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Monday, August 1, 2011

Meet Dale Thompson (AKA Pat Dale) Guest Author

There were some great comments for C.K. Volnek and it was a pleasure to host her here. The drawing for the free gifts is done. The winner is:

Rosemary Gemmell

She will be getting her choice of either a custom made tee shirt or a free copy of Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island when it is released in September. Congratulations to our lucky winner and thank you all for the comments. Rosemary will be notified so she can decide on her gift. 

Today and all this week I am hosting Dale Thompson aka Pat Dale. He is a very unusual writer and I think you will be as charmed with his answers as I was when I interviewed him. He is also giving away a free book to the lucky winner of the commenter's drawing. So please leave him a comment or question and I know he will be happy to answer it.

Interview with Dale Thompson(AKA Pat Dale)

Thank you for being my guest.

1. First of all, which name do you like to be called, Pat or Dale?
I like to keep folks guessing. Actually, my first name is Louis, but just don’t call me late for dinner.

2. How did a music teacher become a writer? What made you want to be a writer?
Good question. I was a prodigy with my trumpet, and almost made it into a service band. A broken tooth kept me from my audition, and so I became an electronics tech in the Air Force. Later, I majored in music with a minor in English. My English profs tried to convince me to write fiction, but I saw a hot music career beckoning and went that way. Years later, I sat down one day with an idea for a novel. Three months later, I had a 130K monster staring me in the face. I haven’t stopped writing since.

3. Where do you live and does this influence your writing?
I live now in Missouri, but I’ve written novels set in various states where I resided at one time or another. And, yes, my environment plays a big part in how I write my tales. I’ve set stories in Colorado, northern Nebraska, Mississippi, and all over the scenic state of Missouri.

4. You have written in several genres including tween. Which genre is your favorite? Why?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I started writing mainstream but changed to write several romantic comedies. Romantic suspense intrigued me, and that led to my current WIPs, mystery. I have to say, though, that my romance work still creeps into the darkest, grittiest stories I pen.

5. Please take us through a typical writing day for you.
When I’m hard after one of my books, I start early in the day and do not check eMail until I’ve hit a rest spot; sometimes three or four hours later. My normal output is 1,000 to 1,500 words a day, though I’ve written as much as 7K in a good day. When my brain kicks in, I hang on for dear life and hit the keys as fast as I can. When my brain doesn’t kick in, I delete whatever dribbled onto the screen and write it off. (see #8 below)

6. Do you ever use people you know in your stories? If you do, how do you deal with it?
Yes (he he) but please don’t tell them! Seriously, I do use characteristics from many persons who’ve influenced me one way or another. That monster book I referenced above was inspired by a waitress in a café I frequented. Her hair was magnificent, chestnut brown and glossy long wavy locks that were her crowning glory (literally). Her name was Molly, and I named my character that. Normally I keep more separation between reality and fiction in my work.

7. Who has influenced your writing?
William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, among the classic writers played a part in helping me craft a style. Among contemporaries, Robert B. Parker, though I do not try to emulate his inimitable style of prose, and Lisa Jackson, whose mysteries I find fascinating.

8. Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter”?
Oh, boy. Here we go! I’m a definite pantser, and I have a theory on this that some folks will not appreciate. I wanted to be a painter in my youth, but my work resembled ‘paint by numbers’ if you’ve ever done that. That, to me, is what plotters do. I know, I know; there are lots of excellent plotters who have fantastic books to their credit. I still maintain that those books could have become ‘classics’ with a bit of ‘pantsing’. It has become something of a cliché to say that our characters write themselves onto our pages. I’ve had that happen, and had several books completely revolutionized by details I’d never have pre-plotted.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! LOL

9. Please tell us the path to publication for your first book.
Long. Crooked. Treacherous. Rife with danger! Sounds like one of my mysteries, right? The first book I thought I had a publisher for, finally got published seven years later. I had an editor who loved my book. We met at a conference after she’d read it, and she confirmed that a contract was on the way. Unknown to me, at that same conference, she had an interview with a different publisher and took a great offer, leaving me and no telling how many other writers in the lurch. Her new home didn’t publish the kind of book I’d written. Years later, an unknown but promising editor bought it and brought it to publication, along with two other romantic comedies. That wonderful lady now has her own publishing company and I’ve found a great new place to send my work. Oh, her name? Well, it’s a secret but her first initial is Lea!

10. Do you have an agent? Do you think authors need an agent?
I do not have an agent. I’d like to have found one when I really needed her, but the one who picked me up had a bad habit of submitting my work along with another writer, and sending her results on scraps of paper. I swear, that lady was the world’s worst when it came to saving the forests.
Because the world of publishing has gone through such a massive change, I think it is less necessary to have an agent now. Having said that, I would love to have a good publicist. I can write, create fascinating characters and plot points, build believable settings for the most amazing tales, but I can’t promote my own work worth a ____ (fill in the blank).

11. Tell us if you have any other books ready for publication? What are they and when will they be available?
Yes. My middle grade ZACH’S AMAZING DREAM MACHINE is coming out from Muse in September. A crazy novella, OUT OF THE BLUE is due out in November, my family saga THE EVIL WITHIN comes out next January, and the first in a new mystery series, St. Louis Blues Mysteries, TOCCATA makes its debut next April. I have another romantic suspense novel A PERFECT STRANGER, to be released by Awe-struck Publishing late this year as well.

12. Are you working on any WIP’s?
Currently, I’m hard after the second in the St. Louis Blues series, BLOOD LUST, which will reach readers next August. I have another mad-cap romantic comedy, LAST COWBOY IN TEXAS and a wild dog story MUST LOVE LARGE DOGS in the works. And that monster book I mentioned, is now ready as a two book set, but hasn’t found a publisher yet. Saving the best for last…LOL.

13. You have three books published with MuseItUp Publishing. How can people find these books? Besides the Muse Bookstore, where can people find your books?
All my Muse books mentioned above, along with, SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY and DANCE WITH THE DEVIL can be found at:
My romantic comedies, GOLDIE’S BEAR, FOR THE LOVE OF HATTIE, and DON’T BET ON IT are at:
My international romantic suspense, A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND and my psychological suspense, CROSSED LINES, can be found at

14.Are you going to be having any book signings or blog tours? Please let us know where we can find you. Do you have a blog and a website?
Don’t I wish. Our local bookstore, the one where I’d long since befriended the manager, is going out of business. I’m in a fairly small town and miles from urban centers, so I guess I’m whistlin’ Dixie on book signings for now. I have an idea though, and I’m working on it. I’d love to do a blog tour if somebody will tell me how. Remember, be nice to your elders, but you can teach new tricks to old dogs.

One last note on my name. Pat is my life partner of forty two years and counting, and is my biggest fan and harshest critic. Without her, my writing would never have matured, so I felt it proper to honor her in my pen name. Ah, those romantic Irish rogues’ll get you every time. Cheers, all.

Here are the links you provided:

Zach’s Amazing Dream Machine.

Zach Mason, a precocious seventh grader who idolizes his grandfather Gentry, writes interesting short stories for his English teacher but gets into trouble by insisting they’re true. Enrolled in entry level college classes, Zach puts his brain to work to convince his teacher and classmates his stories are true. The result is Zach’s dream machine. After contending with pal Wally, nemesis Kenneth, and sister Liz, Zach learns something about life when his scheme goes awry. He’s up to his eyebrows warding off one intrigue after another, including a sneaky science teacher who tries to steal his handiwork.

“That’s better,” our seventh-grade English teacher said. “I’m pleased we have enthusiasm for our short stories. But, we must not lose sight of the fact that they’re only stories. And,” she glared directly at him, “we must remember to show courtesy and respect for each and every storyteller. Isn’t that right, Kenneth?”
He nodded and turned away, staring out the window. I gave her a big smile, my eyes reflecting admiration for her. I’d always thought she was a pretty lady, but now my favorite teacher glowed like an angel who’d just come to my rescue.
She turned to me and said, “As for you, Zachary, I’ve told you before, you must stop claiming that your stories are true. Three times, if I’m not mistaken, I’ve told you this, and still you persist.”
So much for angel to the rescue. I glanced down at my desk when she put her hand on my shoulder. I tried to shrug it off, but she only tightened her grip on me.
“You have a remarkable grandfather, Zach. I realize that. I think we all do. But he couldn’t have possibly experienced all the wi — uh, rather unusual things you’ve told the class in your stories about him. No one person could have done all that.”
I stared up at her, wanting her to understand. “But he did. Really. I’m not making this stuff up, Miss Sorensen.”
“That will be quite enough, Zachary Mason.” Her voice had gone stern, telling me I’d better keep my mouth shut. “I am very impressed with your storytelling ability, though, something you no doubt acquired from your illustrious grandfather. These are valid short stories and will be graded as such. In fact…” Her smile came back. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you turn out some day to be another Mark Twain.”

I know I'm looking forward to reading more about this unusual boy.:) Again, thank you Dale for being my guest and hope all my readers will want to read more too!!

Until the next time, thank you to my new readers and of course, thank you to the readers who continue to follow my meanderings.:)

One last thank you to the too many to count birthday wishes I received yesterday on Facebook! Hearing from all of you made me feel very special. My birthday is over, but I will treasure all of those beautiful messages.

My next guest on the blog will be Nick Giannaras at the end of this week and on my radio show, which had to be canceled from last week and will be on the usual 4th Thursday of the month, August 25th at 3PM Central Time and 4PM EST are going to be: Eric Luper and ComedyWriterMr.J. This should be a great show and I am looking forward to speaking with Eric Luper and Mr.J again. Eric was a guest on this blog last year. You can read about him here. Have fun, it's summer!!!


  1. Barbara, thanks for haveing me on your blog today. It was fun to work through those probing questions and come up with answers. Sometimes I get so deep into my writing, I hardly come up for air, much less to think about the real world around me. Know what I mean? Have a great day, and a great week, too! Cheers,
    Pat Dale

  2. Dale, wonderful to get to know you better. I'm a Lisa Jackson fan as well, and hope to write a romantic suspence thriller someday when I grow up:) Sleeping With the Enemy is on my TBR list, and Zach sounds like a character I would have loved as a young adult:)

    Cheers, Sara

  3. Dale, I found your comment floating around the unmoderated comments area. Ihave no idea why I didn't get it in my email.

    You're welcome, Dale ! enjoyed it too!


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