Thursday, September 08, 2011

Benny Needles and the King of Cool

Hey pallies, likes all us Dino-philes are likes in for a total total Dino-treat today as ilovedinomartin turns over the reigns to our Dino-holic author pallie Miss Gayle Carline scribe of the murder and mayhem mysteries, "Freezer Burn" and most recently "Hit Or Missus" both featurin' the Dino-lovin' character Benny Needles.

Likes I just recently finished comsumin' "Hit Or Missus" and likes read it in a couple of days..which is quick for me 'cause like our Dino, I ain't the greatest...or the fastest reader in the whole world...but like "Freezer Burn" I found it hard to put down. In a few, I hopes to do a Dino-review of "Hit Or Missus" here at the ol' Dino-blog.

Likes in the mean time, Miss Gayle Carline has agreed to favor us with an exclusive ilovedinomartin guest post sharin' a bit 'bout how her Dino-addicted character Benny Needles was developed and a delightful essay created by Benny in the 6th grade on his hero....none other then our most beloved Dino!

Please run, don't walk to your neighborhood bookstore to get your copy of the Dino-centric tome "Hit Or Missus"...and if by chance you haven't read the first in the series, gets your hands on "Freezer Burn" as well. To learn more about Miss Gayle Carline, clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram to view her home pad where you can order books directly from her, or from the 'net.

ilovedinomartin sez our thanks to our most supportive pallie Miss Gayle Carline and we thanks you so so much for offerin' up the Dino-riffic op to share these exclusive insights into the character of Mr. Benny soul brother in Dino and Dino-addict extraordinare! Dino-delightedly, DMP

Benny Needles and the King of Cool

I would like to preface this post by explaining a little thing that non-writers don't always understand about writers: we're not crazy when we treat our characters like they're real people. To create believable characters, we must act like they exist. In our fictional worlds, each person must have a history, marital status, family, a set of beliefs and moral codes, etc., boundaries that real people possess.

If you've read a lot of fiction, you've probably read varying degrees of quality, and you've come across a writer who treats his characters like they're made out of paper. It shows, and it's not enjoyable, is it?

So when I started my first mystery novel, I invented Benny Needles, picturing him as an amoral man who collects memorabilia in order to sell it, because he'll do anything to make a buck. Once I began figuring out why a grown man would have an ice cube tray autographed by Dean Martin, and why he'd hire a detective to find it in his own house, it put a different spin on Benny's world. Suddenly I had a sympathetic, if annoying, man who needed a pallie - Dean Martin.

Sometimes I "find" journals written by my characters. Benny is not a journal writer. However, I did find his sixth grade essay, "My Hero." It took me awhile to decipher it, since Benny's handwriting was mostly illegible, and Benny as a twelve-year old is no Hemingway. But here it is.

* * * * *

My Hero by Benny Needles

My hero is Dean Martin. Dean Martin sings and acts and is a big star. He was born in Steubenville, Ohio on June 7, 1917. His real name is Dino Paul Crocetti. Dean Martin has sang lots of songs and made lots of albums. He has starred in many movies. My favorite is Rio Bravo. He plays Dude who starts out drunk and pretty dirty but then takes a bath and helps John Wayne shoot the bad guys.
Dean Martin is my hero because he is the King of Cool and gets to do fun things, like singing and making movies. He is really funny on his TV show that my mom and me watch every Thursday night. Everybody likes him and they call him Dino which is funny because its his real name even tho he changed it to Dean.
My dad has been gone for two years, so sometimes I get sad and miss him. When my mom says I look like Dean Martin it makes me happy. Sometimes I wish Dean Martin was my dad. Then I could see him every Thursday on TV and maybe we would have a secret sign, like he could wink, to say hello to me. When I grow up, I want to be cool, just like Dean Martin.

* * * * *

When I wrote my latest Peri Minneopa Mystery, Hit or Missus, I originally didn't plan to have Benny in the story. He was a client in Freezer Burn, so I thought he wouldn't fit in. I planned to bring him back in the third or fourth book, again as a client. But I had so many readers ask, "You're bringing Benny back, right?" I was surprised. So I found a way for him to return, in a most effective yet annoying role.
I think Benny is now part of the recurring case of my Peri mysteries. This means Dino will be there, too, guiding Benny toward the everlasting light of Cool.


Kylie said...

I can really identify with the character Benny Needles.
This would be great reading

Gayle Carline said...

Thank you so much for allowing me a little corner of your blog-o-sphere, Mr. Peters. Much Dino-love to you and your followers!