James Whitfield Thomson was not always on the path to becoming a novelist. A former sales executive and U.S. Navy navigator in Vietnam, he recently published his first novel, “Lies You Wanted to Hear,” at the age of 68. Though he didn’t begin writing until his mid-40s, Thomson has published several short stories, one of which won a national prize. Still, he never had much luck with his novel manuscripts. In fact, he says he’s probably been rejected about 250 times for three novels, a memoir, and a book of short stories – all submitted through prestigious agents.