Bill Thompson became a corporate entrepreneur early. At age 12 he started a company to buy and sell coins. By age 25 he had started an insurance agency that ultimately became one of the largest in Oklahoma. Expanding that firm and adding more, Bill created a financial services holding company that operated in several states plus Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and England.
If variety is the spice of life, author Bill Thompson’s life so far has been spicy for sure! Over the years, and in no particular order, he’s been:
- an international insurance broker
- a mayor
- head of a state prison board
- a stockbroker
- a newspaper reporter
- a Bourbon Street piano player
- a corporate entrepreneur
- presented to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
- in jail (briefly … and wrongly!)
- a goat herder
- a church organist and choir member
- a real estate broker
- a world traveler
- president of an animal shelter
- a husband, father and grandfather
- an observer at a knighting in Westminster
- a fluent Russian speaker
- a passenger on the Concorde
- a caregiver
- a lifetime dog lover
- an award-winning novelist
Bill has always had a burning interest in archaeological finds, mysteries of the past, unexplained things in the jungle and stories of adventure in remote places. Over the years he traveled extensively around the world and visited sites such as Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, Avebury, Egypt, Petra and many ancient Olmec, Aztec and Maya cities in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.
Bill and his wife live in Dallas, Texas with three dogs, travel a lot, eat and drink well and have fun living life.
On The Strangest Thing (2014):
“The people who proofread my books tell me this is the best one yet. I know it was the most fun to write. The book’s about a dislikable American President who is passionate about archaeology, enough to go alone into the depths of a temple to see a discovery. Apparently something’s been found that is so different – so unusual – that it defies logic and explanation.
When the President disappears his successor enlists the help of Brian Sadler, his old friend and an amateur archaeologist. Brian travels to Mexico, gets embroiled in a power struggle and finds more than he bargained for – The Strangest Thing.
The mysteries of how Egyptians, Indians in Mexico, Central and South America and others managed to create massive temples soaring hundreds of feet high have always fascinated me. I think it’s ludicrous to insist that these primitive people suddenly evolved somehow into master architects and builders when less than a hundred years before, they were farmers and warriors. It defies logic.
So who helped these people build their temples? Who taught them how to raise 200,000 pound stones eighty feet into the air and stack them so perfectly that you can’t slip a piece of paper between them? Someone did. It just makes sense to me.
Read The Strangest Thing and tell me if you agree it could have happened this way.”
On The Bethlehem Scroll (2009):
“My continued interest in archaeological adventure caused me to write The Bethlehem Scroll in 2009. This novel introduced Brian Sadler as the lead character. A Dallas stockbroker whose firm ends up in trouble with the authorities because of ties to the mob, Sadler encounters a strange twist of fate. He ends up owning an antiquities gallery on Fifth Avenue in New York City and begins a search for a scroll which is potentially the rarest document on earth.
This book included a number of scenarios that were of real interest to me. First was the crazy life of a stockbroker in a firm which deals right on the edge of ethics, and which occasionally steps over to the wrong side. In my business dealings I ran across a firm like this one. Although the events I portray in The Bethlehem Scroll are fiction, many of the scenes at the stock brokerage firm are based on my observations during high-flying, exciting times in the 1980s.
The second interest of mine that plays out in this book was the cities of Dallas and New York. I’ve always loved both – in fact I ultimately moved from Oklahoma to Dallas a few years ago. They both have an exciting, crazy side to them. Things move faster in cities – especially in New York – and I try in The Bethlehem Scroll to let my love for these places show as Brian Sadler maneuvers around the ups and downs of his life.
Finally, I have always been fascinated by the story of the birth of Christ. I’m a committed Christian and writing the parts of the book that deal with the eyewitness events of that spectacular night were the most fun of all for me. Who knows what it was really like? The Bethlehem Scroll gave me the chance to portray it through the eyes of a young shepherd boy. That was a real thrill.”
On Ancient: A Search for the Lost City of the Mayas (2013):
“My most interesting travels have been to the jungles formerly occupied by the Mayan civilization. My oldest childhood friend and his wife own and run a beautiful resort called Mystic River in the jungle in Belize, not far from the town of San Ignacio and the border with Guatemala. From there I have taken many trips to see the great Mayan cities which have been excavated. It was a natural progression to go from my passionate interest in the Maya to a book about them.
Many of the things that happen in Ancient are based on personal experiences. Brian Sadler’s accident and subsequent time deep in a Guatemalan cave have been embellished, but the basic event actually happened to me in 2012 in the very cave I describe. Several other scenes in this book are recreations of my time in the jungles of Belize and Guatemala. The towns I depict are all real and mostly as I describe them.
Brian Sadler’s character is expanded a lot in this book and it was interesting and fulfilling to allow Brian to get involved in some major archaeological mysteries while I, the author, got to live vicariously through him.
In the next book, The Strangest Thing, Brian Sadler continues his exploits in the Mayan ruins, this time in one of my favorite places, Palenque, Mexico.”
On The Legend of Gunners Cove (2012):
“I actually wrote this entire book in 1980, attempted to market it through the normal literary channels, and received two dozen rejection letters. The entire manuscript went into a file and I forgot about it. As I began writing the sequel to my first book I ran across this one and gave it to my wife to read. It had no title and was full of references to things that were important in 1980 but not so much in the twenty-first century – things like pay phones that cost a dime, sitting at a soda fountain in the drugstore and driving the fanciest, most expensive car on the market – a Cadillac.
My wife urged me to revive this book. I decided that was a good idea. At first I thought of making it a sequel to The Bethlehem Scroll, but the story line required major changes if I were to insert Brian Sadler and his life into a book I had already written. I originally intended this book to be for teenagers and I think it will still be as fun today as I thought it would in 1980.
I updated many parts of the book to modernize it but left the basic story line as it was originally written. This was a fun book to write many years ago, a fun book to update and it was good to see it finally in print in December 2012.”