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Michael Thompkins
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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, 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. 



Download the Interview

Podcast of Southern California Writer's Conference Opening Night Workshop on Shrinking Character Part I- How Psychology Can Help You Write Character

by Michael 1/1/2010 6:40:00 AM

The podcast from the opening night of Southern California Writer's Conference San Diego SCWCSD#23 is here: downloadable to your desktop. If you didn't attend the conference and want to learn what we covered in the opening night workshop, Shrinking Character-How Psychology Can Help You Write Character simply download the Windows Media File to your computer desktop and it will automatically play for you. (Or save it for later viewing.) The podcast covers my introduction to Shrinking Character: the various maps of character and other helpful resources that psychology has to offer both the rookie and veteran writer of fiction and non-fiction in their quest to create exciting and believable characters. A second podcast in May will cover the Saturday workshop Part II where I discuss the various maps in depth and work with various character developments issues from student projects. Enjoy and, as always, leave your comments.

Download the podcast

Podcast of Southern California Writer's Conference Saturday Workshop on Shrinking Character Part II- How Psychology Can Help You Write Character

by Michael 12/30/2009 4:00:00 PM

The podcast from Saturday at the Southern California Writer's Conference San Diego SCWCSD#23 is here:

Download to your desktop

If you didn't attend the conference and want to learn what we covered in the Saturday workshop, Shrinking Character II-How Psychology Can Help You Write Character simply download the Windows Media File to your computer desktop and it will automatically play for you. (Or save it for later viewing.)  This podcast covers the Saturday workshop Part II, where I discuss the various somatic maps in depth and work with various character developments issues from student projects. Enjoy and, as always, leave your comments. If you attended these workshops, the entire two day workshop will be available from me for downloading as soon as I complete editing. Email me and leave your email address if interested. If you were not a conferee but are interested in the full sessions, they will be avaiilable for a small fee to be determined.

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, the website for author Michael Thompkins. The 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.

Writing Rivers with Craig Anderson

by Michael 4/27/2009 2:53:00 PM
     Here's a new addition to our little literary opus-in-progress, Shrinking Character: Richard Craig Anderson. After the February Southern California Writing Conference in San Diego, I planned on inviting some hot new names in crime fiction to write some pieces for   Rick and I were emailing back and forth in March so I just up and asked him. Rick is a retired Maryland State Trooper, who I met at the SCWC workshop for crime writers, where participants learned about tactical training scenarios, "Shoot, Don't Shoot" scenes. The first two volunteers (no names mentioned,) both managed to shoot an unarmed citizen played by one of us. Rick's debut blog for us is about writing his new novel Rivers of Belief, which I read and loved.   

“Writing Rivers” by  Richard Craig Anderson  

Hi everyone.  My name is Rick Anderson and Michael Thompkins invited me to discuss my latest novel, Rivers of Belief.  Like Michael’s Gun Play, it’s a crime fiction thriller with an emphasis on edgy characterization—characters fleshed-out until we see their souls, their dreams and even their nightmares—traits that humanize us all.  It’s not a new concept of course, but there is a twist and that’s what I want to talk about.

I met Dr. Michael Thompkins during the 2009 Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego.  We’d been invited as lecturers, our paths quickly crossed, and we formed the basis of a growing friendship.  As I read Gun Play, it became evident that he and I had parallel spirits—we’re both determined to write with authenticity, and we believe that crime fiction must explore more fully the idiosyncrasies that we experience as human beings.  Gone are the formula, two-dimensional caricatures; welcome instead irregular characters made strong by the very weaknesses they fight to overcome—and by the dreams they dare to live.More...


by Michael 3/23/2009 2:39:00 PM

I received this sad email earlier this week:

Palm Springs Iconic Former Mayor Frank Bogert, The Cowboy Mayor of Palm Springs, Dies  (Contact: Amy Blaisdell Director of Communications City of Palm Springs (760) 323-8250 March 23, 2009)

Frank Bogert, Palm Springs’ iconic former cowboy mayor, passed away at his home Sunday night surrounded by his family. He was 99. Bogert, a noted cowboy famous for his rodeo ensemble, was Mayor of the City of Palm Springs from April, 1958 to January, 1966 – when the Mayor was an appointed member of the City Council by the City Council. In 1982, Bogert became the City’s first directly elected Mayor after residents voted a year earlier to directly elect their Mayor. He served until 1988.

“Frank Bogert was a remarkable and truly iconic Mayor who gave his life to Palm Springs,” said Mayor Steve Pougnet. “He worked tirelessly and unselfishly to support any local philanthropies, to cheerlead countless community events and to promote the town he loved and helped create. His public service, quick wit and candid rhetoric will be greatly missed by everyone in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. He was a one-of-a-kind… and a true pioneer whose name was synonymous with Palm Springs. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

I immediately was lost in reflection on one early afternoon in late June, when this writer had the privilege to interview Frank at his home in Palm Springs. It was a completely unassuming home for an equally egalitarian man. I spent a totally enjoyable hour with Frank discussing our writing careers, his mastered and mine fledgling. His opening remarks to me were that he had read Gun Play and, so far, he had only found one mistake. In Gun Play, I had written that the fountain at the airport had a concrete circular parapet. He corrected me that it was made of canterra stone. 

In our time together that day, the most significant impression I had of this man was his regard for all the citizens of Palm Springs that he had served, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, and the residents of elegant desert castles and the homeless desert hermits. I looked forward to another visit. Soon.  Today, March 23, 2009: Would that I could...visit again.

I want to share that day in June with you when Claudia Whitsitt (one of my writing students) and I interviewed Frank at his home. The tape is unedited in Windows Media format as I hadn't quite got around to how I would best use it ; honoring Frank now seems appropriate. Technical notes include the fact that his living room was full of light, sound from neighborhood construction and, most of all, Frank's 99 year-old spirit.   

Download the interview. 


 Born Jan. 1, 1910, Bogert arrived in Palm Springs in the 1920s  More...

Gun Play Ads hit the radio waves in Palm Springs

by Michael 3/18/2009 8:00:00 PM

Listen to it here first!!!

Hear it in the coming weeks by tuning into Newstalk 920 KPSI-AM and Progressive Talk 1340 KPTR-AM in Palm Springs.



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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.