Friday, 26 August 2011
The One- Link Lowdown On.....Pat Dale!
Welcome to the first in my occasional One-Link Lowdown series, where I'm delighted to have as my first guest the superb writer Pat Dale!
Pat sums up his writing as...'for fun and frivolity. For spinetingling suspense and drama. From the most innocent of characters to villains who murder without qualm...the place to find them all.' Whoa - sounds great! What kind of mind comes up with that, I wonder? Here's the lowdown on Pat, and I know you'll enjoy his answers as much as I did!
Pat, if you could retrieve one thing from your childhood, what would it be?
My innocence. It started eroding at age five and is still evaporating, day by day.
What’s the naughtiest thing you've ever done?
In the eighth grade, I was the class ‘angel’. The class ‘devil’ sat immediately behind me. I brought a roll of undeveloped photographic film to school and held the end of it while our ‘devil’ lit it with his cigarette lighter. He released it just before I did, so the burning film rolled all the way to the front corner of the classroom. Heavy black smoke billowed out and somebody screamed, “Fire!” The entire school had to be evacuated, and the upper story aired out for the rest of the day. The principal knew the ‘devil’ was in on it, but he couldn’t believe that I, the ‘angel’, could have helped. It was a stupid and dangerous thing to do, and I don’t know to this day why I did it.
What’s the worst job you've ever had?
Delivering and picking up chinchillas from all over the nation. I know, it was awful and as soon as I discovered it was a scam, I quit.
What’s the best job you've ever had?
What I’ve been doing for the past fifteen years; sitting at my desk and writing tales of romance and murder, not necessarily in the same books. LOL There is nothing to compare to a writer’s lifestyle. Sure, it has its ups and downs, but so does every job, and most do not give the same sense of fulfilment this one does. So, if it’s alright with the Almighty, I’d just as soon go on another fifteen years or so.
Tell us three surprising things about yourself, one of which is a fib - and we'll try to guess the fib!
1. I once drove a car off a highway at 70 mph, and sailed it through tree tops, circling in a perfect 360, and landing going forward on a big granite slab, bouncing over a creek, and landing in a marshy bog; all without flattening the tires or doing body damage, other than shortening the wheelbase by three quarters of an inch.
2. While serving in the U.S. Air Force in Japan, I put together a jazz quartet and we toured the mountainous regions entertaining anti-aircraft batteries that were too remotely located to afford their troops relaxation. The gig ended when our service club burned to the ground and, with it, all our instruments.
3. In college, I allowed myself to be hypnotized and given an instruction to disrupt the following day’s all school convocation by jumping to my feet and yelling, “I don’t believe a word of what you’re saying.” Of course, the message was for the college president, a dear friend and my former pastor.
Pat, you're outrageous! Wonder if I've guessed the fib right...??!! Anyway, here's my next question - what’s your favourite piece of music?
This is a tough one. I’ve loved classical music forever, and I have many favourite pieces. Perhaps it would be better to list my favourite composers. In choral music, I absolutely love anything by John Ritter! In wind music (I’m a trumpeter), Percy Grainger is at the top of a tall stack. By the by, Grainger had an amazing personal history, going from Australia to Britain, and finally to the U.S. where he taught himself to play saxophone in just two weeks, so he could pass an audition and join the U.S. Marine Band, under the direction of one, John Phillip Sousa. In orchestral music, it depends on my mood, which shifts like quicksand, between Debussy’s impressionism, Rachmaninoff’s orchestral works, and Paul Hindemith. Probably my all-time fav is Mathis der Maler, by Hindemith.
Which household chore would you happily give up for ever?
This one’s easy! Cleaning up after my nineteen year old cat, Dusty. She’s a dear sweet girl, but messy. My god, that cat’s a disaster!
What drives you seriously nuts?
Culling from a short list, I’d say it is the people who tell me they’re loving my books, only they’ve never bought them. I’d gladly send them a free copy if they’d just read the damn books! LOL
What's your guilty pleasure?
Eating biscuits and gravy! For those of you in the Isles, this American treat is a thick white gravy reduction from sausage drippings, ladled onto fluffy Missouri biscuits.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would learn the alchemist’s art of self-promotion, without losing my writing touch.
Aside from writing achievements, family, etc - what are you most proud of?
If I had never penned a single word, I would still treasure having raised five children (with a lot of help) and passed on a sense of honour and trustworthiness that seems to be in short supply these days. Sounds like an old man reminiscing, doesn’t it? Well, it is. Enough said. Cheers!'
And a rousing 'Cheers!' to you too, Pat! I so enjoyed your answers. By the way, Pat tells me that the 'fib' in his answer was No. 3 - although it's a true story that happened to his seat-mate!
Last but not least, Pat's One Link is this one which will take you to his blogspot where you can find out more about his published books.
Thanks so much for being my guest, Pat, and all the very best of luck with your writing career!