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Shameless Self Promotion and Fun: Michael Thompkins, Author, Speaker and Talk Show Guest

by Michael 6/18/2012 8:51:00 AM

Give me some points for honesty: shameless self promotion says it all. 

I ran into an old friend last week, who is also a shrink, who knew me for many years as a practicing shrink. 

She accused me, "You are having way too much fun as a writer!" 

"Guilty as charged," I replied.  Truth be told, I loved being a shrink but in the 75 per cent zone.  I love being a writer 100 per cent of the time. 

I especially love speaking to groups about Psychology and Cops, Psychology and Writing , and Psychology and people in general.  I call these: Shooting Shrink, Psychology and Pen and Shrinking People.  Soon, you will see changes in the website reflecting these catgeories. The interview I had the most fun doing is in the preceding blog entry, my guest spot on the Elli Tourje show.  The most fun speaking engagements I have done are at the Southern California Writers Conferences SCWC and are available in the Blog Archives.

We will chat again soon.

From What If to Being Published! by Claudia Whitsitt

by Michael 8/1/2011 11:03:00 AM

The thing about being a writer is that you automatically belong to a world village of writers and...it takes a village to write a book. 

Here's my friend Claudia Whitsitt  (see Shrinking Fiction in Palm Springs: Story Consulting and Writer Coaching with Michael Thompkins Leads to a Debut Novelist in the Shrinking Character Archives 2/2010) with herstory from What If to Being Published.

I began writing THE WRONG GUY three and a half years ago.  The idea was born on the beach in LaJolla, California, after I turned over my first novel for edits.  As I sat in the streaming sunlight digging holes in the sand, I thought back to a time of change in my life.  College.  I attended Eastern Michigan University on the heels of the arrest of John Norman Collins, the suspected killer in a series of brutal murders of co-eds that attended either Eastern Michigan or the University of Michigan.   I played “what if”.  What if the cops had the wrong guy?  What if there was another guy? And my brain took off!  THE WRONG GUY is loosely based on the Michigan Murders. The escalating deaths shocked my peaceful life and affected who I was and how I behaved.  For a lifetime.  My dorm mates and I were cautioned at every turn to travel in two’s, preferably with a male, to carry mace and whistles on our key rings and to never go anywhere with a strange young man we did not know.  Seemed reasonable.  But this was college, right?  Weren’t we trying to meet guys?  Weren’t our lives supposed to be carefree?  Not for co-eds at Eastern Michigan University or the U of M.More...

Finding Irish Writer Roots: Part Two

by Michael 5/1/2011 12:35:00 PM

 

Finding Irish Writer Roots: Part One is in the Blog Archives.  Part One details the beginning of a personal journey for this writer in 2008 in which I managed through a combination of blind luck, perserverance and professional help from Colleen Fitzpatrick (see her blog article) to stumble across the ancestral home of my grandmother, Anne Conway in Lisheenavalla Townland, Galway County, Ireland.  There I met my second cousin (once removed) Kitty Conway and Padraig Conway, my third cousin.

The next step was to locate my grandmother's baptismal and birth certificate, and other documentation.  Late in 2009, I applied for US/Irish joint citizenship.   

Kitty, Myself and Padraig in Lisheenavalla

 

 

 Finding Irish Writer Roots: Part Two is an installment for which I will let a picture speak a thousand words.  Look forward to more.

 

Michael Thompkins Guests on Real Life with Elli Tourje

by Michael 11/18/2010 8:00:00 AM

Listen on Newstalk 920 KPSI-AM, Palm Springs, California. Each week Elli interviews the mover and shakers in Palm Springs.  Listen to the podcast of her interview with Michael Thompkins.  The discussion ranges from Gun Play, v1 Shooting Shrink, the next novel in the Shooting Shrink Series, and the criminal mind to politics and Palm Springs. Elli is a talented interviewers and the questions she asks are stimulating. She is also a substitute newscaster for Newstalk 920 KPSI-AM.

Listen to the podcast

Dog Whisperer Falls

by Michael 5/2/2010 12:26:00 PM

All too suddenly I received the following email:

"With mournful regret, the California Narcotic & Explosive Canine Association gives notice that Dan Lamaster tragically perished in a residential house fire on Saturday, April 17, 2010. The Canine Community has lost a pioneer, a, visionary, an icon, a true friend.  There are times when mere words are insufficient to describe a person's life contribution both personally and professionally.  It would be impossible to ever accurately determine the number of people and dogs that Dan has positively influenced during his career, his life.   Dan was an original founding member of the California Narcotic Canine Association. His twenty years of unselfish contribution both on the field and in the classroom has been an integral factor that directly contributed to the overall quality and success of CNCA. Dan contributed so much, quietly, behind the scenes, without any intent to seek any kind of recognition, but instead did it because he wanted to be part of something that in the end would make us all better handler's, better trainer's, better people.  His kindness and compassion will always be, in all ways, a testament to his true character.  As we slowly and over time come to realize what a substantial loss we have all incurred on so many levels, let's give pause, remember and reflect on the absolute kind Soul that Dan was and continues to be and together we all must celebrate his life. He would have not wanted or accepted anything less. "

   

I knew Danny for just a few years as I researched Explosive Detection K9 teams and training in the Southland.  We established a bit of a friendship based on his love of dogs and literature.  When I first met him, he was engrossed in Steinbeck's East of Eden-"for the 13th time!" Danny was a dog whisperer, a man who could train the most stubborn or inattentive puppy to hunt and find explosives, contraband or people.  He was, as CNECA points out, a precious resource to Law Enforcement; his shoes will never be quite filled. 

He was also the lover of books and a resource to this writer. Without his encouragement, I would not be writing my newest and third novel (on K9 officers and their handlers.)  Without his presence, I am forced to continue with just his last words to live up to.  Danny finished the first act of my new novel as an informal editor and told a mutual friend: "tell michael I want more!"

Sometimes, writers write for themselves--the very least important reason.  Sometimes, they write a story that honors others--the most important reason.

Reader View Loves Gun Play

by Michael 3/11/2010 8:29:00 AM
Reader Views, has published a review of Gun Play. The reviewer, Richard R. Blake, gives a general summary of the books plot ending with gleaming praise for both the title and its author.

"Gun Play is well written, with subtle humor, excellent reporting on crime scene procedures, and is filled with fast-moving narrative, believable characters, and entertaining, informative dialog. This is a must read for every mystery fan."

"Gun Play and The Shooting Shrink Series will soon be a household word, discussed at every Starbucks, on the Oprah show, and on the bestseller lists."


Reader Views reviews appear on Amazon.com, Fox News, USA Today, Reuters and NBC. They also appear on iVillage, in newspapers and on many online websites and blogs.

Check out the full review here!

 

Shrinking Fiction in Palm Springs: Story Consulting and Writer Coaching with Michael Thompkins Leads to a Debut Novelist

by Michael 2/1/2010 8:30:00 AM

As a spin-off from the Shrinking Fiction Workshops at Southern California Writers Confereence , a number of students approach me to help them with their writing projects. My work with them has been highly enjoyable for me and, hopefully, for them. My work with these first students is falling into a pattern where we divide the projects into three parts: Act One, Act Two and Act Three of their novel. The work is taking place in Seattle, where I live and Palm Springs where I have a condo. 

If you are interested in this work, please listen to the following podcast which is a discussion between Claudia Whitsitt and me in Palm Springs in July. Need I say in advance, the weather was hot, 106 degrees. You can hear the fountain in the background helping cool the patio. In the podcast, we discuss progress on Claudia's novel, The Wrong Guy.

February 2010: This just in from SCWC: "SCWC21, 22, 23 and 24 conferee Claudia Whitsitt has inked the deal for her debut novel, The Wrong Guy, with Echelon Press. This makes for the sixth or seventh author discovered by Echelon publisher Karen Syed at the Southern California Writers Conference. Congratulations, Claudia!."

 

Listen to the Video Podcast Here!

Exclusive: Ron Oden Interviewed by Author Michael Thompkins

by Michael 1/2/2010 12:02:00 PM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Ron Oden is an American, openly gay politician. In November 2003, he was elected the mayor of Palm Springs, California after serving eight years on its city council. He was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Los Angeles, California. He was an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister and holds two Masters degrees, but stepped away from the church shortly before entering politics [1].He is the father of two daughters, Brooke and Brittany. He is also the grandfather of two granddaughters and one grandson. [2] In June 2006, he lost in the Democratic primary for a seat in the California State Assembly by less than 100 votes."

Ron is a friend of mine. We both enjoy a good talk, so the first week in September, as summer grew to a close in Palm Springs, we finally sat down at my condo in Palm Springs and did the interview we had been talking about for several years. In the final moments of the hour, I realized how much I admired and respected Ron for his honesty,courage,and service to Palm Springs. 

-Michael 

 

Download the Interview

Three Years After-- Christmas 2009

by Michael 12/21/2009 8:49:00 AM

Three years ago this week, I was busy setting up a booth at Village Fest in downtown Palm Springs to give away promotional t shirts with the Shooting Shrink logo along with the first copies of Gun Play. I reflect with gratitude on the hundreds of fans I have met since that night. Sales of Gun Play have been extremely rewarding for a first novel and Big Island Play, v2 Shooting Shrink Series, will be published soon.

Thanks to all my fans and folks who have helped me begin this series. Special kudos to my editors and police officer friends. Salutes to two Palms Spring's police officers for their unfailing support of a rookie author. Finally, bouquets of appreciation to a friend, who I refer to as my Palm Spring's CIA station chief, because she knows everything and everyone in Palm Springs. I hear the expression 'self-made man' often. In my opinion there are no self-made writers--it takes a village to raise a writer. These friendships are priceless.

.

 

Plans for this website are expanding. In order to create room for my growth as a writer, the URL of this site will stay the same and change. The soon-to-be new  URL will be michaelthompkins.com, the website for author Michael Thompkins. The shootingshrink.com URL will still get you to the website. This move will allow me to start a new series of novels TBA, and expand the site to include any topic that relates to my writing. Enough for now-- more later.

August Update: Summer in the Northwest

by Michael 8/26/2009 9:06:00 AM
Finally, he writes.

I spent the entire month locked at my desk doing polish on the MS Word master of Big Island Play because that’s how an agency in New York wanted to read it. Little did I know that I had happily typed away at my keyboard  unaware of such things as  tab indents, spacing by spacebar, and any random format symbols that are not allowed in their submissions.  I could have avoided this work by having the format symbol switch turned on as I write but I simply didn’t know. Live and learn. I finished yesterday and it’s off to them.

Next week I go to Palm Springs to do a radio show, ride with my cop friends,  and work with a student who is writing a novel about a San Diego couple who time travel to the Peloponnesan War. Good concept.

I am still waiting for the Irish government to process my joint  US/Irish citizenship papers. My next trip to Ireland will be as an EU citizen. I have a list of literary prizes only for Irish citizens that I lust after. I just finished writing a magazine article about Finding my Irish Writer Roots. The full book will, of course, wait until I actually get the citizenship.

This summer has been the best summer in 20 years in the Northwest with lots of sun and lots of 70+ degree days.  I give you the following pictures as proof.

More later.

 

 

 

Judith and I found this guy out for a walk at 6000 feet on Mt. Rainer

 

Judith at 7500 feet at Pebble Creek beneath the Muir Snowfield

Finally, this is a picture (sent to me by Irish relatives) of my grandfather, Michael Reynolds, who was an Irish police officer before immigrating to the US in 1904. Considering I write crime fiction, I think it is safe to say that it's in my genes.


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.