Monday, August 03, 2009

bennyheartsdino by Miss Gayle Carline

Hey pallies,likes we are all in for a real Dinotreat here. Miss Gayle Carline, author of "Freezer Burn" has consented to write an exclusive column for this here ilovedinomartin Dinoblog 'bout her "Freezer Burn" character Benny Needles and his extraordinary Dinopassion.

Finished readin' "Freezer Burn" a few ago and you will find my Dinoreview posted here.....gotta say that Miss Gayle Carline has a knack with creatin' her characters and Mr. Needles is no exception. I immediately was ready to call Benny my pallie and I loves how Miss Gayle Carline shows off his sits back, relax and learn the who, what, when, where, and how of bennyheartsdino.

And, pallies, if you have not got your hands on Miss Gayle Carline's book, I woulda likes strong encourage to find it on-line or even better, order if from your local bookstore joint. To view Miss Gayle Carline's homepad to learn more 'bout "Freezer Burn" likes clicks on the tagg of this Dinogram. Dinodelightedly, DMP

I thought I would write this guest entry in the coolspeak of my delightful host, but decided it might be like when I visit my relatives in Kentucky and start "y'allin" everyone. Some folks don't mind, but others get their knickers in a twist, as in, "Y'all mawkin' me, Missy?"

"No, Uncle Buster. Please put the shotgun back on those deer antlers."

So, I promise to resist the urge to go all Dinofabulous here and treat you all as my "pallies", at least, not until we get to know each other better.

In my book, Freezer Burn, my protagonist, Peri, is a former housecleaner-turned-detective. Her client is Benny Needles, a Dean Martin fanatic. He has stuffed his house with memorabilia, via auctions, eBay, and private collectors. His lost ice cube tray, autographed by Dino and used for his drinks on the set of Ocean's Eleven, sets the mystery in motion for the rest of the book.

Why did I want Dino to be the object of Benny's obsession?

As a character, Benny began his life as the Guy You Love to Hate. Slimy, degenerate, amoral, self-centered… get the picture? I believed that, in the course of 300 pages, he could steal something big, knock off a few folks, and still sleep at night. I typed my first well-planned scene: he walked into Peri's office as a disgusting egomaniac, plopped down in a chair and started to talk. And guess what? He wasn't who I thought he was.

I know what you're thinking - how is that possible? When a writer creates the character, don't they get to play God? Yes and no. We create our world and we populate it with characters. We get to assign physical traits, as well as personalities. Once we get the scene set, however, we have to maintain the boundaries we have established for everyone. We can't have the country preacher cursing like Gordon Ramsey, unless we've given him a psychological reason to do so.

When I made the lost ice cube tray a part of Benny's obsession with Dean Martin, it revealed his true nature to me, as someone who is not comfortable with himself. He is a little man, insecure, obsessive-compulsive, difficult to get along with, but not intentionally so. Life confuses him. He needs a hero, that "big brother" to emulate.

And what better legend to emulate than Dino? Of all of the members of the Rat Pack, Martin was the coolest, in my opinion. My association with Dino is like a three-act play. Act 1 was when I was a child, enjoying him in Martin & Lewis comedies. In Act 2, I was a teenager, enjoying him every week on his variety show on TV. And, as an adult, I re-discovered him in Act 3, as the cool cat of Ocean's Eleven and Some Came Running.

What I loved most about Dino was that, beneath the suave exterior of that crooner with the drink and the smoke, I saw a clown who loved to joke around with people. He was a guy in control of his coolness. He could be downright homey, or dial the smooth up to eleven, which makes him the King of Cool in my book.

Benny needs Dean Martin. Calling on the Dino legend is the only way he can face each day. Toward the end of my book, Benny explains his fascination, and why his house is filled with Dino-centric souvenirs. For me, writing that scene was the culmination of finding out who Benny is and why we care for him, even when we don't exactly like him.

I wouldn't say Benny ends up completely innocent of all charges in Freezer Burn, but he's not the snake in the grass I imagined. It's possible that Dean had something to do with it. I like to think that maybe Dino was looking over my shoulder, as Benny's guardian angel, to make sure his slightly repulsive, always insecure fan wasn't mistreated.

Now, how can my potential pallies (may I call you "pallies"?) read about Benny's love for Dean? Freezer Burn is currently available for purchase on, Barnes & Nobel (, or at the publisher's website, If you'd like an autographed copy, I have a Paypal button on my website. Just visit to order!

May I also thank my lovely host for allowing me to blather on about how much Benny hearts Dino? Now that I've found his Dino-site, I visit it often to see who's saying what about the late, great Dean Martin!

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