Monday, April 18, 2016

A Bookish Conversation 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.

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About the Book:

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.

For More Information

  • Dark Money is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I think I always knew I would eventually be a writer. However, I started to work as a trial lawyer and found I was very good. So, between trying cases and raising kids, there was no time to write. When my youngest graduated from college, I decided it was time. As to inspiration, it was my older brother, Thomas Thompson, an internationally known writer of true crime who died at a very young age in the eighties.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Probably by the time I was in high school.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?


Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

The answer to that is yes and yes. Reading and writing have always been a passion, but I didn’t start writing until most people were thinking about retiring. Better late than never.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I graduated from The University of Texas School of Law when I was 23 and was trying cases at 24. Since then, I have tried close to 400 civil cases, winning in excess of 95% of them. I cut back to half time as a lawyer on January 1 of this year to devote more time to writing.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

(l) Write regularly. Maybe you can’t do it every day, but certainly four or five days a week. (2) Create characters that the reader will relate to, even the villains. (3) Revise, revise, revise. After you finish the first draft, it will need at least ten revisions to hone and condense the story. (4) And I’ll add one more that comes from Elmore Leonard: Cut out the parts that the reader is going to skip anyway.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

No. However, life gets in the way. Day job and family and other things. With me it was trying cases. When I knew a trial was imminent, I had to drop everything to prepare for it and then try the case. During that time, I could not write.

What hours do you write best?

I’m a morning person. I prefer to get up, have breakfast while reading the paper, check emails and then turn to writing. As the day wears on, my creative juices begin to disappear.

How often do you write?

Four or five days a week, sometimes more, but usually never more than about five hours at a time.

Are you an avid reader?

Absolutely. I started reading in the first grade and never quit. If I have a choice between a good book and television, I’ll take the book every time.

What are you reading now?

I quote Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing so much that I decided to work my way through his books. Currentlly, I’m reading “Fire In The Hole,” his fourth Raylan Givens story.

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