I’ve got another author q&a for you all today. Mary Turner Thomson kindly agreed to answer my questions for this one!
About the author:
Mary Turner Thomson was born and grew up in Edinburgh, she got a BA Hons degree from Newcastle in Creative and Performing Arts in 1987, and a Marketing Diploma from Napier University in 1992.
She has worked as a business adviser, marketing consultant and motivational trainer before writing her first book – THE OTHER MRS JORDAN – IN 2006. That autobiography was then updated and reprinted as THE BIGAMIST in 2007. In 2009 Mary worked on another biography with Natalie Hutchison about overcoming adversity – TRADING PLACES – which was published in 2009.
Mary is currently working on her first novel – a psychological thriller.
FaceBook Mary Turner Thomson
About The Bigamist:
In April 2006, Mary Turner Thomson received a call that blew her life apart. The woman on the other end of the line told her that Will Jordan, Mary’s husband and the father of her two younger children, had been married to her for fourteen years and they had five children together.
The Bigamist is the shocking true story of how one man manipulated an intelligent, independent woman, conning her out of £200,000 and leaving her to bring up the children he claimed he could never have.
It’s a story we all think could never happen to us, but this shameless con man has been doing the same thing to various other women for at least 27 years, spinning a tangled web of lies and deceit to cover his tracks.
How far would you go to help the man you love? How far would he go to deceive you? And what would you do when you found out it was all a lie?
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Mary Turner Thomson and I am an author (of international best-selling book ‘The Bigamist’), trainer, and motivational speaker.
How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
If someone had asked me as a child what my dream job would be it would have been to be an author – but I never in a million years even articulated that dream because I never thought it remotely possible. It was only when the most extraordinary thing happened to me that I realized I had a story that simply had to be told. In 2006 I found out that my ‘husband’ – with whom I had been in a relationship for 6 years – was a bigamist and a con man who actively impregnates women to rip them off for money. So I investigated further and discovered a pattern of behavior which involved sometimes 5-6 relationships at once, 13 children by 6 different women, numerous businesses that he had defrauded and criminal convictions ranging back 23 years. All this from the seemingly mild-mannered, charming, kind man whom I had initially met (which had dissolved in our later relationship to my living in constant fear for my and our children’s lives from people he swore he was keeping us safe from). The book wrote itself in relating my relationship with this man, my discovery and understanding of sociopaths/psychopaths, as well as all the information I discovered including the other women’s and businesses stories.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?
I have been told that it is ‘like watching a train crash in slow motion’. You know what is happening and scream ‘no!’ but can’t stop it. The most common response I get is that people ‘can’t put it down’.
Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Being able to change perceptions about this type of crime, to raise awareness of psychopaths and how they function, and to change the social culture of ‘victim-shaming’ when this type of thing happens. 100 years ago women who were raped were branded ‘loose’ or must have ‘asked for it’ if they had worn the wrong clothes or smiled at the wrong man. Nowadays we ALL know that is wrong. When someone lies to you to get money it is called ‘fraud’ and illegal, and yet when a person lies to us to get sex (or create babies to manipulate someone) it is not even seen as a crime – unless money is also involved. That is fundamentally wrong.
People today are looking for love and when find a partner it is natural to trust them. Psychopaths use that, and quickly manipulate their victims into a position where they don’t question or doubt their partner. It is brainwashing and the psychopaths are cripplingly good at it! More so because the victim is branded ‘stupid’ if they admit what has happened. I had thought it more likely for me to win the lottery than be caught in the sights of a psychopath. I have since learnt that they make up about 1% of the population – that is 1 in 100 people! FAR more common that you would think!
I get letters a couple of times a week from people all over the world who have read my book thanking me for standing up and talking about this, because something similar happened to then and no-one has understood. Often they have remained silent on the subject and not told even close friends of the manipulation and emotional abuse because they are worried about being branded ‘stupid’, or ‘gullable,’ or ‘desperate’. In some cases my book has even woken victims up to what is happening so that they can get free of their psychopathic relationships. On several occasions victims of the same man have read my book and come to understand what has happed to them as well, contacting me afterwards to share stories and experiences.
Knowing I have helped those people, and made a difference is the best thing about being a published author.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
Nothing – I love it all. I have always revered authors and to be classed amongst their ranks is an honour.
Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
I have several more books I want to write including a couple of novels (psychological thrillers of course). So watch this space!
What’s next for you?
More writing, more reading, more publishing, more life.
I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
I read a lot (every night) and don’t really stick to one genre.
Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
Lucky by Alice Sebold
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Belgariad series by David Eddings
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Yes, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I swear that woman has a time machine and visits the places she writes about. I admire her style so much!
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a single mum and run a business as well so time is a very precious commodity!
Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
I got my black belt in Taekwon Do in 2010. I started in 2006 – having put Will Jordan in jail and going public with the story I wanted to be sure I could defend myself if he should come seeking me out when he was released. So I do that to keep fit and strong. My kids do it as well and my two younger children have been selected to represent Scotland in the Pan-European ITS championships in July this year. So I spend a lot of a time as a TKD mum ferrying them to training sessions etc.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
A cottage in Arisaig on West Coast of Scotland. Family around, no electronics, the most stunning sunsets, not-too-freezing sea, card games and a fire to roast marshmallows on. Lush!
My mother’s cooking – sadly not tasted for 10 years.
Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
Because there is magic in the written word, an immortality which transcends all other mediums. When we read a book we are not aware we are reading words printed on a page. We are transported into the story far more vividly than a dream so that it has a reality all of its own. It is timeless and revered and being part of that is a tremendous honour.
Huge thanks to Mary for this super-interesting Q&A! 🙂