Mars shots both 1969 and 1971. He enjoys writing both prose and poetry, carving wood, reading and sailing. Providing counsel as a pastor gives Jim fulfillment. Growing up on a farm a few miles outside of St. Charles, Missouri has provided considerable influence on Thorn’s story. His close relationship with his immediate and extended family (uncles, aunts and cousins) have impacted his writing.
A word from the author.
I hope you enjoy reading Thorn. I certainly had fun writing the story, in spite the many times I took criticism from my edit groups and the many re-writes that entailed. I want to give you a caution. I take no responsibility (although I am likely responsible) if you get lost in the story and miss doing the dishes or get to sleep too late. I also take no responsibility if the characters start “speaking to you” as you read. They are very real to me even though they are completely made up. I borrowed many names from my family, friends and acquaintances. However, I did not intend to reflect their actual character, action and speech.