Danvers teacher publishes first novel set in 2 decades of creation

DANVERS, MA — More than two decades after Danvers teacher Sue Thomson began her avid writing project, the first orders for “Trevor” shipped this week.

“It’s one of those things that’s like, ‘Oh my God. It really happened,'” Thomson said. “It’s no longer a dream. It’s happening.”

Thomson, who grew up in Topsfield and teaches sixth grade English language arts at Middleton, told Patch that she started writing the “Trevor” story more than 20 years ago before a family and a rapidly growing career only put his creative writing projects on the shelf. .

But as her three children grew into adults, she said she found time to add to the story here and there, until a little nudge from her family led her to determine that it was time or never to finish and publish the book.

“Three years ago they looked at me and said, ‘Are you going to do this or what?'” she said. “They were encouraging. But they were also saying, ‘You’re either going to do it or stop talking about it.'”

Thomson, who wrote the book under the pen name Hilbre S. Thomson, chose the old course and completed the book with the help of an editor. During this time, she shared the process of writing, editing, and making tough content decisions with her students.

The book, which is available on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites for print or digital delivery, began shipping Monday with pre-ordered copies arriving Wednesday.

“It’s a lot of work that has been put into this,” she said. “Now it’s up to me to talk to people and get them to bring printed copies, so there’s still work to be done.”

Thomson said she had spent this week marketing the book – with some North Bank cafes agreeing to sell hard copies.

The story centers on a North Carolina father named Matt Stone who experiences tragedy with his wife and son. He then moves to New England where he meets a boy named Trevor, who reminds Matt so much of his deceased son that the father begins to struggle with reality and develops an obsession that leads down a dangerous path.

“I wanted to write something suspenseful,” she said. “I like the kind of books where you’re thinking all the time you’re reading.

“I wanted to create a character who’s supposed to be the bad guy. But you feel for him because he’s been through so much.”

Head here for more information about the book, the local author, or arrange a book signing.

(Scott Souza is a Patch field editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at Scott.Souza@Patch.com. Twitter: @Scott_Souza).

Irene B. Bowles