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King University News :: King Counseling Director Feels Connected to Novels

King faculty and staff member Chuck Thompson, not only calls Bristol, Tenn., home, it's also become the setting for his detective novels, The Natasha McMorales Mysteries.

Thompson’s vision for the books was created through various people Thompson has met throughout his professional career. Thompson was born in Greenville, Texas. His family was known for being free-thinkers who valued individual creativity.

Chuck's mother had him in art classes with adults while he was still in grade school. The family went to art museums, listened to jazz, and while Chuck was a junior in high school he took an adult class in existential philosophy at a nearby college with his father.

I graduated from North Central College with a degree in psychology. Then went onto further my education at Wheaton College Graduate School, where I received my master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, Thompson said.

After several different career paths, Thompson and his wife Barb settled in Bristol, Tenn., where for the past twenty years, Thompson has served as director of King College’s Counseling Center. In addition to counseling, Thompson has always had an interest in the arts and became interested in writing several years ago. His inspiration for the Natasha McMorales series came from the people he met on daily basis.

I enjoy writing mysteries and the characters are the driving force behind the books, Thompson said. The books are a lot more character driven than plot driven.

Thompson has written a total of four books in the Why? series. Each one poses a different question and scenario. The books leave the reader wanting to know more. Thompson says there is a theory as to why the way the book is told.

You [the reader] have to invent what happens first. Gradually throughout the book, the characters uncover what happens, Thompson said.

When asked about juggling a professional career and writing, Thompson easily separated the two. My professional job is my occupation, he said. Writing is a hobby I feel blessed to be able to do.

Thompson says building time into your schedule to write can be challenging. He said it's not just about sitting down and writing for fifteen minutes.

I started writing “Why Bristol? Murder at BMS” last summer. During the summer months, I wrote 10,000 words. By the time November rolled around, I couldn't write anymore, Thompson said. “I didn't pick the draft up again until after graduation this past May. The book was completed by early August 2012 and ready for publication.

In September, Thompson performed a reading of his latest novel “Why Bristol?” during the Rhythm Roots Reunion, a festival held annually in downtown Bristol TN/VA.

To learn more about Thompson's books, including the Natasha McMorales series, visit www.csthompsonbooks.com or email csthomps@king.edu.