Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Character Interview with Sol 203119 from The Beams of Our House by Trey Dunham

We’re thrilled to be talking to Sol 203119 from Trey Dunham’s, The Beams of Our House.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!


Thank you for your interview, Sol. Can you tell us your story?

I can tell you what I know. My earliest memory is being dropped by my mother at the Garten, which is a home for young children who live in the City. Families in our society don’t exist for the most part. Most biological parents lack the skill to raise a child, so kids are sent to the Garten at an early age to be raised by professionals. And there are no married couples. Marriage was abandoned long ago; it was too much of a drain on society. Now teenages are sent to the Academy, where we learn to date, and hopefully procreate. There were some unintended consequences to the downfall of marriage! And our reproductive technologies didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped.

So I ended up at the Academy, where they taught us how to Couple; forced us really. Our species almost became extinct, but the pressure to to find a mate got to a lot of my friends. Several committed suicide and eventually I had to find a way out. There was a voice that I kept hearing–not in my head, so much as in my being. It told me there was a better way, a different way than what we had in the City.

I followed the voice and found myself living in the Wilderness with a small band of what I came to learn were political dissidents. Most of them had fled the City looking for a better life. They were hunters, farmers, families. And they followed the Voice, too. Only they gave him the name, El. They said he as the spirit of the Wilderness and locke in a battle with the spirit of the City.

When the Academy discovered I was missing, they sent a strike team to find me. Before they did, the team was all killed or injured in a freak rock slide just outside our settlement. When the leaders learned of this they decided I had been sent for a reason, and the time was right to form a rebellion with other communities across the country. They said that we would stand up for El and that we would reinstate an ancient ritual as a symbol of our resistance: marriage.

All the tribes gathered in the desert for the first wedding in ages. That’s where I saw her for the first time: Lill. I could see how much everyone loved her and she seemed kind and hardworking. To me, that made her beautiful. I was really looking forward to getting to know her.


Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

I am not much to look at: skinny and I have a largish nose. I have two strange features, in my opinion. I was born without a left pectoral muscle, which made me stand out from the other boys at the Academy who were all obsessively lifting weights and preening. I was never going to look like them.

The other feature is a scar that runs from the back of my neck, across my chest and down my right arm. I don’t know where it came from. I wasn’t ever hurt, nor did I have an operation: It just appeared, faintly at first, but over time it has grown. Some days, especially on hard days, it aches unmercifully.


What would I love the most about you?

I am honest and kind. I love to take care of others. My job at the Shade (our settlement in the Wilderness) was to care for the sheep and goats. I had to kill a panther who was stalking one of the kids. So, I think sometimes I can be brave, too.


What would I hate the most about you?

I don’t know. At the Academy guys picked on me because I was small and skinny; I had the deformed chest and the scar. Sometimes people hate things that are different.


What is in your refrigerator right now?

I don’t have a refrigerator. We don’t have electricity in the Wilderness. But at the Academy, it would have been Meds: a creamy drink that was helpful in calming one’s nerves before a Coupling. It also seemed to have the effect of making one more bold and adventurous: more you, if that makes sense.


What is your most treasured possession?

I don’t have much since I left the Academy: a knife, a leather satchel. Stuff seems a lot less important away from the City.


What is your greatest fear?

Living a life that just follows the status quo. I think it’s easy to just go along with the flow and not really think about why we’re living a certain way. The world is complex and interesting and dangerous. There are battles being fought that we will miss if we don’t pay attention, look in new directions, follow strange voices.


What is the trait you most not like about yourself?

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. I tend to get overwhelmed by situations around me and maybe that causes me to freeze up, to choose inaction over action. I am not as much of a self-starter as I’d like to think I am. I need motivation, a prod every now and then.
 

Who is your best friend?

Isaac and Pietr. Isaac is the son of Abraham, who is the leader of the Shade. He taught me the skills I needed to survive in the Wilderness. Pietr was my roommate at the Academy. He’s leading an underground movement in the City, waiting for me to come help them escape.

Do you have children?

I’d rather not say.

Someone is secretly in love with you.  Who is it and how do you feel about that?

I hope it is Lill, because I think she is a phenomenal person.







Inside the Book:




Title: The Beams of Our House: A Novel Based on the Song of Solomon 
Book 1: The Banner Series Author: Trey Dunham 
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing 
Pages: 394 pages 
Genre: Christian Dystopian / Furturistic Fiction 


Book Description: 

Sol 203119 hates Coupling—the forced dating and mating technique initiated across the United Cities as populations consolidated, gender tensions mounted, human reproduction plummeted, and marriage fell out of style—but he doesn’t know why. But when a fourth classmate at the Academy commits suicide, he follows the prompting of a mysterious voice and goes in search of a way out of the City for him and his classmates at the Academy. 

Thousands of miles away, Lill, an orphan Wild, raised by strict and overprotective brothers, discovers she is part of an ancient prophecy that will bring to an end the longstanding battle between the Spirits of the City and Wilderness. Em, a mysterious, spiritual recluse, mentors Lill in her preparation: caring for refugees who have fled the City in search of a better life. 

Able to escape the City, Sol slowly adapts to life in the difficult and dangerous Wilderness. He discovers a community of healthy, loving, committed families, but when a special ops team from the City nearly captures him, community leaders decide the time has come to unite and resurrect an ancient rite of the Spirit of the Wilderness: marriage. 

Waiting anxiously for his return, a small contingent of Sol’s classmates from the Academy form an underground community in the heart of the City, which they call ‘the Banner.’ Meanwhile, Sol and Lill travel separately to witness the first wedding in centuries; the City counters with a deadly attack. In spite of massive casualties, a small remnant survives. And in a narrow underground cavern, the bruised and battered Sol and Lill meet for the first time.

Book Excerpt:

Washington, DC: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) announced today recommendations made to federal and state legislatures to suspend all laws and regulations related to the issuing of marriage licenses, effectively ending a practice which had been in steep decline over the previous two decades. DHHR Executive Director David Berkeley said, “The psychological, economic, and legal weight of marriage places a significant burden upon the health and well-being of individuals and society as whole.
            In light of these health concerns and declining participation by the general populace, the DHHR is recommending that federal and state lawmakers suspend all policies related to marriage. Additionally, we ask that any binding legal restrictions to those currently married, especially as pertains to divorce and separation, be waived.”
            Lawmakers at the federal and state levels, which enter sessions next month, plan to review the measure. Several states already have resolutions on the docket in support of the DHHR recommendation.



1
(Many years later)


Sol 203119 looked at himself in the mirror and grimaced. After a full minute, he dropped his eyes then pulled off his shirt, bending, contorting, folding and unfolding his arms and elbows like a giant insect; standing as tall as his thin, slight frame would allow. He stopped, then let his arms fall and dangle at his side. He closed his eyes and then looked again, hoping that perhaps things would appear more to his liking. They did not. He rubbed his chest, the part over his heart, with his right hand. It felt warm to the touch.
He twisted his lips and puffed out his chest. He was only partially successful. The left side laid flat, unflinching in spite of his effort. His ears started to turn red with effort. He held his breath and hoped that might inflate the muscle. He started to get dizzy and so he let go; his lips broke their seal and released an enormous, blubbering gust of wind and disappointment.
Sol pulled the shirt over his head and then slouched, paused for a moment, his eyes moved up and down his body. He rubbed his chest again. The scar was still there, only it seemed to have grown larger, like a knotty rope of flesh and scar-tissue. He first noticed it the week he moved into the Academy. It was small then, a string at best. Now thicker, harder, like a heavy rope, it extended from just under his shoulder down at an angle and ended near his sternum. He felt it tighten and pull as he moved and lifted his arm over his head. He grimaced, put his shirt back on and yanked down on the sleeve. A knock sounded at the door.
“Hey, Sol. You ready?”
“Yeah,” he paused. “Just a minute. I’m getting dressed.”
“Well, hurry up. They’re coming and from the sounds of it they’re in a bad mood.”
“Ok.”
“And don’t worry. You can’t see it.”
“Sure.”
Sol opened the door with a click and stepped into the common room. Adon stood in front of a full-length mirror, adjusting the collar of his Academy jacket. He was tall, taller than Sol and bigger. His chest and arms pushed menacingly against the fabric
“Still self-conscious about that pec, I see.” Adon grinned. Sol reddened. “Don’t worry about it,” Adon continued, “the women they put us with don’t care about that kind of stuff. At least that’s what they tell us.” He smiled as if he didn’t really believe himself what he had just said. He ran his fingers through his black, coarse hair and, somewhat satisfied with what he saw, turned to his roommate.
“Where’s Pietr?”
“In his room, I think. The door’s closed.”
“We better get him. They’ll be here any second. And I don’t want to end up in the Tank because of that idiot.”
Outside, they heard the sound of shouting and boots running. Heavy fists landed against doors at the far end of the hall. They needed to be quick. Pietr’s door was closed, so Adon knocked, “Hey, it’s time to go. You ready?” He spoke loudly and with conviction. No answer. Sol reached down and pulled on the handle. It clicked. Unlocked. They pushed the door and stepped inside. It was dark.
At first the room appeared empty, except for the unmade bed along the near wall. A small desk was at the far end of the room facing a large window that looked out into the City. It was night, but the glow from the lights in the facing buildings was sufficient to illuminate the room. The room smelled dank; a stale cheese sandwich lay in the corner, covered in mold.
“You in here?” Sol asked.
Silence.
The boys crept deeper into the room, the air acrid, unmoving. It smelled of sweat. “Ow!” Adon yelled and crumpled to the floor. Sol heard a weight bar roll and crash into the wall. Adon cursed and murmured as Sol moved deeper into the room.
Adon moaned, but Sol wasn’t listening. Two white lights appeared in the in the corner, next to the desk. They blinked off, then on, then off again.
“Pietr, I see you. Turn off the game. You have to come out,” Sol said. “We’ll get in a lot of trouble if we’re not ready. None of us want the Tank again.” Pietr’s eyes reappeared for a moment, and looked at Sol. Then, they clicked off a second time.
“Turn the game off,” Sol said with some force.
Adon stopped moaning just long enough to shout, “You can’t stay holed up in here all day. You know that. We have to go, so get dressed or I am going to beat you like the useless piece of trash you are.” Adon was suddenly angry and could feel the blood rushing up his back along his spine to the back of his neck, the tiny hairs standing erect. His hand pulled tight into a fist. Pietr was strong, and easily as big as Adon, but he was soft. He did not have the malice of his roommate. Adon stood up slowly and repeated his threat. “Get dressed or I’ll beat you bloody. Be out in two minutes. I’ll get some Meds ready for you. That’ll help.”
Suddenly, they could hear shouting in the hall. “Something’s going on,” Sol said to Adon, stepping over him and making his way to the door. “Hurry, Pietr. Please!” He yelled over his shoulder as he left the room.
Sol flung open the door to the hallway just as four black-clad officers ran past. They were carrying weapons: long, black lightweight batons. Sol watched them run down the hall, but did not see the group behind them. An extended hand at the end of a locked arm slammed into the small of his back and sent him hurtling, face first into the doorframe. He fell back immediately and crack, the back of his head rang with a second impact. He heard Adon grunt loudly. Sol felt the blood almost immediately begin to trickle down his face. He wiped his nose with the back of his hand. It was red. He could feel a lump start to grow on the back of his head.
Adon bent over holding his chin. “Oh, man,” he moaned. He rubbed his face then stood up, “What’s going on out there?” Another four officers ran past the open door, followed closely by two medics dressed in white. Sol looked at Adon, his fingers pinching his bloody nose and slowly shook his head. An officer, face shield covering her eyes, stopped and stepped halfway into the room. “Keep your doors closed,” she barked “All rooms on lockdown until further notice!” She slammed the door and was gone.
“That’s the fourth one here this week. Who knows what’s going on everywhere else,” said Adon. “I heard that most Academies average one a day.”
Sol didn’t answer. He stood looking out the window into the night. The lights in the yard below seemed distant, the weight of the moonless sky holding them down. He took a deep breath and looked out towards the City. Buildings and lights rose from the earth as far as he could see. He looked at his hands, small and pale. He tried to remember a time he had not been at the Academy. He had lived out in the City once, when he was a child, but that was before his father had left and his mother died. I’ve never known anything else, he thought. They brought me here when they needed me and they will send me where they please when they’re done. What choice do I have? He stepped away from the window and turned to look at his roommate. Adon sat still on the couch, rubbing his chin.
With more than fifty thousand boys, the Academy was among the largest in the United Cities. Built in concentric circles, it consisted of twenty-four identical towers housing two thousand one hundred residents each: seven hundred rooms on thirty-five floors; twenty rooms per floors. Three boys per room. Sol stood looking out of Room 3415, House 22.
“See if you can pick up any chatter.” Adon stretched himself out on the couch, gingerly; his chin that had taken on a slightly purple hue.
“They never talk about this kind of stuff publicly.”
“Yeah, but maybe someone can get through on a high-wire.” He paused, thinking aloud, “I wonder who it was.”
Sol walked to the desk and opened the drawer. He pulled out a small earpiece and awkwardly jammed it into his ear. A small red light turned on, went yellow, then green. He closed his eyes and listened, then looked up to see Adon watching him from the couch.
“You know they don’t like you taking that out.” He gestured with his eyes to Sol’s ear.
“I know. Sometimes I need the quiet.”
“Still hearing it?”
“Yeah.”
Sol closed his eyes again and tried to concentrate. Sounds began to fill his ear, distant and garbled, as if he were underwater, the muffled tones drifted in and out, softer, then louder. He tried to focus, concentrating on an especially high frequency. Brain waves from an adolescent, from other boys, resonated at a higher frequency than adults, much like their speech, and at times, when the situation dictated, high frequencies, what they called “high-wires” could be accessed out of reach of anyone who might be listening. Sol closed his eyes tighter, trying to understand what was being said. It wouldn’t be long before the System detected the network anomaly and disrupted the pattern.
“It was Salo,” he said finally.
“Salo?” Adon and Sol turned to see Pietr standing in the doorway to his room. He was undressed, out of uniform, wearing shorts and a white tank top, a large white blanket wrapped around his shoulders. It hung three feet from the floor off his huge frame. It was covered, like his shirt, with grey grease stains. He had on one sock, a huge toe poking out, the nail yellowing.
Pietr shuffled into the room and fell into a chair opposite Adon. Sol sat down and pushed the earpiece deeper into his ear. He closed his eyes again. Pietr and Adon watched, waiting.
“He hanged himself,” he said finally. “Hadn’t been out of his room in days. They’d put him in the Tank to try to shake him out of it, but it didn’t work.” He pulled the piece from his ear and tossed it roughly on the table. “Obviously.”
There was a noise in the hall, and then the sound of doors opening. They heard a loud voice, someone yelling. Sol ran to the door and cracked it open. He felt Adon behind him; his breath smelled like mint. Halfway down the hall, he saw a group of officers, their backs to him, huddled, working vigorously close to the ground.
Suddenly, they stood up lifting a gurney that clicked firmly into place. They turned and pushed the bed towards Sol and the elevators that would take them to the roof and a waiting transport. As they moved, they tapped open doors with the ends of their batons, yelling at the curious to get back inside. “Coupling will be delayed by thirty minutes only,” an officer yelled, “and anyone not ready will get the Tank.”
Sol watched, staring as the gurney and officers approached. The thump of heavy boots and harsh click of batons against doors sent chills through his spine: he looked at the black bag as it passed, zipped down the middle, resting silently on the cart. Who will it be tomorrow? he wondered. Suddenly, he felt a sharp crack across his hands, the sting of a baton on his knuckles.
“Thirty minutes,” she snarled.
He closed the door and fell back as it clicked shut. He leaned against it, facing into the room. (There is another way.) Sol closed his eyes again, listening.
(All you have known is the City, but there is another way.) He opened his eyes.
“Why do you think he did it?” Pietr asked quietly pulling his blanket up around his shoulders.
Adon and Sol didn’t answer; both looked instead at the floor.
“You know why.” Adon sat back down on the couch.
“The same reason we imagine doing it. We’re afraid,” Sol said. “We hide in our rooms, but they root us out, drug us up, set us up, push us out. And if that isn’t enough, if that doesn’t work, if it all gets to be too much, then you just crack and you find another way out. Salo found the only way out I know of.”
Adon looked at Sol. He knew he was right. Pietr’s eyes fell to the floor, then he pulled the blanket up again around his huge shoulders. He looked like a child, even though he was larger than any man Sol had ever seen. The blanket struggled to hide him, but beneath it Pietr huddled, afraid, shaking. He pulled the cloth over his head and then he started to sob, quietly, his shoulders rolling.
“I wish it could be different,” Adon said. “The Academy is trying to help us, to bring us back, all of us, the thousands of us that live here and in the other Cities. But sometimes guys like Salo fall through the cracks. They don’t make it.”
“Shai and Topher should have done something. They should have told someone so they could have helped him. He needed help, but they didn’t do anything. No one did anything.” Deep, violent sobs rolled out from under the blanket. Pietr pulled himself tight into a ball, trying to make himself small.
“Yeah, maybe someone could have done something,” Adon said. “But the reality is there are fifty thousand guys just like him in this place. And tomorrow someone else will move in right down the hall. And in a week, everything will be back to normal. The whole City can’t just stop for one person. You’d better get used to that. He’s gone, but there are a thousand more just like him. And we’re still here. We have to keep on or we’ll end up just like him.”
Sol walked behind Pietr and placed a hand on his back: “Take this,” he said holding a glass filled with creamy white liquid in front of his friend. “It’ll make you feel better.” He felt Pietr’s labored, uneven breath.
“No, you’re wrong,” Pietr yelled, suddenly standing up. He knocked the glass from Sol’s hand and it shattered as it hit the floor, white cream exploding everywhere. “There was only one Salo,” Pietr said angrily. He looked up, red eyes glaring at Adon, face streaked with dirt and tears. He walked quickly to his room and slammed the door behind him.
Adon shook his head, “Some guys just don’t get it.” Sol bent down and picked up a piece of broken glass. “Leave that for the maids,” Adon said. “We’d better get ready. They’ll be here soon.” He turned and walked into his room.



For More Information:
The Beams of Our House is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads


Meet the Author




A writer, teacher, and church planter, Trey Dunham has been blogging on spiritual, family and personal topics since 2009.

He lives in Morgantown, WV.


For More Information:


Virtual Book Tour 



Friday, April 22, 2016

Character Interview with the Donkey from Journey To The Cross by Shane Cloonan

We’re thrilled to be talking to the donkey from Shane Cloonan’s book  “Journey to the Cross”.

Thank you for your interview, donkey.  Can you tell us your story?      

Well not to brag or anything, but I was a key player in Jesus’ life.  I was chosen to go on a journey that was the most important event of my life…the most important event in history, the birth of Jesus and his crucifixion, God’s plan.


What would I love most about you?                                                                                                                                 
My loyalty and humility.


Where do you go when you are angry?                                                                                                                            
My quiet stable.


What is your most treasured possession?                                                                                                                         
The cross on my back which represents my journey in Christ’s life, and the love I showed him.


What is the trait you most not like about yourself?                                                                                                        
My stubbornness.


Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?                                                                                                       
Absolutely.   He felt all of my emotions.


I’m opening up your cabinet.  What foods do I see?                                                                                                       
Grass, hay and grain.  Maybe a few oats but they are really fattening.


Who is your best friend?                                                                                                                                                     
Jesus.


Do you have children?                                                                                                                                                         
Yes, 3, Two boys and one girl.



What’s you idea of a perfect meal?                                                                                                                                   
Fresh cut alfalfa.





Inside the Book:





Title: Journey to the Cross
Author: Shane Cloonan
Publisher: State Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Pages: 35
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction


Book Description: 

This is the story of the Jesus donkey, a fictional tale that takes readers on a journey from our Lord's birth to his ultimate crucifixion. Though written and illustrated for young readers, this book is perfect for people of all ages who want a fresh, youthful perspective on the life of Jesus. The book's message is imbued in the strength and simplicity of hearts that are linked to other hearts by Jesus. Journey to the Cross follows the light of hope that first appeared on that special night in Bethlehem.


For More Information:
Journey to the Cross is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble


Meet the Author




Shane Cloonan is a resident of Elgin, Illinois and a high school freshman. This book, his first, started out as a grade school writing project. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.

You can visit Shane’s website at www.shanecloonan.com


Monday, April 11, 2016

Character Interview: Patrick & Trish Morelli of 'Going Both Ways'





We’re thrilled to be talking to Patrick/Trish Morelli from Phil Fragasso’s, Going Both Ways. It is a pleasure to have him/her with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Patrick and Trish.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?
           
 PATRICK: I’m 27. I’m a writer by day and a waiter by night.
             
TRISH: I’m also 27 like my male chauvinist pig alter ego. I feel compelled to point out that Patrick is a wannabe writer who’s never published a thing in his life and mostly whines about writer’s block.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
             
PATRICK: Sad to say, but I’m a pretty nondescript dude – mousey brown hair, scruffy beard, bushy eyebrows, and twice-broken nose. On the bright side, blending into the woodwork could come in handy if I ever become a serial killer.
             
TRISH: The first time Patrick turned into me, he was quite taken with what he referred to as my “rather bodacious ass…a booty that could go cheek-to-cheek with the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.” That’s probably the only truthful thing he’s ever said.

What would I love the most about you?
             
PATRICK: I can be quite charming – quick with a compliment or quip. I’m definitely fun to be around – especially if you’re hot-to-trot or picking up the check.
             
TRISH: I’m not Patrick.

What would I hate the most about you?
            
 PATRICK: I hate to admit it but I can be a sexist frat-boy who often reduces women to their physical attributes.
             
TRISH: You’d probably hate that, even when I’m in Trish’s body, Patrick’s Neanderthal psyche is still messing with my mind.

Where do you go when you are angry?
             
PATRICK: Drown my anger with Jack Daniels and Doritos.
             
TRISH: Soak in a hot bath and sip a Chardonnay.

What is in your refrigerator right now?
             
PATRICK: Two Sam Adams Lights, a six-pack of Smuttynose Brown Dog Ale, half-gallon soured of milk, leftovers from the restaurant, eggs, a half-eaten apple, deli ham, ketchup, mustard, and a jar of dill pickles.
             
TRISH: All of Patrick’s crap plus fresh arugula, blueberries, tomatoes, baby carrots, roast turkey, brie, cottage cheese, yogurt, butter and diet Coke.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
             
PATRICK: I’m not nearly as boorish as this two-bit writer portrays me. I mean, sure, I like to size up every woman I see and make comments about her face and figure. And I might occasionally suggest some of the things I’d like to do to with her; but it’s all a compliment, it’s not being rude.
             
TRISH: Very accurately. I’m far more mature, evolved, respectful, and likeable than Patrick. He’s like my evil twin brother.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be?
             
PATRICK: I’d like to be a few inches taller. I’m 5’11” but think my life would be totally different if I were 6’2”. How could it not?
             
TRISH: Would it sound bad if I said I’d like to have larger breasts? It seems so stereotypical, but I do have this outstanding butt and I think a little more on top would balance me out. Sorry :(

Who is your best friend?
            
 PATRICK: My sister Sarah. She’s younger, smarter and way more successful than me – but she loves me unequivocally and I love her as well.
           
 TRISH: Sarah. I’ve only been around for a few weeks, but I’m sure Sarah likes me way better than Patrick.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
             
PATRICK: I would go into Boston’s North End, the Italian area, and eat my way up and down Hanover and Salem Streets. Lots of pizza, seafood, pasta, pastries, wine, and espresso. And maybe try to get lucky with some of the Euro-trash honeys or college co-eds who hang out there.
             
TRISH: I would spend a girls-only day with my sister, Sarah. We’d shop on Newbury Street, visit the MFA and Gardner Museum, eat down by the waterfront, talk about life, and wonder how it was possible we were related to Patrick.


About the Author

Phil Fragasso sold his first article at the age of 16. Since then he has written and published a wide variety of books and articles, including the recent bittersweet love story, Still Counting. After many years as a corporate marketer, he left to pursue endeavors that were more fulfilling personally and more contributory on a societal level. Today he focuses his time on writing and teaching.
His latest book is Going Both Ways.
For More Information
About the Book:

After a prolonged rant about how easy women have it, Patrick awakens as a woman (Trish). But rather than staying a woman, he's male one day and female the next. The male and female characters share a
single mindset – so Patrick is always in Trish's head and vice versa.

As much as Patrick tries to keep his situation private, he eventually becomes a worldwide sensation sought after by luminaries as diverse as the Pope and Hugh Hefner. While attending a party, Patrick meets a rap superstar named Gi-Slam. Their connection is immediate and powerful.

Gi-Slam's onstage biker-bitch character contrasts with her genuine girl-next-door persona (Gigi). Gigi is bi-sexual and she has a relationship with both Trish and Patrick. As the relationship with Gigi deepens, Trish takes her leave and Patrick experiences true love for the first time.

For More Information

 

Interview with Jack Bryant, Character from 'Dark Money'




We’re thrilled to be talking to Jack Bryant from Larry D. Thompson’s Dark Money.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Jack.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?

First, let me thank you for allowing me to be on your show. I am fifty-two. I have been a trial lawyer my entire professional life, except for two stints in the army. I made a lot of money as a plaintiff lawyer in Beaumont Texas. When my son left the Marines, he decided to walk on the TCU football team in Fort Worth, my old home town. I retired from the practice in Beaumont and bought a mansion in Fort Worth, but quickly became bored and started doing pro bono work on North Main, an area where very few people can afford a lawyer.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

I suppose it would be that I always carry a cane. I was called back up in Desert Storm just after I started my law career. A metal beam fell on my leg after a Scud missile crashed into our barracks. I wouldn’t let them amputate; so, I still have two legs.  Usually I get by without the cane, but once in a while that knee gives out for no damn reason. If I didn’t have the cane, I would fall on my butt. It’s also a useful weapon on occasion.

What would I love the most about you?

Probably the fact that I help out poor folks for free. Call it my payback or whatever you like. I have more money than I can ever spend. So, I enjoy helping out those who can’t afford a lawyer. I office in an RV out on North Main. There’s a cardboard sign in the front window, “Lawyer, No Fee.” And, by the way, that pro bono work leads into some very interesting dilemmas that have from time to time put me in some dangerous situations.

What would I hate the most about you?

Good trial lawyers are egotistical by nature. If you don’t have a big ego, you shouldn’t step foot in the courtroom and expect to win. I try to temper my ego now that I am semi-retired, but it still sneaks out at the most inexplicable times.

Where do you go when you are angry?

Among my vehicles is a paddle shift Ferrari. When I’m angry, I take it out of the garage and head west out of Fort Worth on back roads. I pretend I’m a race car driver and concentrate on making the curves at top speed and then opening it up when I see a stretch of open road. Concentrating on my driving releases my anger.

What is your most treasured possession?
           
I’ve accumulated a bunch of vehicles over the years, everything from Harleys, Bentleys, Ferraris, you name it. Still, the one I drive the most is an old, red Dodge Ram pickup that another plaintiff lawyer gave me after we won a big lawsuit over in East Texas.

What is the trait you most not like about yourself?

I hate to lose at anything, particularly at the courthouse. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I tend to sulk for several days until I can put the loss behind me.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I’m not a loner, but I would say I only have a few close friends. Once I’ve made a friend, we’re connected for life. For example, in DARK MONEY, Joe Shannon is the Tarrant County District Attorney, a friend since high school. Then there’s Walt Frazier. I met him in Desert Storm. In fact, he probably saved my leg. We may go for two or three years and never see each other and then pick up like we just had a beer yesterday,

Who is your best friend? 

Actually, there are two:  My son, J.D. who was an All American tight end at TCU and just signed to play with the Cowboys and my fiancĂ©’, Colby. Colby and I have lived together for a while and we plan to marry soon.

What’s your idea of a perfect meal? 

Give me spaghetti, meat sauce, a big salad and German chocolate cake. That makes me a happy man.


If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Toss a football with my son and sit out on the back lawn of my house that overlooks the Trinity River with Colby and a good glass of wine.

About the Author



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:

Title: DARK MONEY           
Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 420
Genre: Legal Thriller

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.

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