Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, July 8, 2019

An Inside Look #93 (Author INTERVIEW)

Inside Look with Lisa Thompson
(Author of The Light Jar)

*During the summer of 2016, I added this feature to the blog which was called "Season #ONE".  This first season ran from June of 2016 to March of 2017.  

*I started up the interviews again in June of 2017.  It was great to get back to Season #TWO.  This season ran throughout the summer.  

*Season #THREE ran during the school year of 2017-2018.  

*The next season (season #FOUR) of interviews took place during the summer and fall of 2018.  With each interview I became more and more impressed with the authors I was having interactions with.  

*Season #FIVE ran during the 2018/2019 school year.  I took a little break during June of 2019.

*I'm thrilled to be back with season #SIX featuring all new books, authors, and conversations.  

*It has been such an honor to connect with authors and "chat" about their novel, characters, and thoughts about the story.

*This is the second interview of what I'm calling Season #SIX.

*Thank you to Lisa Thompson for being the Ninety-Third author that I've had the pleasure of interviewing.  I truly appreciate it.  

*Here are links to the first Ninety-Two interviews…

SEASON #ONE (2016-2017)

SEASON #FOUR (Summer 2018)

SEASON #FIVE (2018/2019)

Interview #81 with Tony Abbott (Author of The Great Jeff)

Interview #82 with Susan Ross (Author of Searching for Lottie)

Interview #83 with Gillian McDunn (Author of Caterpillar Summer)

Interview #84 with Rebecca Ansari (Author of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly)

Interview #85 with Ali Standish (Author of August Isle)

Interview #86 with Shaun David Hutchinson (Author of The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried)

Interview #87 with Greg Howard (Author of The Whispers)

Interview #88 with Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Author of Shouting at the Rain)

Interview #89 with Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Author of One for the Murphys)

Interview #90 with Laurie Morrison (Author of Up for Air)

Interview #91 with Jody J. Little (Author of Mostly the Honest Truth)

SEASON #SIX (Summer 2019)

Interview #92 with John David Anderson (Author of Finding Orion)

*Lisa Thompson was kind, gracious, and giving with her answers to the questions.  It is an honor to post her responses here on the blog. 

*Thank you Lisa for writing this incredible and thought-provoking book.

*Here is my book review...

My Book Review

The Light Jar

by Lisa Thompson (February 26, 2019)

How did you come to know Nate?
All my characters just seem to 'arrive' in my head (thankfully!). I started out with an idea about a boy who was in trouble in some way and that his old imaginary friend appears just when he needs him.  Once I had that initial idea then Nate grew out of it. My characters definitely evolve as I write. I'm not much of a planner.

What do you think is Nate's most admirable quality?
His love for his mum. He has been through so much with her he is determined to keep them both safe - even if that means staying on his own in a creepy cottage.

Is there anything you wish Nate would have changed or done differently in his story?
From a mother's perspective, I wish he'd gone straight to find help when she doesn't return from going shopping! As a writer, I'm pleased how the story evolves and how Nate finds out more about himself, Sam and Kitty.

What do you think Nate can offer to other children that are experiencing similar situations to what he went through?
I hope the overlying theme to the book is to talk.  To tell someone you trust (a teacher, a relative, a friend's parent) about what is going on. It's not only Nate that doesn't tell anyone, his mum doesn't either. It's not just the younger characters who struggle.  It takes a huge amount of courage, but he manages it in the end.

How did you research Nate and the circumstances he found himself in?
I wanted Gary's emotional cruelty to have crept up on Nate and his mum.  That it was a gradual thing that happened and could have happened to anyone. I didn't want them to appear gullible or 'silly' for not doing anything about it.  I read up about emotional abuse and knew that this was how Gary worked.

Do you and Nate share any similarities?
I also loved weird fact books when I was little! There's probably a little bit of me in Nate but I'm very fortunate that I haven't experienced the traumas that he has been through.

What was the hardest scene to write about Nate?
Definitely the lightbulb scene.  That was hard. But it's also a scene I'm really proud of because it is where Gary's true nastiness is revealed and the reader understands exactly why they have run away. 

Who do you think was Nate's biggest supporter and why?
Sam.  I think Sam has seen Nate in his life before Gary and seen the changes in him since Gary has come along. I think Sam is the person who wants to lead Nate to be brave and talk.

Why do you think some young people, like Nate, turn to imaginary friends in their time of need?
That's a great question! I'm not entirely sure, but I would think it had something to do with talking to your conscience and working out (ultimately with yourself) about what is the right thing to do. Also having Sam there means that Nate isn't alone.  There must be a huge comfort in that.

What do you think Nate is doing as the present time?
I would think that Nate and his mum are back at home and spending a lot of time with his Grandmother, making up for the time they haven't been seeing her. I like to think that his imaginary friends are also around, watching over him.

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