Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2011

Baldwin City native gets first book published

Glenna Thompson, who was raised in Baldwin City, had her book “The Chicken Club” (inset) published last month. Her second book is to be published in September.

Glenna Thompson, who was raised in Baldwin City, had her book “The Chicken Club” (inset) published last month. Her second book is to be published in September.

May 5, 2011

The manuscript of Glenna Thompson’s book “The Chicken Club” sat on her shelf after she wrote it six years ago, taking up twice the space it does now.

While on her shelf, Thompson wrote her second book and survived a battle with melanoma. It was then she decided to rewrite “The Chicken Club,” cutting the size of the book in half. Now, the book has been published and Thompson has the finished version in her hands.

“I’m still pinching myself,” Thompson said. “I’ve got a copy of it in my hands and I still am going ‘what the heck.’ Those are my words but how did they get there. It’s still pretty much a fairy tale.”

The process did not happen overnight, nor was it traditional. Instead of going through a publisher directly, Thompson went through an agent. After five months and sending the book to more than 200 agents, a small, digital publishing company, owned by the publisher Random House, published the book.

“It was even more difficult than I thought, but I’m pretty tenacious,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. We were going to find a market somehow.”

The book is published on-demand and can be purchased online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Boarders and will soon be sold at Wal Mart. On April 22, “The Chicken Club” broke into the top 72,000 items sold on Amazon after starting out 1.2 million items down on the list.

While Thompson’s second book, “The Right Thing,” is set to be released in either September or October, and she is currently working on a third book, this is not her only job. Thompson works for Traveler’s Insurance and devotes about 15 hours a week to writing, mainly on weekends.

While Thompson is hoping the success of the books could create a new career path for her, currently her writing is still her second job.

“The drive is there, so you just, you find time,” Thompson said. “And sometimes it’s pretty scary because you will get into a groove and you’ll look up and it’s 2 a.m., and you’ve got to get up and go to work the next day.”

Thompson said her mother, Doris Harrison, has been involved in the process the entire way and became the proofreader for the draft of her books. Harrison’s writing experience includes writing school news for the Baldwin City Ledger while Thompson was growing up.

Now, Thompson lives in Leawood and her parents live in Florida, but Thompson and Harrison talk about the books every step of the way. The two share a love of writing; writing which Thompson has dreamed about her entire life.

“She loves it. She loves writing,” Harrison said. “I know she has a busy lifestyle and it’s a real commitment on her part, but I also see that she loves what she does.”

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