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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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 hisFort 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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Thank you for this interview! I’d like to know more about you as a person first. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have been a Texas civil trial lawyer for most of my life. I’ve tried over 300 cases and won in excess of 95% of them. Now, I am cutting back on my legal career to focus more on writing.
When did you start writing?
I started my first novel about ten years ago. Even working full time I have now published five.
As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?
When I finally got an agent, Ken Atchity, he has been guiding my career. As it turned out, I was a very good writer from the beginning, but I needed someone to help me navigate through the publishing world.
If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?
That’s an easy one. My wife and I spent two weeks in France about four years ago. Both of us agreed that we would like to rent an apartment on the Left Bank for six months where we would live and I would write.
If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?
I would use it to work on my next book. My lawyer career has been interfering with my writing career too much in the past few months and I need to be writing more.
Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?
Colorado, probably Vail, since I know it so well. I have a son that lives there. My wife and I spend two months there each summer.
Back to your present book, DARK MONEY, how did you publish it? I was originally published by St. Martin’s, but after three books, I discovered that I was getting only a modest advance and no help in promotion. My agent was starting a small imprint, Story Merchant Books, and suggested that I would get more publicity there and make more money. It’s almost like self-publishing, but it has worked.
In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?
Not specifically. It is set in Fort Worth and I grew up there; so, my wife and I visit there a couple of times a year. Then, parts of it are in New Orleans and my wife and I visit there from time to time.
Why was writing DARK MONEY so important to you?
First I wanted to tell a good story, but then I wanted the reader to read the last word and realize that our political system has been hijacked by the rich and corporations in this country. The first step to doing something about it is to be aware of it.
Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?
My best ideas come from current events. As the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction.