Our friend Nicole from Tribute Books is back to visit and today she has another author that she would like to introduce us to. So without further ado, Mr. Ken Dalton!!
Ken Dalton was born in 1938 at Hollywood Hospital. He grew up with his parents, his older sister, Pat, and younger brother, Richard in Los Angeles. The year 1938 informs the quick reader that Ken’s older than a lot of people, but younger than some.
In a turn of bad luck, the dreaded Polio virus found Ken.
At the end of World War ll, Ken’s family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming for a year where he learned how to live through snow blizzards, avoid walking through the large pile of coal in the basement, and how to survive life as an Army Officer’s brat on a base called Fort Warren.
By the age of sixteen, after eleven years of operations, therapy, and braces, Ken’s luck changed dramatically when he met the girl of his dreams at a party. A few years later they married, produced three wonderful children, and settled into a happy life in Southern California.
In 1966, Ken, who worked as a technician for Pacific Bell, and his family left Southern California for the green hills of Sonoma County where they bought a home in Sebastopol surrounded with apple trees. A few years later, Ken and Arlene built a new home on three and a half acres. They raised cows, pigs, and learned how to build outstanding fences. While their children grew, they hosted two exchange students, Eva Reimers from Sweden, and Tanja Wuttke from Germany, both of whom are still loved members of the Dalton clan. Also during those years, Ken was promoted to management at Pacific Bell. He eventually ended up responsible for all the central offices, sixty-three, in an area that covered five counties.
In 1977, Ken, Arlene, Bob Wiltermood, and his wife Norma, designed, built, and operated a 2000 case winery named Pommeraie Vineyards. They produced award winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. However, after Bob died, the winery was sold. Ken and Arlene moved to a hilltop in Healdsburg.
With the winery gone, and time on their hands, Ken and Arlene started to perform with the Camp Rose Players. Twenty years and forty productions later, both are still acting and singing.
Life was good. All Ken had to do was learn some lines and bow when the audience applauded.
Then, ten years ago, Ken started to write. His first article was published in Golf Illustrated in August 1996. More golf articles followed in national and regional magazines including Golf Magazine and Fairways and Greens.
After a two-year stint on the County Grand Jury, Ken felt the need to begin his first novel.
CM: From what and/or where did you decide on this particular plot? Personal experiences?
How much and what type of research did you have to do for this novel?
Where do the plots for my mysteries come from? To be honest, plots are everywhere. What I have learned to do is recognize the obvious.
KD: Before I penned The Tartan Shroud, my wife and I flew to Scotland for an extended visit.
The first time I walked down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, I recalled Yogi Berra famous quote, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” I felt as if I had been there before. Most of the people passing me on the sidewalk had red hair and freckles, on their arms and faces. As the only kid in my family with red hair and freckles, you cannot imagine how it felt to discover there was a place in this world where I was a member of the majority.
But I was in Scotland to research a new location for my latest Pinky and Bear adventure, so after absorbing the local color of Edinburgh, we traveled to Pitlochry in the midlands.
While playing a round of golf at the Pitlochry Golf Club, (I didn’t say location research was all work) I crossed a wee burn (that’s a little creek to American’s) and the murder scene of The Tartan Shroud popped into my head. From that point on, my golf game suffered because the part of my brain that should have been concentrating on my swing was spinning through potential plot twists and turns.
A couple of days later, I spotted the dam that created Loch Faskally and the second puzzle piece of the plot fit into place.
Before we left Pitlochry and drove north into the highlands, we toured Blair Castle. While I wandered through the opulent rooms and confined corridors, the concluding chapters came into focus.
Now I had my plot, but I knew that I would need assistance from someone in Scotland who could guide me through the troubled waters of Scottish police procedures, and Scottish law. I found that man in Sergeant William MacFarlane. After some correspondence via snail mail, Willie took me under his wing, answered every question, and he even made suggestions in some sections of the manuscript where I had a problem concerning the proper police title.
So there you have it. That is how I developed the plot for The Tartan Shroud. All I had to do was wander through Scotland and recognize the obvious—from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh—to a golf course in Pitlochry—to the impressive Blair Castle, home of the Duke of Atholl.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A bulldozer unearths a young girl’s body on a golf course in Scotland but for some reason, Fergus Murray, the top crime officer in Tayside seems unwilling to pursue the case. Fergus contacts Willow Stone, his American cousin and pleads for help. Willow, Pinky’s favorite ex-wife, calls in all her chips and convinces Pinky, Bear, Flo, and Ettamae to go to the small Scottish town of Pitlochry to help her cousin find the killer. Along the way the American’s come across a forester with a wonky eye—haggis—the occasional bad weather spring day—various Scottish policeman all named McSomething—mutton pie—a near new, sixty-year-old Austin Taxi—a bathroom that could double for a freezer—the nearly indecipherable Scottish accent—many glasses of whiskey and beer—ancient records—a broadsword—and a real Duke! Ride with Bear, Flo, and Henry during their final mad dash across Scotland to try to stop the murderer before he kills again inside the hallowed halls of Blair Castle.
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AUTHOR, KEN DALTON, IS HOSTING A GIVEAWAY FOR
TEN (10) LUCKY WINNERS. ENDS FEB 1st. U.S. ONLY ENTER BELOW
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in exchange for my honest review.
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