20 Questions with… Tess Thompson

 Bestselling author Tess Thompson debuts her latest novel Tainted on NOOK! Love takes a village… The Village of Cliffside Bay to be exact. The fifth installment of The Cliffside Bay Series follows the interwoven stories of five best friends, the beach community they love, and the women who captivate them. Prepare to get lost in a wave of small town charm, men you would love to take home to your mother, and smart, resilient heroines you wished lived next door.

And get to know Tess Thompson as she answers our 20 Questions on how she stays inspired, motivated, and energized (spoiler – it’s Zumba!).



1. Your best virtue as an author.

Discipline. I learned early on the only way to become good was to get my butt in the seat and write every day.

2. Your most quirky author habit.

I can’t write without the door to my office being closed. Even when no one is home but me and the cats, that door is shut.

3. Your favorite quality in a protagonist.


4. Your favorite quality in an antagonist.

Obsessive jealousy over someone or something. Envy makes you do bad things. (Not that I would know personally, of course.)

5. If you could ask any other author, past or present, a question who would it be and what would you ask?

I would ask Jane Austen how she managed rewrites. Given that everything was in long hand, I can’t imagine the editing process. How much paper do you think she went through? And the hand cramp? I use a computer so it’s easy to tweak as I go. But in long hand? How in the world?

6. When you aren’t writing, you are____

Hanging out with my family, holding hands with my husband as we watch our favorite shows on television, cooking mediocre dinners, attending Zumba classes, opening wine, reading fiction, stalking my author crushes. You know, the usual.

7. Your easiest book to write.

My Cliffside Bay novels have written themselves. I wrote them back to back – there are five now – and it was like writing one long book. The characters are so real to me that I actually dream about them. I can’t wait to write the next five. If any of your readers are interested, the first in the series is FREE right now for Nook readers. Traded: Brody and Kara

8. Your hardest book to write.

My historical fiction novels because of the research.

9. Your ideal writing place.

I always write at my desk because I have an ergonomic keyboard from Kinesis and a fancy chair to keep my arms safe from carpal tunnel.

10. Your favorite childhood book.

It’s a toss-up between the Little House books and Anne of Green Gables.

11. The book you’ve reread the most.

Little House books. I’m embarrassed by how many times…

12. Your favorite hero from literature.

Atticus Finch. Hands down.

13. Your favorite villain from literature.

Miss Havisham from “Great Expectations”. I mean, the wedding dress? Come on, it’s just way too good.

14. The name of your autobiography.

Late to the Party.

15. Your favorite comfort food.

Mashed potatoes. Actually, any potato in any form will do.

16. First thing you do when you finish writing a novel.

Have a glass of wine. Go to sleep. Start another book.

17. A secret talent you have.

Seriously, I’m sitting here stumped. I’m not good at anything but making up stories. Wait, I did study acting in college, so maybe that could be considered a secret talent. An untested talent for about twenty years now, so it’s not a sure bet.

18. Where have you always wanted to travel?

Europe. We spent three weeks in France last summer. Life changing. I can’t wait to go back!

19. One tip for aspiring authors.

Read writers that are better than you and pay attention to what they’re doing. Take craft classes. Buy every craft book on the market and commit them to memory. Okay, sorry, that was three.

20. Puppies or kittens?

I love both. Dogs love you so hard, which is like me, so I get them. However, I’m clearly a glutton for punishment because I’m currently the slave to five haughty cats. They love me. I mean, I think they do. It’s hard to tell exactly. Wait, the one on my desk right now started to purr when I scratched her chin. We’re good.


Like most of her characters, Tess Thompson hails from a small town and will always feel like a small town girl, despite the fact she’s lived in Seattle for over twenty-five years. She loves music and dancing, books and bubble baths, cooking and wine, movies and snuggling. She cries at sappy commercials and thinks kissing in the rain should be done whenever possible. Although she tries to act like a lady, there may or may not have been a few times in the last several years when she’s gotten slightly carried away watching the Seattle Seahawks play, but that could also just be a nasty rumor.

Tess Thompson currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her brand new husband, the hero of her own love story, and their Brady Bunch clan of two sons, two daughters and five cats, all of whom keep her too busy, often confused, but always amazed. Yes, that’s four kids and five cats. Pray for her.


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