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When We Join Jesus In Hell
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Group Reads: Guest Author Invite > When We Join Jesus in Hell by Lee Thompson *SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Jason (last edited Jan 01, 2013 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Lee Thompson is relatively new to the horror literature scene, but his first two novels, Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children and Iron Butterflies Rust, both published in 2011, have made a great impact amongst readers. I myself often relate Lee's writing to a punch in the gut. It is packed full of emotion that will tear you to pieces if you let it. The atmospheres of his stories are so thick you can't help but to feel the grief, dread, and black rage that the characters suffer.

2012 was a great year for Lee as his growing number of fans were pleased to see four novellas and one novel published. In addition, an interesting development took shape when Lee noticed a massive story line threaded within his stories. The result: The Division Mythos.

One of the four novella's published in 2012 is what we're all here to read together this month, When We Join Jesus In Hell. It is a standalone novella, not part of the Division Mythos, and it is my utmost honor to introduce this fiercely talented author as our guest this month.


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
YAY!


message 3: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments Hello all! Thanks to Jason and Tressa for the invite! I'm honored to be here and look forward to any questions. Plus reader feedback is a godsend. I'm excited. Thanks to those who have given my Dark Fantasy work a chance! :)

@Jon: Yay back! Happy New Year, all!


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
Hiya, Lee!

Happy New Year to you and yours!


message 5: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments Thank you, Jon! Hopefully I'm going to have some wonderful news to share later this month. I'm bursting at the seams!


message 6: by T.W. (new)

T.W. Grim (twgrim) Hello, good sir. I admire your work and I congratulate you on your successes. Here's a question: what are your favorite books/authors of 2012?


Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Welcome, Lee! And Happy New Year to you!

This story is so packed full of emotion, I really have to ask that classic cliched question: where did you get the idea for writing Jesus?


message 8: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @T.W.: Thank you! My absolute favorite read of 2012 was GRENDEL by John Gardner. It's a funny, sad, and beautiful story that has tons of dark undertones. Check it out!

@Jason: Thanks for the question! The idea for Jesus came from a few different places. First I keep a journal of possible titles and that title kept nagging at me. Then I figured I'd try to write a unique revenge story about love, attempted redemption, and loss. Bianca, the little snow gecko, was my buddy Susan's pet that she rescued. It had some affliction that the vet couldn't fix and she was very torn up about it and I hurt for her, so that gave the revenge story a lot of direction plus kinda immortalized the real Bianca for Susan.

It all fell into place for me then. It really stemmed from Susan's pain and the helplessness she felt. The injustice of something innocent (his wife and daughter for Fist) being taken, and the lover of that other creature to either chose helplessness and acceptance, or to try and seek vengeance against whatever powers stole the biggest piece of his heart.


Chris (chrismccaffrey) | 582 comments Looking forward to this discussion. Since I have already read Jesus I don' t want to ask anything that would spoil it so I may loiter a bit. Maybe drink a beer and grab a handful of pretzels and a spot on the couch while I wait for the rest of the guests to show up.


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
Chris, that's a nasty stutter you're developing.....


message 11: by Chris (last edited Jan 01, 2013 02:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (chrismccaffrey) | 582 comments Lol! First smartphone slip up of 2013! Fixed it.


Char  | 14257 comments Mod
That was a nice intro, Jason!
Hi Lee!


message 13: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (shiftyj1) | 4890 comments Hi, Lee! Looking forward to this discussion!


message 14: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @Chris: What Jon said. :P And drink a beer for me!
*Waving at Char and Bill!*


Justin (justineaton) | 1099 comments Lee wrote: "@T.W.: Thank you! My absolute favorite read of 2012 was GRENDEL by John Gardner. It's a funny, sad, and beautiful story that has tons of dark undertones. Check it out!

@Jason: Thanks for the ques..."


So can I ask what some of those other unwritten titles are? I loved this book and loved the title even more, learning that the title came before the story only suprises me a little and is a fun fact.


Bryan | 5 comments I loved the story. Contemplating reading it again just for this discussion.


Rachel | 1437 comments I haven't read this yet. Got it today and it'll be the first thing I read on my new Nook. I've heard good things! And I haven't joined in a group read in a while...


message 18: by Addy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Addy | 4989 comments Hi Lee! I havent read your book yet, but am greatly looking forward to it!


message 19: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @Justin: Thanks, man! I just keep a notebook full of story titles and when a certain one won't leave me alone I start looking for what story goes with it. The most urgent titles that have some type of imagery with them get their own Word file and some notes until I can get to work on them. I'm obsessive about writing things down. I spend hours every week handcopying favorite books, too. Weird, I know. Lol.

@Bryan: Thanks, man! Glad you loved it. I'd give it a second read (and will probably do so myself since I've written 3 novels since). Look forward to hearing your thoughts and any questions you have!

@Rachel: Great! Thank you and thanks for taking part in the discussion!

@Addy: Thanks, Addy! I look forward to your thoughts as well!


Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Chris wrote: "Looking forward to this discussion. Since I have already read Jesus I don' t want to ask anything that would spoil it so I may loiter a bit. Maybe drink a beer and grab a handful of pretzels and ..."

I added the word spoiler to the thread title, so go a head if you want to ask spoiler questions.

You can also use the spoiler tags. The < spoiler > actual spoiler < / spoiler > without the spaces code.


message 21: by glenda (new)

glenda (ayngelwing) | 1051 comments Hi Lee, and welcome! I've heard lots of positive opinions on your work, and look forward to reading something by you for the first time. :O)
I just bought your book from Amazon for my Kindle moments ago, so will be starting it ASAP.


message 22: by James (new) - added it

James Clifford | 2 comments Thanks for invite just added to my kindle and look forward to the read.
Happy 2013


message 23: by Jena (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jena LeVay I'm looking forward to reading your work; I've read great reviews. And what an intriguing title... Have an amazing New Years!


Chris Salch (arlaneenalra) | 3 comments Let's see what this one's like. The title's a little off putting but, I'll give it a shot.


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
I've got lot's of questions......but I'm afraid of the answers......


message 26: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @Jason: Thanks! And good idea.
@Glenda: Wonderful. I hope you enjoy it!
@James: Thanks for picking it up. Look forward to your thoughts!
@Jena: Thanks! I hope you enjoy it, too!
@Christopher: Thanks for giving it a shot!
@Jon: Fear is our greatest enemy, man. Ask away! I love questions. They help us grow closer. :)


message 27: by glenda (new)

glenda (ayngelwing) | 1051 comments Christopher wrote: "Let's see what this one's like. The title's a little off putting but, I'll give it a shot."

Hi Christopher. I felt the same, but it's not what it seems, so you can relax on that score. ;O)


message 28: by glenda (last edited Jan 01, 2013 07:43PM) (new)

glenda (ayngelwing) | 1051 comments


Okay, read it. Liked it very much, but as you can imagine, I'm very frustrated! And worried about the little scrambler...


message 29: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments glenda wrote: "


Okay, read it. Liked it very much, but as you can imagine, I'm very frustrated! And worried about the little scrambler..."


Yeah, me too, Glenda. The real Bianca is in Gecko heaven. You can see her in the little book trailer I made, my first book trailer so it's not very good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIOJwo...


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "@Jason: Thanks! And good idea.
@Glenda: Wonderful. I hope you enjoy it!
@James: Thanks for picking it up. Look forward to your thoughts!
@Jena: Thanks! I hope you enjoy it, too!
@Christopher: Than..."


Okay.

Writing what you write, the emotional depth, the pain...how do you keep yourself at a safe mental distance from it all?


message 31: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (shiftyj1) | 4890 comments Speaking of the title, Lee – Was this one of your titles that you had in your notebook ahead of time or did it arise as the story progressed? Was there any apprehension to use When We Join Jesus In Hell as the title for publication, as it may turn some people off or give the wrong impression of the story? I must admit, I did a double take when I first read the title, but then again, I was much more intrigued than put off.


message 32: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (shiftyj1) | 4890 comments Lee wrote: "Hopefully I'm going to have some wonderful news to share later this month. I'm bursting at the seams!"

Thought we missed that, huh? Not a chance!! Can't wait to hear what you have going on this month! Way to keep us all in suspense! :)

P.S. Great question, Jon!!


message 33: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @Jon: I wish there was a way for me to keep safe mental distance from it. But I can't. Writing stuff like that f*cking kills me because I'm immersed in it. Plus I use a ton of stuff from my personal life, which probably only makes it worse. Other than that I guess just being grateful that my life isn't so bad anymore lends some strength. But I have to dig back into all the pain and heartache daily, so there's never a long break from it. Thanks for the question!

@Bill: The title was there before the story, which they always are for me. And me and my publisher talked about how people would react to it, and I didn't want to change it, so I'm glad he agreed to let me keep it. Lol. Part of it is that I knew from the title, before ever writing the story, that it was going to be a novella that pulled no punches and was like a bullet in the face.

And yep, hopefully I'll be able to share some amazing news soon! You'll be one of the first to know, Bill. So far only four people are privy. :P


message 34: by glenda (new)

glenda (ayngelwing) | 1051 comments Lee wrote: "glenda wrote: "


Okay, read it. Liked it very much, but as you can imagine, I'm very frustrated! And worried about the little scrambler..."

Yeah, me too, Glenda. The real Bianca is in Gecko heav..."


GECKO HEAVEN?!?! Oh, man.... 'thump'. ( the sound of glenda hitting the floor in a faint )


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
What?

You thought geckos were atheists?


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
So, Lee, does time passing help you deal with it enough to be able to share the pain with the rest of us?


Aaron (alazif) | 7 comments Starting this tomorrow. Looking forward to it!


message 38: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @Jon: Yes sir, time helps everything in terms of specifics. It dulls the edges and there's not much more than an echo of the pain, more of a dull throb. It's the real life stuff that it stems from that hurts, even though I think it's natural and necessary to hurt for our characters, who are definitely parts of us and parts of everybody we've ever known.

But I think the point of good fiction is to tell the truth and the ache that comes from loss is something everybody has to deal with in whatever way they've been conditioned to by their parents.

And there are so many types of loss, which is something I wanted to burden Fist with. Loss of his self-respect, loss of second chances, loss of his manhood, loss of his self-control, loss of his faith that good remains in a world where people think they can do whatever they want and not have to pay for their actions, loss of all the little things that truly made life worth living: a daughter's smile, a wife's laughter, the feel of the one you love close to you on your bed after the lights are extinguished.

Loss strips us to our core. And as human beings, not just as writers or musicians or artists, it's good to externalize our sorrow and put a name to it so that we can lift our heads again and see where we are and what we have to work with to just be ourselves and let others do the same. And maybe even gain some understanding during the process.

Thanks for the great questions!

@Aaron: Thanks! Look forward to hearing what you think!


Jon Recluse | 12043 comments Mod
Lee: thanks for the great answers!


message 40: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Atkinson (darkened_angel) | 797 comments Have just bought it, will start when I get home, as have actually forgotten my kindle!


Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Jon is great for great questions! And those were some awesome answers to his questions, Lee!


Char  | 14257 comments Mod
Those were some great freakin questions, Jon!
Nice answers too. :)


Aaron (alazif) | 7 comments Just finished it. I kinda arched an eyebrow at the page count when I got it, but after reading it I have to say that this was the perfect length for the story told. The pace kept the whole thing stark and raw without getting gratuitous. Excellent work.


Jason (darkfiction) | 3233 comments Lee, when you start writing a new story, do you know if it's going to be a novella or a novel right away, or do you figure it out as you go?


message 45: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @Jon: Thank you!

@Sharon: Thanks! Hope you enjoy it. :)

@Char: Thanks!

@Aaron: Thank you! Yeah, one of my favorite things about writing that novella was that 15,000 words is not very much when you look at most novels being 80,000 words. So I compacted as much as I could through symbolism, dialogue, and essentials, but I think doing so really opened the story up. Thanks for the read and comment, Aaron! Glad you enjoyed it!

@Jason: Usually I know what length a story will be to within a couple thousand words. But a lot of that is from knowing how I'm going to approach the execution of it. I'm big on structure probably because my life until I started writing didn't have any, and I was also a musician before I started writing, so structure is important to me, as well as melody, rhythm, the beats, the progressions, harmony, etc. The story has to be a well-oiled machine if it's going to have a lot of impact, and I like condensing through different techniques, like I mentioned to Aaron, to keep the word count down. I've read books that have bored the crap out of me because there's no movement--emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, morally--and without movement it's uninteresting. I recoil from that. I've written enough in the past two years to safely guess the length of a novel or novella pretty easy. My main credo whenever I start a novel/novella is twofold: Tell the story in the most effective way I can and to keep it interesting. Thanks for the question!


Char  | 14257 comments Mod
What made you start writing, Lee? From what I can tell from Jason's intro and what I know about you, you didn't start writing until a bit later on in life. Or maybe I have that wrong and you can set me straight?


message 47: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thompson | 96 comments @Char: Hi, bud! To those who don't know, Char and Chris McCaffrey pre-read for me. They read the last two novels I wrote under two pen names. They're invaluable! Thanks for the question, man! And you're right, I didn't start writing until in my late twenties. I was a drunk and had wanderlust before that. I got into writing stories because I was 27 and songwriting at the time. The songs I was telling were too big for any commercial success, and often too dark. Then I read Poe and King and Barker and Clegg and Straub, and started writing Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children. I had been a horrible student more prone to fist fight or sleep or skip schooling all together, so I was a horrible writer. After maybe six or seven years of not selling anything I'd written I had to look at why I wasn't selling work (I sucked), and once I started focusing on the craft, and approaching it from my music and martial arts background, things took off. I'm ten years into my writing career now and have been selling the last two years. Thanks for the great question! (And thanks for all your help. New novel coming your way in a couple weeks!)


message 48: by Char (last edited Jan 02, 2013 01:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Char  | 14257 comments Mod
Thanks for answering!
I've very excited about the new one, yes! :)

How did your martial arts background help you with writing?


Rachel | 1437 comments I finished this last night because I could not put it down. I knew others, like Charlene, who read it and loved it, but even then I didn't really know what to expect. It's such a gritty, heart-wrenching and beautiful story. I can't think of any other way to put it, I guess because I got more wrapped up with the character relationships at the end than with the violence. While I was reading I kept thinking about how it sort of reminded me of some of the movies Ben Affleck has directed over the last few years (specifically Gone Baby Gone and The Town), gritty without being over the top. If this story was made into a movie, who would you see directing it? I'm a very visual reader so stories end up playing as movies in my head.


Char  | 14257 comments Mod
Ooh, that's a great question, Rachel.


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