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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight with Dale Thompson

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! My featured guest today is Dale Thompson who creates stories of humor and suspense under the pen name Pat Dale. This amazing author has a dozen published novels, a pair of novellas, and tons of short stories. Dale is here to chat about one of his latest releases

A Girl’s Best Friend. A warm welcome for Dale Thompson!

Thunderous applause explodes as Dale struts into the parlor. Warm sunshine pours through the large bay window overlooking the cascading waterfall. Smiling, Dale takes a seat on the wing back chair opposite Sharon.

Sharon: Thanks for joining me today, Dale. I know how busy you are and appreciate you taking the time to chat with us. I hope I didn’t interrupt your creative muse. Speaking of which, does the writing spirit come in spurts…or is it always a work in progress?

Dale: Funny you should ask. My work seems to go in spurts, but that isn’t really true. When I’m working on a simple romantic comedy, the story flows onto the screen as fast as I can type. In my longer, more intricate works, it’s anything but smooth. But even while I’m doing mundane chores, my mind is busy filling in details of what I’m going to write.

Behind the bar, Oliver is busy filling two highball glasses with ice. With great ceremony, he pours precisely 2 ounces of Kahlua and 2 ounces of cream into each glass. Whistling, he plops in the stirrers and stirs five times. Adding the club soda, he stirs once and places the cocktails on a serving tray. Next, he shakes a generous portion of Fiddle Faddle in a bowl.

Yes, here we go then. Your Smith 'n' Kerns and some caramel popcorn.

Sharon: Thank you, Oliver. Raises her glass in a toast. Cheers. Dale, I hope it is to your liking?

Dale: It’s perfect.

Sharon: Now, that we have our drinks and snacks, let’s talk about A Girl’s Best Friend. Tell us a little background. The setting? The main characters? The genre? The general storyline?

Dale: This started as a typical spy story, but shortly after I started writing it, 9/11 happened and our world was upside down. After waiting a few years I went back to it, realizing it had to be different. Hence, we have a spy running for his life with his own people trying to do him in. Laura’s part in the drama grew as I wrote. That’s when I realized it was perfect for romantic suspense and crafted the crazy weave of a star-struck girl with a mature covert agent.

Sharon: How about reading us a blurb and excerpt?


Glamour gal and slippery spy ratchet between ecstasy and despair as they unravel separate webs of deception in their lives.

Laura Margolin has been promoted to liaison between her Miami TV jewelry company and their new owner, Vermeer Inc., in Amsterdam, but it seems Heinrik Vermeer had ulterior motives when he promoted her.

Hayward Lazarus narrowly misses an assassin’s bullet on his way to his European covert mission. Then a colleague is garroted before they can meet and Laz is on the run. Add to that, his car blows up in the Miami airport lot, a bomb meant to take him with the car, and he’s in a world of hurt.

What better place to hide out than in a beautiful TV celebrity’s condo? Read A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND to see how that decision turns their lives upside down; how her career is blown, he dies heroically—and they live happily ever after.


He leaned closer, intent on kissing her lips, until she pulled back. “Mr. Lazarus! Ward? What are you doing?”

It was instantly clear he’d overplayed his hand. He could ill afford a scene on the chance he’d been followed onto the plane, but he didn’t want to destroy the fledgling relationship he’d worked so hard to develop. Laura Margolin was a woman he couldn’t walk away from as he might have with someone less intriguing.

“I’m terribly sorry, Laura. I didn’t mean to offend you.” He paused to read the dark look of suspicion on her face. “I’d say this is your first foray into Europe.”

“Yes, it is.”

“Well, there you have it. I’m afraid I mistook you for one of the modern cosmopolitan ladies so prevalent on the continent. If you’ll forgive me for saying so, I’ve never met an American lady who plays that part so well.”

“What has cosmopolitan to do with casually flirting with a total stranger?”

“Please forgive me, I beg of you. You see, in Europe when a gentleman meets a lady and they seem to bond, as you must admit we have, it is customary for the man to pursue intimacy. Not to do so is considered gauche but I didn’t realize you would be unfamiliar with the practice. You must confess that at least a part of you is in favor of the possibility.”

She wanted to deny his claim, though her heart still beat at twice the normal rate. Because, to some extent, she wished she’d gone along with the game. It had been a long time but she could hardly have found a better candidate to rescue her from her long-endured self-inflicted celibacy. But this would not be the time to confess that to anyone. Especially to this man.

“I’m sorry if I over-reacted, Ward. You see, I’m actually an old-fashioned girl from the Midwest. Not that I’m a prude. I have nothing against sex. It’s just that in my world, the sex comes after a man and a woman get to know each other.” She hesitated, blushing. “Very well, know each other...”

Another pause. “Intimately, if you know what I mean.”

“Intimately, yes. I see.” His eyes betrayed the fact he was laughing at her.

The audience stands and claps enthusiasticly.

Sharon: My goodness, that’s quite a teaser to your writing ability. How did the theme for A Girl’s Best Friend come about?

Dale: Having a young woman all wrapped up in the world of precious jewels and a spy who uses different names at the drop of a cap, There’s a capper at the end of the story that brings the title full circle.

Sharon: Tell us about the research for this book. There’s an awfully lot stirred into the mix. We have a glamour girl and a spy, deception and mayhem, and a whole lot of chemistry and trouble. Add to that, we have a lot of ulterior motives. Tell us about the research.

Dale: In the beginning, I had maps and charts, photos and diagrams. Making Amsterdam come alive was my biggest challenge. It’s an amazing city, beautiful but with a dark undercurrent.

Sharon: Have you been to Amsterdam?

Dale: (grinning) Not in person. One of my daughters had gone there, on her way to a similar liaison assignment for a huge Swiss corporation. Like Laura, my girl is  beauty star gorgeous and had her share of fending off amorous cosmopolitans. (laughs) I took her description of her trips to Europe to synthesis Laura’s adventure.

Sharon: What is a typical writing day like for you?

Dale: I get my wife off to work (she’s a tax accountant. A darn good one, I might add.) Then I go in and start up my computer, thinking about what I want to get done. I usually write for one to three hours in a block. Sometimes it’s in one project, but sometimes it’s touch up work on several.

Sharon: For my female guests, I ask their favorite music so that Oliver can steal a dance. But knowing that you are a long-time professional musician, you have a lot to say on the subject of background music while you write, don’t you? Fill us in, Dale.

Dale: This question hits a nerve with me. As a professional musician, I enjoy writing while playing classical music in the background. Real classical music, such as Bruckner, Mahler, Prokofief, Debussy. I also like jazz, real jazz, not rock or other recreational music. While working on my new mystery novel recently, I listened to Peter Nero and Teddy Wilson among others. My main characters were both pianists, she a concert pianist who loved Debussy, he a jazz performer whose style resembled the above musicians. I think authors limit their emotional range by surrounding themselves with pop songs and groups; most of whom, contrary to convention, couldn’t perform real music if their lives depended on it. ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor.’ LOL

Sharon: Well, folks, that gives me a pretty good idea of how important detail and setting is in Dale’s writing and life. I agree. Music really adds to the mood and atmosphere of the story and can create a certain aura of suspense. The right song and the right instrument is so vital in putting the author and reader in the scene, drawing one in. Well said, Dale. Can you tell us a bit about your current work in progress? The WIP you are working on?

Dale: At the moment, I’m working on the second book in my new mystery series. These books will each have different crimes while the principal characters repeat. It’s a bit tricky since my female protagonist ends the first book in a deep coma.

Sharon: You know I am a real stickler for legends and incorporate them into many of my stories. I enjoy collecting one from each of my guests. Do you have a favorite legend that you can share with me?

Dale: Not offhand. I loved all the classic legends when I was a child, though, and they affect my writing, I’m sure.

Sharon: And here comes Oliver with dessert, a lemon meringue pie. While we dig in with gusto, can you tell us where readers can buy A Girl’s Best Friend and your other books and where they can get in touch with you?

Dale: Glad to.

Sharon: Thank you so very much for being my featured guest today, Dale. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you. The best of luck to you in all future writings.

Dale: It’s been my pleasure, Sharon. Good luck with your work.


After long careers in music and business, Pat Dale settled back with his pen and began a writing career. Fourteen years later, he has a dozen novels, a pair of novellas, and dozens of short stories to show for his efforts. He delights in creating scenes that cause his readers to laugh. There’s a darker side, though, where he enjoys crafting some really spooky tales that put those readers on the edge of their seats.

Dale lives in mid-Missouri with his wife, three cats, and two dogs, where he can relax in the scenic beauty of the heart of America.


Sharon Donovan said...

Let's have a warm welcome for Dale Thompson. Oliver has plenty of pie and donuts for the guests while we chat with Dale. And coffee, tea and an open bar. Enjoy!

P.L. Parker said...

Yum -- lemon meringue pie -- absolutely my favorite. Good morning. I have to admit, I love spy stories. I'm usually caught up in the paranormal, but when I do break out of my comfort zone, spy stories are at the top of the list. This sounds intriguing.

Miss Mae said...

Hi Dale,

Loved learning more of this book's premise, and loved learning more about you too.

Question: Is it difficult to write in the heroine's POV?


Karen McGrath said...

Great interview, Dale. We are vocalists here at my house so we appreciate good music. Your book sounds exciting.

Lisa Lickel said...

I love hearing about new authors. Thanks for spotlighting Dale and his work. Fun interview.

Hywela Lyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Dale and Sharon - and Oliver too of course. Yes, thanks Olivere, a sliver of lemon merangue pie would be lovely and will go down well with that nice cup of Earl Grey!

Great interview, and it was interesting finding out outbout you and your writing. 'A Girl's best friend sounds very intriguing, I love a good romantic suspense or thriller, even though I write futuristic myself. I agree about the music too. Good music can be really inspirational.

Wishing you much success and good luck.

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome Patsy, Miss Mae, Karen, Lisa and Lyn. Sharon smiles. Dale has just called and has apparently run into the spy that doesn't love him...Blogger Google Blues. We're on the mission and he wants me to assure you all he is able to read your lovely comments and will find away to escape the Google trap. In the meantime, eat, drink and be merry! Here comes Oliver with Lyn's cup of tea and sliver of pie. He's taking orders, so grab him, ladies!

Mary Ricksen said...

Great post Dale and Sharon.
I really enjoyed your excerpt Dale, I got a great feel for the story and it sounds like my kinda book!
Good luck and cheers! Mary raised her glass to Dale and then to Sharon!!
Then she turns to Oliver and raises a toast to him too! "Thanks for the drink Oliver!"

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Mary. Oliver winks wildly and fills her glass with a cool colada. Sharon rushes over to join Mary in a toast. I hope Dale finds a way to ward off the Google spy. Hmmm. This could be the beginnings of a new spy thriller.

Diane Scott Lewis said...

Amusing interview and I loved the excerpt. I hope you sell a million.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Great interview. I'll check out the website.

Destiny Booze, Novelist said...

Great interview. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on background music. You have such a passion!


Nancy J. Cohen said...

It sounds like you're multitalented! Spies are popular on TV these days with Chuck and Covert Affairs and more coming. I'm going through Alias on DVD right now. So it's a good time to be writing this genre.

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Diane, Caroline, Destiny and Nancy. While we wait for our favorite spy to weave his way out of the Google trap, allow Oliver to mix you a cocktail from the bar. It's officially Happy Hour! And here comes Oliver to take orders.

Pat McDermott said...

Hi, Sharon. Very entertaining interview. Sounds like you have another winner here, Dale. I enjoyed the excerpts and learning about your music preferences. I always have music on when I write, quiet pieces from Bach to Celtic harp music. Thanks so much for sharing your latest writing adventure, and good luck with sales!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Pat, thanks for dropping by to chat with us about Dale's latest. Can Oliver make you a drink? Right now, he's busy stirring up a cocktail to slip to Google to free the man from the trap he's ensnared in. Have faith. Oliver and Dale will make Google spy sing like a canary soon!

Pat McDermott said...

Thanks, Sharon. How about a cold white wine, Oliver? It's hot as heck here in New Hampshire today!

Debra St. John said...

Hi Dale and Sharon,

Your story sounds intriguing, Dale.

Oliver, I'll take one of those Kahlua and creams if you don't mind, sweetie...

Sharon, delightful interview as always!

Sharon Donovan said...

Smiling his beguiling smile, Oliver beams as he presents a chilled white wine to Pat and a Kahlua and cream to Debra. Winking wildly, he pumps his biceps.
Folks, Dale has contacted me through a special spy device, assuring me of his safety. On the downside, his mission is more challenging than expected. He insists that all have a drink on him. LOL

Pat Dale said...

Hey everybody, I think I'm in now. Just figured out I had the wrong email address! That's what happens when you have too many things that call for key words.

Pat Dale said...

I think I'm in now.

Pat Dale said...

I want to give a shout out to Diane, Nancy, Debra, and Pat. I finally got this thing with Google whipped--I think.
Thanks, all of you, for stopping by today. I appreciate all your comments on my book and on my use of music as I write.
Happy writing!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Dale and Sharon,
Great interview. Your book sounds inriguing Dale. Best of luck with it.
Lemon Meringue pie, I'd just about kill for a slice of that right now.


Sharon Donovan said...

Dale, so happy that your Google spywear has alas set you free. But alas, these messages washed aboard so I'll post them for the group to read. I dare say after all the problems encountered today, a strong Smith & Kerns is in order. Oliver!

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for coming by. I seem to be locked out of google right now but wanted to respond
to your comment.

Sharon Donovan said...

To Patsy from Dale:
Thanks for stopping by today. I tried to answer on the blog but google isn’t cooperating
at the moment. Anyway, I’m happy that you came by.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Karen,
Nice to see you here. I tried to respond on the blog but google seems to be in a
grumpy mood—again. LOL Anyway, I’m glad you stopped by.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Hywela,
Thanks for dropping by. I tried to respond on the blog but google is moody again.
LOL I’m glad you visited and enjoyed the interview.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Mary,
I appreciate your comments. Sadly, I can’t find my Google password and they’re not
letting me set a new one. Thanks for dropping by and visiting with Sharon and me.
Best wishes for your writing,

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello Caroline,
Thanks for dropping by to visit with Sharon and me today. I appreciate your comments.
Sadly, Google strikes again and I’m stuck in blogging purgatory but I wanted to at
least say hi.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Destiny,
Stuck in Google hell but I wanted to thank you for dropping by to visit with Sharon
and me today. I appreciate your comments. Have a great day!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Margaret. Thanks for stopping by. Oliver has a piece of lemon pie with your name on it. Smile

Pat Dale said...

Hi Margaret,
Nice to have you here for a visit. The company's great and that pie--ohh, la la! Thanks for coming by.

Pat Dale said...

Well, Sharon, I'm going to have to call it a day. I've got to get ready for a newspaper interview tomorrow. It's been great sharing with you and your friends on here. Thanks for having me. It's been fun.
Pat Dale

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Dale,

Just dropping in to say hello. I enjoyed the interview. Good luck with the newspaper one tomorrow.

For some reason, Sharon, I have The Spy Who (doesn't) Loves Me running through my head.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Julie, welcome. Have a nightcap with Oliver and I. And perhaps Dale's left you a piece of the pie for a midnight snack! Maybe we can get Oliver to whip up a new one. Oh, you brought fresh lemons? How thoughtful. Let's put them in the blender and see what happens! LOL
Dale, thank you for being such a fun and entertaining guest. Best of luck with a Girl's Best Friend and your newspaper article. You really drew them in!
Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.
Love and Blessings,

Danielle Thorne said...

Great interview. I like how Sharon is always writing in her head, even when doing "mundane chores"--been there, done that! Congrats and good luck on your release!

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

hi Dale, and nice to meet you Sharon. nicely done interview. I'd love some of that pie. lol. best of luck with the book.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Danielle and Larion,
Thanks so much for dropping in to visit. Danielle, what an observant person you are. Thank you. Larion, nice to meet you too, and Oliver has sliced two large pieces of pie for you both to sink your teeth into. Enjoy!