Revenger by Ralph Thompson Jr. Genre: Christian Suspense
Rick Bass is a junior at a southern commuter college. When he meets Elenore he is immediately attracted to her reserved yet captivating ways. When Rick finds himself in a dangerous situation far beyond his ability to cope, he uses drastic measures that change the direction of his otherwise dull, uneventful life and may cause him the girl of his dreams. Rick’s careless and thoughtless actions bring tragic results, yet he still believes God endorsed his plan. From the writer of “None of Our Hands Are Clean,” Ralph Thompson, Jr. tells a story of a young man who knows of God but is unsure about God’s direction in his life when things get out of hand. Is God truly the orchestrator when one choice leads to a life time of consequences?
“Dude! You don’t have to do this. I’ve done nothing to you!” The smaller man shrieked. Any pretense of manliness dissipated. The smaller man knew he was overmatched. He was trying to minimize an absolute beatdown. This type of ruckus meant only one thing: Smash was out and about, looking for his version of fun. That usually included inflicting pain on random folk. Smash felt rested and satisfied, like predators do from time to time. Feeling good meant getting out and looking for folk to intimidate. Lowtown was like that. The cops didn’t go in unless they absolutely had to. Most of the city’s citizens figured if they could confine Lowtown’s lawlessness to a small area, eventually the folk inside would kill off one another until the area could be renovated (leveled & gentrified) with little opposition. Folk like Smash made the transition go slower than the city fathers would like. Smash suspected it, even without much formal education. Smash had an innate sense of his hard-fought place in this neighborhood. As long as the police gave the area a wide berth, he could do almost whatever he wanted. The locals were so afraid of him, they wouldn’t even band together to take him on en masse. Smash knew all of that."
Ralph Thompson, Jr. was born and reared in Memphis, Tennessee. During his childhood, he saw up close the impact of the civil rights movement. These world-changing events permanently informed his perspective and his writing.
He accepted Christ as a teenager, and like many has seen ups and downs in the years since.
Later, a search for further meaning in his life led to his joining the U.S. Air Force, where he served 26 years. He’s a veteran of operations like Just Cause, DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, Southern Watch, and Enduring Freedom.
Thompson has a daughter/son-in-law, a son, and a granddaughter who all live out west. He serves in his church, the Memphis community, and with his fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.).
What I do
I write Christian fiction. Like most people, I’ve had in this life highs and lows. As a personal view, I believe God puts us through various circumstances to prepare us for upcoming challenges. Because of that personal view, I wonder if others see their lives in a similar way. I put this stuff on paper as a means to reach out to those folks who may be interested. If in some way I can get them to consider deeply their circumstances or be encouraged about the future, I am overjoyed about that.
How I do it
I have a year-old laptop that I use to craft manuscripts. I also have a 4’ by 2’ desk in my dining space. (I rarely entertain, so I used my dining space as an office of sorts). I’m more of a morning writer – if I can get words on paper before the business of the day commences, I feel good about the daily progress of writing. The dining space faces the television in the living room. I envisioned a writing space like this for years, and I’m thankful to have it.
What I’m passionate about today
I’m concerned about the state of the world, this country, my hometown. I endeavor to mentor young males, serve with voter education groups, and am a part-time member of the security team at church. I truly believe in my heart that we can live in some semblance of harmony on this planet. We have so much more in common than we have as differences. One of my goals as a novelist is to point out what we have in common, that we may collaborate on the state of this world.
Do you prefer to write in silence, or with noise? Why?
I prefer noise, to some measured amount. I enjoy classic film, as well as music from the ‘50s through the ‘70s. Usually, those are the types of background sound I can tolerate and still work. Furthermore, I am a big baseball fan. If I’m writing during baseball season, the rhythm of a game is steady but not distracting. I’m easily distracted, so I need surroundings that don’t take me away from putting the right words on paper.
My writing style
My first two novels, I didn’t use an outline. The basic starting ideas were variations of “Why?” I envision my characters as real people, and I take glee in putting challenges in front of them. I seek to challenge their worldviews and decision-making process. I put myself as one following the characters from a distance, watching but not intruding.
As a character’s decision brings different consequences, I want that character to learn from the experience, as well as seeing in a different light God’s intent for his/her life. Given that, I rarely plan to write “endings” in a classic sense. As we do in real life, my characters try to recover from those challenges and go on with their lives. The ceasing of one scenario can be the lead-in to another.
I write for the person who believes in God, but that person’s faith has been shaken. That character still has questions, still misinterprets God’s instruction. That person has scars, but wants to go on.
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