7 Minutes in Book Heaven with Lin Thompson and The House That Whispers

Welcome to our Summer of Book Love series!

Every Tuesday this summer we will feature new episodes of 7 Minutes in Book Heaven which has your next summer read! New episodes of This Queer Book Saved My Life! drop this September.

Today we meet Lin Thompson and their new novel: The House That Whispers.

What’s it about? Eleven-year-old Simon and his siblings, Talia and Rose, are staying the week at Nanaleen’s century-old house. This time, though, it’s not their usual summer vacation trip. In fact, everything’s different. It’s fall, not summer. Mom and Dad are staying behind to have a “talk.” And Nanaleen’s house smells weird, plus she keeps forgetting things. And these aren’t the only things getting under Simon’s skin: He’s the only one who knows that his name is Simon, and that he and him pronouns are starting to feel right. But he’s not ready to add to the changes that are already in motion in his family.

Buy The House That Whispers

Visit our Bookshop or buy directly right now: https://bookshop.org/a/82376/9780316277112

We also talk about When the Angels Left The Old Country by Sacha Lamb. Buy it here: https://bookshop.org/a/82376/9781646141760

Connect with Lin Thompson

Website: linthompson.com
Instagram: @linthompsonbooks
Twitter: @lin__thompson

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Quatrefoil Library

Quatrefoil has created a curated lending library made up of the books featured on our podcast! If you can’t buy these books, then borrow them! Link: https://libbyapp.com/library/quatrefoil/curated-1404336/page-1

Credits

Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith
Patreon Subscribers: Stephen D., Thomas Michna, and Gary Nygaard.

Transcript

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J.P. Der Boghossian

Welcome to 7 Minutes in Book Heaven. My name is J.P. Der Boghossian. I’m an essayist, Lambda Literary Fellow, and founder of the Queer Armenian Library. And this is the podcast where I interview LGBTQ authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and to cuddle up with. This is part of our Summer of Book Love series. Every Tuesday, for the rest of the summer we have your next book to read at the beach, or the pool, or in your bedroom next to the air conditioner. New episodes of This Queer Book Saved My Life! return on September 18! With me today is Lin Thompson, hello!

 

Lin Thompson:

Hello, Hi.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

It’s so good to have you here.

 

Lin Thompson:

I’m so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Absolutely so Lin and I are going to spend seven minutes in this virtual studio talking about their new book The House That Whispers, while also getting to know more about the amazing human and writer who is Lin Thompson. So, Lin, are you ready?

 

Lin Thompson:

Yes, I am.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Okay! I will set the timer and here we are. Question number one. Would you please describe the house that whispers, as if you’re sharing it with your celebrity crush and telling us who that celebrity is, of course.

 

Lin Thompson:

Yes, For this, I’m going to say that my celebrity crash is Brandy Carlyle, and I feel like her whole. I feel like her whole vibe is like sitting on a porch in the woods of the Pacific North West, like surrounded by trees, And I think she’s talked about that like she basically lives in a cabin in the woods, and then all the surrounding cabins in the woods are like. her friends and family also live there. So That’s the vibe that that we’re kind of setting. So I’m just imagining like we’re on her back porch and we’re sipping ice tea, and I’m telling her about my middle grade novel The house that whispers, which is about an eleven year old trans kid and his two sisters as they investigate a ghost at their grandmother’s haunted house, but along the way as they’re hunting for the ghost, then that the hunt turns up some more family secrets and also feel, Then then any of them anticipated.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Ooh, family secrets! Exciting! Okay, question number two. What’s a sentence from a novel, poem or other book that every time you read it, it gives you all the feels?

 

Lin Thompson:

I really love that Emily Dickinson line about Tell the truth, but tell it slant. I just I love that one so much because isn’t that what fiction writing is? In a way? It’s kind of like I think so much about, kind of balancing this. like you know, writing from life and writing, pulling from the real emotions of life and you know, my own experiences, but also everything Right is made up. And it’s like I love the way that fiction becomes a way of telling the truth, but it’s in a way easier than just you know, for me at least than just kind of telling real life. It’s like a way of getting at all of these emotional truths, But but slant, as Emily Dickinson would say,

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

It’s a good one. That is a good one. That’s a good writing advice. Okay, question number three, what do you feel is the best sentence you’ve ever written?

 

Lin Thompson:

Oh, if I’m being totally honest, the best sentence that I’ve written isn’t something that is not published yet, so we’ll skip over that one, But in the house that whispers, my favorite line comes near the end, and without giving too much away, so the first line of the book is Simon, Is my secret name, because the main character Simon has chosen his name now that he’s realized that he’s trans, and that he pronounces it right for him. So he knows that he Simon, But he hasn’t come out to anyone else yet, So throughout the book, Um, when his family and the characters around him call him by his old name, then he kind of mentally corrects, and and in the narration Um, you know, corrects it to Simon, but near the end when he has come out to some people, then someone calls him by Simon, and he doesn’t have to correct it. And so the the line that I I think the most proud of is he thinks. Just like that, Simon isn’t my secret name. It’s just my name, And that’s a line that made me so happy to write and and made me happy every time I have re. read it to you.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Totally see that. Oh, I love that. I do want to know what the other sentence is from the unpublished works. But okay, we’ll move on. Question number four. What’s the best romantic scene you’ve ever read?

 

Lin Thompson:

One that I really love and have not stopped thinking about since I read. It is in When the Angels left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb, which is not a romance book specifically. It’s kind of like a historical adventure, fantasy, Jewish folk lore. It’s amazing. it’s so good, but it centers on this angel and demon who have been studied Artners for centuries, Um, and are also in love in whatever capacity that means, And there’s a scene when they both end up at a dance hall in turn of the century in New York City. Um, and the angel has had alcohol for the first time in his life, and ends up like cupping its hands around the demon’s face and staring deeply into the demon’s eyes, and just thinking about, like what a miracle it is that they’re both here That they know each other, and just like how amazing the demon is And it’s incredibly snappy and I’m obsessed with it. It’s the whole book is so good, but that moment specifically is just it’s beautiful.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

That is so cute? We’ll link to that in the show notes and on the website so folks can read that. Okay, question number five. What are your favorite smells to write about?

 

Lin Thompson:

Favorite. I think as a person just in real life, I tend not to notice nice smells. Um, or not to notice smells. Until there they’re really bad smells. And then I can’t stop noticing them, so I actually have a much easier time writing gross smells than I do all the pleasant and nice smells, So it’s much more fun. I think to write that now, something that will make the readers nose wrinkle, which comes in very handy in writing a haunted house book. Well, Um, because I definitely really leaned into like using. you know, the musty kind of sour, gross smell of the house like that kind of like sitting water, smell, um, is one of the ones I just always you know, put in if I can, because I feel like it’s so fun to like. It’s such a visceral kind of. It’s much easier for me to conjure up and then try to find ways to describe, then describing like, Oh fresh cut grass. You know something nice. So I’ve just leaned into it.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

I’ve learned through this podcast how much water can smell like. It’s something I never really thought about before and then answer. I’m like, Oh yeah, and water is smelly.

 

Lin Thompson:

Yeah, and it’s often times bad smells.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

I know, right? Question number six. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever got?

 

Lin Thompson:

This is. I’ll just say I know this is not bad advice for everyone, but the worst advice for me is the right every day, because I know that for a lot of people than that is a really helpful habit. but I think for me I spent a lot of time feeling very guilty and very much like an impostor, because that isn’t a system that works for me, And and because I, you know, my kind of natural creative process is much more like bursts of creative energy and a kind of hyper focus. Then like I’ll go for days turning things out, But then I also kind of need periods of like a reset and stepping back,

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Hm.

 

Lin Thompson:

And you know sometimes it’s life gets in the way, but sometimes it’s just my brain is not equipped to do that every day, so I think it has actually been really helpful for me to develop enough self awareness to recognize that I’m allowed to have a different creative process than that.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

So many writers have brought that up on this show and we need to like put it on a mantra, like on t shirts or bookmarks, or like M. F.A. programs.

 

Lin Thompson:

I’m glad other people brought. I’m glad other people have brought it up. because yeah, I feel like I heard that all the time. And and it took some time to unpack that that’s not universal advice.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Yes, Okay, Well, technically we’re out of time, but we need this last question. So question number seven. Promote yourself! How do we order your book? How do we follow you on social?

 

Lin Thompson:

My book is actually out now; it just came out end of February, so you can order it from your favorite book store. Or you can request at your local library On socials. I am on Instagram at Lin Thompson Books. All one word. I’m not very much on Twitter these days, but I am technically on Twitter at Lynn underscore Thompson.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Fantastic. Thank you so much Line for being with us here today.

 

Lin Thompson:

Thank you so much for having me. This was so much fun.

 

J.P. Der Boghossian

Well, thanks everyone for listening today. This podcast is Executive Produced by Jim Pounds. Our Associate Producers are Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Ollila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shea, and Sean Smith.

Visit our Bookshop to buy the books featured on our podcasts as well as to browse new collections specifically curated by me. thisqueerbook.com/bookshop We’re @thisqueerbook on Facebook and Instagram. I’m also @jp_derboghossian on TikTok where I tok about LGBTQ books! Be here next Tuesday for the next in our Summer of Book Love series. Until then, see you queers and allies in the bookstores.

 

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