WALLENPAUPACK - Author John Thompson visited Wallenpaupack’s North Intermediate and Middle School on December 20th. Born in the Midwest, Thompson attended Middlebury College, where he developed a serious interest in writing.

Although he considered a writing career, Thompson became an investment banker in New York City so that he could provide support and stability for his family. Twenty years later, Thompson realized he was truly passionate about writing. Consequently, he resigned from his banking position and devoted himself to becoming a published author. Since he launched his second career, Thompson has concentrated on crafting thrillers and mysteries adults and middle grade readers.

During his presentation to the fifth and sixth graders, Thompson shared his background and writing philosophy. “My daughter wanted me to write a book that she would like to read. I asked her to bring me five of her favorites. This helped me to connect with what she and her peers would find interesting. The result is The Girl from Felony Bay, a 2013 Junior Library Guild Selection.”

The plot concerns two girls, Abby and Bee, who live on an island plantation near Charleston, SC. Together, they solve a couple of mysteries, tangle with a bully as well as some alligators and poisonous snakes, learn a lot about themselves and their intertwined family histories, right an enduring social wrong, and nearly lose their lives in the process. The sequel will be released in fall 2014. During Thompson’s visit to the Wallenpaupack schools, he read an excerpt that depicted the strength of Abby’s character.

The students listened intently to the way that Abby handled someone who was bullying a boy on the bus. Hooked by Thompson’s reading, the students and teachers anxiously inquired about when they couldread the novel. Anticipating their interest, the principals had purchased several copies, which Thompson graciously signed. Classroom teachers will provide opportunities for the students to read the copies.

Before he left, Thompson encouraged the students to understand how failure leads to success. “You see me as a successful author. You might be surprised to know that my first four submissions were rejected. However, each rejection taught me something about writing and crafting a novel. Career Coordinator for the district, Colleen Edwards, appreciated Thompson’s passion for writing and for sharing this intriguing, mystery novel with Wallenpaupack students.