Updated on 08/29/2016
- Full Name:
George E Thompson
- Where I live:
- Years Writing:
Five or More Years
- Primary Goal:
Publisher or Agent
- Type of Project:
- Fiction Genre:
- Number of Words:
- Breakout Title:
THE SHADOWBOXER, SHADOW BOXING, THE OTHER ME
A sort of cross between an adult version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
- Publication Creds:
Short Fiction Published
- Other Creds:
Short Fiction Published
Actively Working on It
- Synopsis (novel / nf):
David Grimes has a fear of riding in cars, people die when he does: his first love, his parents, his grandparents and his wife. So he decides to stay away from people as much as he can and works alone in his garage restoring cars — but only “55 Fords. Though he suffers from depression he goes off his meds, stops seeing a psychiatrist and drinks a lot of gin. Then someone calls him and says they have his wife except his wife is dead. Realizing the caller has the wrong David Grimes he goes looking for the other David Grimes, and discovers someone is not only using his identity but they also look like him. Before he can confront the “other” as David calls him, he goes missing along with a mysterious device.
David’s past gets dredged up as he discovers several people including his own sister, the “other”, and people from his past — want him dead for different reasons. Then a strange couple comes looking for millions of dollars they think David has. He tries to carry on his daily life even as he realizes that various people — including the police — are manipulating him and struggles to sort out what is real and true from what is happening around him.
- Writer Organization:
Working On It
- Your Bio:
BA Fine Art, MA Design Purdue University. I'm an artist / designer, also taught design, typography and design history at Columbia College Chicago (CCC) for 20+ years.
- Your Writing Life:
Been writing since college, took writing and lit classes at Purdue; writing classes at CCC-story workshop method. Published one short story in Oyez Review, poems in Goodly Co. (defunct), flash fiction online in Crab Fat and Brilliant Flash Fiction. Have published articles in the Journal of Communications, the Caxtonian (a publication of the Caxton Club) and the Chicago Artist’s Coalition Newsletter.
- Your Career Goals:
I want to be a successful published writer, novels and short stories.
- Inspiration for Work?:
Haruki Murakami, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorges Borges, Tom Robbins, Bruno Schultz, etc.
- Reading Now?:
Dream Story, Arthur Schnitzler
- Manuscript Type:
- Working Title(s):
- Hook Line:
Someone said I was cursed and maybe that was it.
- Conflict + Stakes:
Stakes are life and death, conflict is trying to find out what is true when very few people and things are what they appear to be.
- The Protagonist:
- The Antagonist:
Multiple: Impersonator wants him dead in order to replace him, sister wants him dead so she can steal his inheritance, high school classmate wants to kill him for revenge.
- Other Characters:
Old girl friend, police detectives, kidnapper, two foreign agents, corporate security person, neighbors, man from auto upholsterer's.
- Unique World:
Protagonist tries to avoid personal involvements and refuses to ride in cars even though he restores cars — only '55 Fords though.
- Climax and Denouement:
Antagonists either end up dead or in jail. He discovers the missing device and figures out where the millions of dollars are hidden, resumes a relationship with his old girl friend - though almost doesn't, and gets over his fear or riding in cars.
- Your Opening :
Someone said I was cursed and maybe that was it. Maybe there
was some great force that had decided I was supposed to suffer.
There were always people who said it was just bad luck -- a lot
of bad luck. And there were always cops giving me that look that
said they suspected me of something. One said he knew I'd done
something and he was going to get me for it. So maybe I am
Was working on the car when my cell phone buzzed. It was
lying on the floor -- must have slipped out of my pocket -- and
the strange noise startled me for a moment. It was an insistent
angry noise like a big insect cutting through bone.
The car had come back from the paint shop the week before in
a brilliant yellow and black hornet color scheme and I was taping
over some areas before it went to the upholstery shop. Had a cell
phone and no land line so people couldn't find me in the phone
book. I didn't want to talk to anyone unless I had to. My sister
wouldn't call me under any circumstances. It was rare that anyone
called me other than people working on the car which was how I
wanted it. Opened the phone and it said "unknown number," that's
all. It buzzed again like it was trying to get away from me and I
kept holding it tighter. Was wondering how long it was going to
keep buzzing like that on a full charge. The buzzing was
"There's been . . ." I managed to gasp out. Then I choked,
unsure of what to say next. You can't just say kidnapping to a
stranger. I had to talk to someone who would understand.
"Sir?" she said in a crisp professional voice. "Sir? Is
everything all right?"
"I need to speak to someone," I said. "Someone in charge."
"In charge of what sir?" was desperately hoping she would
somehow divine what I was after and connect me with the right
person, but of course I hadn't told her anything that would
explain that to her.
"Police," I said. "It's police," then I couldn't think of
the word and struggled to call it up when it appeared on it's own
in my head and came out my mouth, "matter."
"Oh, one moment." Then there was nothing at all. I thought
we might have been cut off yet I stayed on the line waiting to
hear a dial tone before I did anything. It surprised me when
another woman's voice came on.
"Yes," the voice said," this is security." It was
incongruous, a woman's voice saying that. Her voice was warm yet
professional, the kind of voice that puts you at ease without
that false friendliness quality. Hearing it made me see my goal
up ahead like a quarterback handing off the ball to the runner. I
just had to keep moving long enough to get rid of it, to let
someone else take the hit, let someone else get trampled, let
this woman's voice carry off my burden.
- Writing Samples:
On the bus was the usual collection of people, people you
would look at and wonder what their lives were like, who they
were, what they did, how they managed to keep from going insane.
And I had to look at them or try to look out the window at the
buildings and avoid seeing the cars. On the bus this was easier
unless there was a sound of tires on asphalt or -- it seldom
happened but it happened -- the noise of metal on metal. Then I
would look, it would catch me off guard and I would look.
Outside it was one of those Chicago days -- partly sunny
with scattered clouds thinking about becoming thunder showers but
they can't make up their mind. It made for an interesting kind of
light, sun and clouds struggling with each other. The sun would
try to cut through the clouds and the clouds would resist,
fighting back whenever the sun managed to slip through. The
result was always a hopeful gray that had a knife in its back.
It was a little chilly today so the bus smelled of diesel
fuel. On warmer days everyone would have the windows open which
didn't do anything for the heat, but at least didn't choke you
with that diesel smell. Was a little shaky because I was going to
meet someone. Hopefully it would only be one person, whoever I
had talked to on the phone, and then I could go back home. Wanted
to get rid of this thing. It had nothing to do with me really and
I wanted to scrape it off me like a junkie getting withdrawal