Today on the blog, I’m welcoming one of my Workshop peeps and debut author of the rural fantasy ONE NIGHT IN SIXES, Arianne “Tex” Thompson. During the day, Tex is a master teacher for an academic and tutoring prep services company. In her free time – which you’ll see she doesn’t have much of – she’s a regular at libraries, writers’ conferences and conventions, as well as being the editor for the DFW Writers’ Conference website. And, she writes, natch! Somehow, with everything she has going on, she found time to answer a few questions about her alter-ego, time management skills, and the future of her hero, Appolosa Elim.
Okay, when I Googled your name to get to your website, I discovered a DC Comics superhero named Tex Thompson. I know I’m totally showing my comic book, superhero ignorance here, but I had no idea your nickname came from a superhero. I mean, it makes sense, of course. As Truvy from Steel Magnolias would say, “There’s a story there.” Spill. How did you get your nickname, and what made you decide to use it in your pen name as well as your given name?
Would you believe that I didn’t actually know about Tex Thompson the DC character? Thompson is my maiden name, and “Tex” was the pronounceable part of the AOL screennames and message-board handles that I used to play online games, lo these many years ago. As for how that particular virus mutated and spread offline – well, you know that feeling you get when you walk into the DFW Writers Workshop to read for the very first time? That kind of sweaty, queasy, five-out-of-six-on-the-Pepto-Bismol checklist terror? That was pretty much it. I decided that I could handle getting my life’s work eviscerated by a roomful of strangers – but not without a secret identity. So Bruce Wayne became Batman, and I became Tex – and you know, I think it’s worked out pretty well! (Except for that third-string superhero guy. Mark my words, Google – I WILL UNSEAT HIM.)
I wish I’d thought of the secret identity before reading at workshop. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken me six months! Have you ever gone to a con dressed up as superhero Tex Thompson? And, if there was a Tex Thompson superhero movie, who would play your doppelganger?
You know, I am actually a really terrible cosplayer! If I don’t look pretty much exactly like the character, I’m usually too nervous to even try (which is why my one and only cosplay alter ego so far has been the exquisite Pam Poovey, who is not only my body double, but everything I aspire to be.) I tell you what, though: if I ever get to be in the movies, I’m going to ask Robin Weigert to channel her Deadwood-edition Calamity Jane and get in there for me. She can drink, fart, cry, cuss, nurse the sick, bury the dead, kill a man, and love a woman – and if those aren’t superpowers, I don’t know what is.
Well, here is a shameful secret: I am TERRIBLE at time management. I feel like I’m always doing everything badly and at the last minute. So my TBR pile looks like a giant, dusty game of bar Jenga, and my book revisions are two months behind schedule, and I have so many emails rotting in my inbox, it’s like a digital zombie apocalypse.
And speaking of zombies and what I’m reading now, LET ME TELL YOU: Daniel Bensen’s New Frontiers has completely eaten my brain. It’s a story about near-future Earth, where aliens have come in and done to us pretty much what Europeans did to indigenous Americans – and here to try and save our species is Harry Downs, an “exo-erotic diplomat” (aka interspecies gigolo), who’s convinced that one good orgasm is all it’s going to take to get humanity an equal seat at the table – or, you know, at least keep us from being enslaved and/or eradicated by the alien gangsters currently strip-mining the Amazon. It’s basically Men in Black with a Debbie Does Dallas twist, and you are going to SCREAM in frustration when I tell you that not only is it not available in bookstores, it still needs a publisher! (He’s got the agent part handled, fortunately.)
The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient earthly gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.
If he ever wants to go home again, he’d better find his missing partner before they do. But if he’s caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth that lives in his own flesh – and discovering just how far he’ll go to survive the night.