Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Interview with Larry D. Thompson, author of DARK MONEY

Larry D. Thompson was first a trial lawyer. He tried more than 300 cases throughout Texas, winning in excess of 95% of them. When his youngest son graduated from college, he decided to write his first novel. Since his mother was an English teacher and his brother, Thomas Thompson, had been a best-selling author, it seemed the natural thing to do.

Larry writes about what he knows best…lawyers, courtrooms and trials. The legal thriller is his genre. DARK MONEY is his fifth story and the second in the Jack Bryant series.
Larry and his wife, Vicki, call Houston home and spend their summers on a mountain top in Vail, Colorado. He has two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.
For More Information
Can you tell us what your book is about?

DARK MONEY is a thriller, a mystery and an expose’ of the corruption of money in politics.
Jackson Bryant, the millionaire plaintiff lawyer who turned to pro bono work in Dead Peasants, is caught up in the collision of money and politics when he receives a call from his old army buddy, Walt Frazier. Walt needs his assistance in evaluating security for Texas Governor Rob Lardner at a Halloween costume fundraiser thrown by one of the nation’s richest Republican billionaires at his mansion in Fort Worth.
Miriam Van Zandt is the best marksman among The Alamo Defenders, an anti-government militia group in West Texas. She attends the fund raiser dressed as a cat burglar---wounds the governor and murders the host’s brother, another Republican billionaire. She is shot in the leg but manages to escape.
Jack is appointed special prosecutor and must call on the Texas DPS SWAT team to track Van Zandt and attack the Alamo Defenders’ compound in a lonely part of West Texas. Van Zandt’s father, founder of the Defenders, is killed in the attack and Miriam is left in a coma. The authorities declare victory and close the case---but Jack knows better. The person behind the Halloween massacre has yet to be caught. When Walt and the protective detail are sued by the fund raiser host and the widow of the dead man, Jack follows the dark money of political contributions from the Cayman Islands to Washington to Eastern Europe, New York and New Orleans to track the real killer and absolve his friend and the Protective Detail of responsibility for the massacre.

Why did you write your book?
All of my novels are legal thrillers and all have some underlying social issue as a part of the theme. As a lawyer I have been dismayed since the Supreme Court wrote the Citizens United opinion. So, I decided to weave a thriller around the corruption of money in politics.

What kind of message is your book trying to tell your readers?
The citizens of this country must wake up to the fact that our elections are being hijacked by the ultra-rich, both Republican and Democrat. If the trend continues, our votes will become meaningless.

Who influenced you to write your book?
No one. I read and listen to what is going on in the world and eventually come up with a kernel of an idea. Then, I let my mind wander as I write the outline of the story.

Is it hard to publish a nonfiction book?
While my book is fiction, often non-fiction is much easier to publish. In fact, my next book will be non-fiction.

Which author(s) do you admire?
My late brother, Thomas Thompson, Michael Connally, David Morrell. The list could go on and on.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?
I rarely suffer from writer’s block. If I have prepared a good outline, the words seem to flow from there.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?
I would spend that hour reading my current favorite novel.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?
Fourth of July. My wife and I spend summers in Vail and they do the holiday right. In the morning there is an old-fashioned parade through the main street of the village, complete with kids on tricycles and fire trucks. In the afternoon there is a patriotic concert at the Gerald Ford amphitheater. We follow it with a barbecue for friends and family at the house and then watch a spectacular fireworks show eight thousand feet below us in the valley. It all makes one proud to be and American.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?
Houston has great Tex-Mex. I’d pick one to talk over enchiladas and margaritas.

What do you like to do for fun?
Play golf, go to movies, read a ton of books, spend time with my wife and my family.

Can you tell us about your family?

I’m married to Vicki, for now nearly 20 years. My children are grown and scattered. I have a daughter and two granddaughters in Austin, a son with a grandson and granddaughter in Boca Raton and a son in Vail.

What do you like the most about being an author?

When I have written the last word, I can proudly say that I created something that did not exist before, something that will probably outlive me.

What kind of advice would you give other non-fiction authors?

Try to make your non-fiction read like fiction. For examples read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote or Blood and Money by Thomas Thompson

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