For the majority of her life, Glenda Thompson has had two goals: to see her artwork hanging in a gallery and have a book traditionally published.
“I have now achieved both,” she said, referring to her fiction novel, “Broken Toys” which releases on Wednesday, Dec. 16. “I have a drawer full of partially-finished manuscripts, so I’m most excited that I finished this one!”
Here’s a brief synopsis of the book:
“Texas Ranger Noah Morgan has his life together— with a great job and the girl of his dreams. Too bad it’s all based on a lie. A single phone call threatens to bring it all crashing down. After an irate citizen complains shoddy workmanship has left him with a booby-trapped driveway, and the local sheriff’s office is too busy to respond, Noah takes the call. The investigation of local scam artists uncovers a human trafficking ring. Noah fights to avoid being swept back into the sights of his murderous family—people he escaped at the age of seventeen. Can he keep his past a secret or will his carefully crafted life come to a violent end?”
Readers can find two messages while reading
The first is to bring awareness to human trafficking and how it can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.
“We need to be more observant of our surroundings. Keep an eye on our children, our friends and our family. Keep everyone safe. We need to trust our guts,” said Thompson.
“Yes, that kid throwing a fit may be just having a temper tantrum, but he or she might be in the process of being snatched as well. Teenagers make easy targets for “Romeos” who sweep them off their feet making them believe they are “in love.” If it doesn’t feel right to you, say something, especially in today’s environment of everyone wearing masks. It’s so easy for a child to disappear in a split moment.”
The second message is simple: be true to yourself.
“Own your identity. Be who you are meant to be. Don’t be afraid you have to pretend to be someone else to be loved. If you love yourself, others will love you, too.”
Thompson is a sixthgeneration Texan with Scottish roots who currently lives in Charlotte with her husband Cregg (aka Darlin’), Atascosa County Constable for Precinct 3. She explained that the inspiration behind “Broken Toys” came from the sharp point of a hip replacement implant one of Cregg’s friends gave them.
“This may be a bit macabre, but … a friend of Darlin’s owns a crematorium and gave us the implant. Darlin’ was examining it and one end came to a sharp point, and I had just come home from having a tire replaced on my truck,” she explained. “When I saw the point, I told Darlin’ that could do a ton of damage to a tire. About the same time, two calls came across his radio from dispatch—one for a missing child, the other for a complaint about travelers scamming the elderly with roofing and driveway repairs. It just kind of clicked in my brain and ‘Broken Toys’ was born.”
Thompson’s favorite part about ‘Broken Toys’ are the characters as they’ve been living inside her head for so long that sometimes she forgets they’re not real people.
“They are the ones who have been tapping on the inside of my eyelids when I try to sleep, nagging me to tell their stories, and several of them are getting their own books soon.”
She is currently working on three more books. Two of them, “Broken Dreams” and “Broken Minds,” are stories following secondary characters from “Broken Toys” through their own challenges. The third is a complete departure from “Broken Toys.”
“Wings Over Wylder” is a historical romance set in the Wyoming Territory in 1879. Everyone knows the Wright Brothers flew the first aircraft south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on Dec. 17, 1903. Except they didn’t. The first coil-powered aircraft was flown in Luckenbach, TX on Sept. 20, 1865, by schoolteacher Jacob Brodbeck. This historic flight left a lasting impression on Greta Ann Guenther who dreams of escaping through flight while she cares for her much younger, autistic brother and alcoholic father.
Thompson said for as long as she can remember, she has always been a bookworm.
She recalled a story her dad used to tell about her scaring him when she was two.
“He walked into the living room and I was sitting in his recliner with my favorite book reading it aloud. He said he stood and watched, and I was turning the pages at the correct spots. He thought he had a superbaby on his hands—until he realized I was holding the book upside down. I’ve always loved books. I think what encouraged me to actually write stories was a substitute teacher I had in elementary school. She read one of my assignments and wrote the most encouraging notes on it.”
Thompson further explained how she used reading as a way to escape from a not-too-happy reality as she got older and life got tougher.
“It helped me through some rotten patches, and I want to be able to give that escape to someone else. I’ve always been drawn to thrillers and mysteries in my reading. They always say write what you know so … I write thrillers and mysteries mostly and they are a bit dark in places, but I like to give my readers the light at the end of the tunnel endings.”
However, “Wings Over Wylder” is a major departure for Thompson because she admitted she has never written romance.
With that in mind, Thompson’s word of advice for young and new writers is to trust in yourself and just write the story.
“Don’t expect it to be perfect. Heck, don’t even expect it to be good. That’s what the next drafts are for. Just get it down on paper or on the screen. You can’t fix what you don’t write. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find a mentor. Find a support/ critique group. Writing is always portrayed as a lonely career, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve made some wonderful friends on my writing journey.”
Thompson was born on Galveston Island and grew up near the coast. She and Cregg have been best friends for 20 years and married for 18. They currently live in Charlotte with two dogs and “too many cats to count.” Between the two of them, they have three daughters, two sons, three sons-inlaw and two daughters-inlaw. They also have eight grandchildren ranging from the ages of six to almost 18.
Although “Broken Toys” doesn’t release until Dec. 16, you can preorder your digital copy of the book on Amazon right now for only $4.99. Paperbacks on Amazon are $17.99. Thompson will also have a booth set up at the Merry on Main event in Pleasanton this Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. until after the fireworks show. Her table will be set up on Main Street near the Main Stage between the American Legion and The Cake Escape booths. She will have signed paperback copies of “Broken Toys” for sale for $15.