ABOUT M THOMAS LONG
M Thomas Long has been a writer, speaker, and trainer for over 20 years. He and his wife of 32 years live just outside Nashville, TN. He has one daughter, and as of last spring, a son-in-law.
Blue Monday marks his entry into the world of fiction writing, something he will tell you has been on his life list for many years, but he just never took the time to make it happen. During a near fatal incident, one of the main regrets he felt was that he never wrote the books that were inside him wanting to be written.
In Blue Monday, his first fiction novel, he draws from a rich and varied background that includes designing and performing as a concert stage lighting designer with Grammy award winning artists, working alongside many pastors and celebrities, and traveling the country working as a Microsoft technical trainer.
His hobbies include reading, golf, motorcycles, drawing, running, guitar (ok, a little guitar), songwriting with his daughter, and traveling with his wife.
Visit M Thomas Long’s site: http://www.mthomaslong.com
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Determination. I love challenges and I’ve taken on quite a few in my life and I find the pressure to succeed at something quite invigorating.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
Impatience. I don’t like to sit around and wait when I could be doing something to move me toward my goal, and as a result, I’ve been known to get a bit impatient. I’ve learned that my lack of patience usually ends up hurting me in the end and I also realize that sometimes it’s just ‘not time’ for whatever task I’ve taken on. I’m the same way with my writing. I like to keep the story moving and once I’ve completed the first draft, I’m ready to get busy and get it done.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
I think of all the usual suspects, my personal favorite is from Zig Ziglar. “If you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, you’re going to keep on getting what you’ve been getting.” As I get older, I’m becoming more and more convinced that we are here to learn and mature, not accumulate and hoard…and that includes everything about us. I believe we are our brother’s keeper.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Being a husband for 33 years and walking my daughter down the aisle at her wedding are probably the two biggest, but writing my first novel, Blue Monday, and getting the great reviews that I’ve been receiving has been quite a rush!
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I can remember. I loved writing assignments in school and found them to be easy A’s. Writing has also been a great strength to me in my corporate life as well.
What inspired you to write your first book?
First of all, the belief that I could write a book as good as many of the books that I was reading. I heard Stephen King in an interview say that if you are reading books thinking ‘I can write a book like this, maybe even better, then just do it!’
Second, was my experience in working closely with pastors in various roles in my life. Their lives are extremely tough and demanding, yet few in their congregation realize it.
What made you want to be a writer?
That’s kind of like asking ‘what made you like country music?’ or ‘what made you like football?’ It’s just been there for as long as I can remember.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Just the discipline required to keep writing when it just doesn’t come to you. Some parts of the book come at you so fast that you have trouble writing it all down quickly enough, and other days, you just stare at the screen, write a couple of lines and then delete them and wonder if maybe your mother-in-law wasn’t right all along…
Do you intend to make writing a career?
I would absolutely love for writing to be my only career, but that decision is out of my hands somewhat. I will write my best and see if I find enough readers who keep coming back for more!
Matt McAllister is the pastor of the fifth largest church in his state. He was a very public opponent of the lottery. When he accidentally purchases a ticket, he is stunned but his children are elated.His plan: throw the ticket away, protect his position as a minister and avoid wrestling with the very real temptation to take the money and run…even if the odds are millions to one. His children’s plan: rescue the ticket from the trash, wait for the drawing and start deciding on cars, vacation homes, and travel destinations.
Long before the drawing takes place, Matt struggles to deal with the responsibilities and challenges of being a pastor, a father, and a husband as he deals with a long list of people and circumstances ranging from eclectic and funny, to frustrating and sad.
Matt begins each day determined to put the situation with the ticket behind him. The harder he works to deal with it, the bigger it gets. Every effort to avoid the potential damage the situation could cause makes it spin out of control even faster as new circumstances unfold.
Then the drawing takes place.
Suddenly, there’s at least 186 million reasons, some hilarious, some tragic, that Matt’s life, family, friends, and church will never be the same.”