|C. Kevin Thompson|
It wasn’t too long ago. I was sitting in my office, tapping away at the keyboard, trying to meet a deadline, when the doorbell rang. Our oldest daughter and her family had arrived. An expected visit to drop off our two grandsons so Mom and Dad would go out and remember why they started this whole plan years ago.
“He’s in his office.”
He bebopped in, a big smile on his face. “Hey, Papa.”
“Hey, buddy. Did you come to see me?” I extended my arms for a hug.
“Yep.” He gives me a hug and looks at the computer screen. “Whatchadoin’?”
Wanting to see how the wheels would turn in that over-imaginative head of his, I said, “Papa is writing a book.” (I knew it would spark interest because he’d just started learning how to read, and books were such a new, “cool” thing to him.)
“You’re writing a book?” The look on his face was precious. The wonder in his eyes and the astonishment in his tone said it all.
“Did you know Papa has already written a book? As a matter of fact, Papa has written two books so far.” I got up, went to the bookshelf, and retrieved my copies of The Serpent’s Grasp and 30 Days Hath Revenge and handed them to him.
“Whoa,” he said, mesmerized by their thickness and weight compared to the Dr. Seuss books he’d been devouring of late. “You wrote these?”
I nodded and took one of them. I opened it to the author page in the back and showed him my picture. “You know this guy?”
I’ll never forget the look on his face. Wonderment mixed with a sense of pride is the only way I can describe it. “Yeah. That’s you,” he said with a big grin.
He stared at my picture. He then flipped the book back to the front cover and studied it. “Thirty days hath revenge,” he said, sounding out the words and saying them as perfectly as a six-year old could. He continued, “C. Kevin Thompson.” He looks up at me. “Hey, that’s you.”
My smile was bigger on the inside. “Sure is, buddy.”
“That’s pretty cool, Papa.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
He nodded, still gazing at the cover. “I don’t like the blood on the cover, though (He was looking at the first edition cover).”
“You know what? Neither do I. That’s why we’re changing it.” I opened the file on my computer, and showed him what the new cover looked like.
He squinted as if someone had just asked him to eat earthworms for breakfast. “I don’t like that one, either. It’s scary.”
“Well, buddy,” I said, “it’s a big people book, so I wouldn’t expect someone your age to like it.” However, I was thinking, “Yes! If he thinks it’s scary, maybe adults will be intrigued.” (We’re always looking for encouragement, aren’t we? Wherever we can find it.)
Landon set the book down, gave me another hug, and peered at the computer screen again. “Do you think I could ever write a book when I get older?”
Folks, that’s when everything crystallized for me.
I know, as writers, we dream, plan, even fantasize about the “what ifs?” and the “possibilities.” I know we agonize about the “could’ves,” “should’ves,” and “would’ves.” We get mired in shop talk about advertising, bottom lines, and latest trends. We get “acronymed” to death with ROIs, CBAs, KDPs, BBs, and WIPs. OMG, right?
For me, though—after that conversation with my grandson—this entire writing journey is more about a legacy than it is about legal tender. I want Landon, and my other grandchildren—all five of them—to not only have a love for reading, but see it as something more. I want them to ask me questions about the biz. I would love for them to go to a writers’ conference with me someday. Know that there’s a world out there we call “publishing” that encapsulates some many opportunities. And even if they never choose a career in this field, at least they can appreciate the hard work that goes into one of these things we call “a book.” That they can appreciate what chasing a dream is all about. That their love for learning, imagining, and wondering will somehow expand because of the measly words I leave on a page. That someday, they’ll pass that curiosity and desire to know along to their children, and books will be an ever-growing, integral part of their lives.
That’s when you know you’ve truly succeeded as a writer. Like the legacy a police officer leaves with his family as generation after generation of law enforcement officers flow from that fountainhead. Or the teacher who examines her family tree only to find various kinds of educators strewn throughout the branches. A writer who produces a legacy of book lovers, however that love manifests itself in the way of a career, is what it is all about for me. That’s what keeps me writing.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 (KJV), “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” “All these things”—what we will eat, what we will wear, the things of this world we need to exist—Jesus said would happen. It was a promise by Emmanu-el, The With Us God. There’s just one thing we must do: His kingdom and His righteousness must be sought after first. Of course, that means we must repurpose our personal lives every day in this pursuit. However, in that quest, we leave a wake. We leave a footprint. We leave a legacy. And I can think of no better legacy than to have my children and grandchildren “seek ye first” as well, and when doing so, take pride in knowing Papa T applied what he learned and became in Christ to some words on a page.
I can’t imagine being that author who’s at the top of every bestseller list known to man, yet he’s also the author with children and grandchildren who are disinterested in learning. Always in trouble with the law because of a lack of education. Always in the headlines, not because of who they are, but because of who I am as the bestselling writer. Yeah, I know there are many tangibles and intangibles involved in the entire process we call “parenting,” but establishing a legacy that lasts is so important.
Someday, I’m hoping Landon will be able to hug his son or daughter, and when their old enough, be able to hold one of my books in his hands and say something like, “Did you know Papa T wrote this? As a matter of fact, he’s written a bunch of books.” Then, he takes his child over to the bookshelf and pulls one after another after another off the shelf, watching the same gleam twinkle in the eyes of his child.
And who knows, that little guy or gal just might wind up being the next Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Or maybe he or she writes a treaty that mends fences between two warring nations. Or maybe he or she becomes the next Edward Stratemeyer or Pleasant Rowland.
As wonderful as those possibilities sound, all those crowns will be tossed at the feet of Jesus. It is my prayer that the legacy they leave will be their crown.
A Clandestine Mission.
A Cryptic Message.
A Chaste Promise.
Blake Meyer dreamed of a peaceful end to a dutiful career with the FBI. Married now, his life was taking him in a new direction—a desk job. He would be an analyst. Ride it out until retirement. Be safe so he could enjoy his grandchildren some day.
But when a notable member of the IRA is murdered in a London flat, Blake’s secretive past propels him into the middle of a vindictive, international scheme so hellish and horrific, it will take everything Blake possesses—all of it—to save the United States from the most diabolical terrorist attack to date.
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). He presently works as an assistant principal in a middle school.
His latest book, 30 Days Hath Revenge - A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, is now available! Book 2 of the Blake Meyer Series, Triple Time, is now available for pre-order! Book 3, The Tide of Times, will be out in August 2017! Also, the second edition of The Serpent’s Grasp will be out in May 2017 through Hallway Publishing!
Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.
To connect with Kevin and learn more, please visit:
Kevin’s Writer’s Blog: www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/
Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson