I would like to thank Michael Rupured for taking the time to talk to us about his MLR Press release After Christmas Eve and more. Check out my and Ulysses’ review.
1. Your latest release is After Christmas Eve from MLR Press. What can you tell us about it?
The inspiration for After Christmas Eve came from a scene in my first book, Until Thanksgiving (Dreamspinner Press), when Philip Potter tells his nephew (Thad Parker) about a lover who’d killed himself thirty years earlier on Christmas Eve. Setting the story in 1966 pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I read a lot about living gay in the sixties and talked with friends who’d been out back then. The era is as much a character in the story as Philip, Shirley White, or Terrence Bottom.
2. What’s with the holiday titles?
Until Thanksgiving was a last minute change from Addicted, a title that didn’t work after the story took a different direction from what I had in mind (which happens with every book I write). Given the opening scenes, After Christmas Eve made perfect sense as a title for the second book. The sequel takes place at the end of June 1969, leading me to go with Happy Independence Day. There will be more holiday books on down the road, but I’ve got a few projects I want to work on first.
3. What book do you keep by your bed?
This really dense historical novel about near-royalty I’m allegedly descended from that I’ve been reading for years. It’s a fictionalized account of her life—with footnotes in every paragraph. I doubt I’ll ever finish or ever need sleeping pills.
4. If the world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth?
I’d cash in my retirement accounts and spend the money on Viagra, high-class callboys, and all the food I’ve ever done without to keep from gaining weight.
5. If you could be one of your characters who would you be and why?
Philip Potter is my favorite character and the first to come to me “out of thin air.” He’s a source of wisdom in Until Thanksgiving, and always does “the right” thing—to the best of his ability and understanding.
6. Who are your literary heroes outside of the m/m genre and why?
I have an abiding affection for the authors of my youth who got me hooked on reading. Dr. Seuss, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Walter Farley, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien—I could go on and on. Since at least third grade, I’ve loved a good series and by middle school, leaned toward the thickest novels on the shelf so I could spend more time with the characters.
7. Do you read your reviews, and if so do they influence the way you write the next book at all?
I read reviews from both readers and review sites. Praise is great, and something most writers can listen to all day long. Criticism is harder to take, but in the end, more valuable. There’s so much to writing a novel—I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to learn to make the next story better than the one before. A good reviewer (like you!) pats me on the back for what I’ve done well, but also shows me where I can improve.
8. What’s the best thing you’ve ever had someone say about one of your books in an email or review?
Being told my story made someone “ugly cry” ranks high on my list. ☺ Hearing someone enjoyed something I’ve written, whether a blog post or one of my books, makes my day. When I hear they couldn’t put my book down, I do fist pumps in the air and jump around my living room.
9. What is next? What are you working on?
Happy Independence Day—a story taking place between After Christmas Eve and Until Thanksgiving—is scheduled for release by Dreamspinner Press later this year. Philip Potter and the gang end up in New York just in time for the Stonewall Riots of 1969. I also have The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain coming out in A Taste of Honey, a Dreamspinner Press anthology, in August—a departure from anything you’ve seen from me before. I’ve got a first-person trilogy stewing on the back burner, and until it cooks down a bit, I’m working on a couple of short stories and a novella.
10. Where can readers find you on the web?
From the Publisher:
On Christmas Eve, 1966, Philip Potter drops off gifts to the homeless shelter, an act of generosity that later makes him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute.
As Philip Potter wraps up his last minute shopping on Christmas Eve, 1966, James Walker, his lover of several years, takes his life. Unaware of what waits for him at home, Philip drops off gifts to the homeless shelter, an act of generosity that later makes him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute. Two men drive yellow Continentals. One is a killer, with the blood of at least six hustlers on his hands. Both men have secrets. And as Philip is about to discover, James had kept secrets, too. But James wasn’t trying to frame him for murder…
About the Author
For as long as he can remember, Michael Rupured has loved to write. Before he learned the alphabet, he filled page after page with rows of tiny little circles he now believes were his first novels and has been writing ever since. He grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, where he came out as a gay man at the age of 21 in the late 1970s. He considers it a miracle that he survived his wild and reckless twenties.
In 2010, he joined the Athens Writers Workshop, which he credits for helping him transition from writing nonfiction to writing fiction. Michael writes gay romance thrillers that, in addition to entertaining the reader, highlight how far the gay rights movement has come in the last fifty years. A serial monogamist who is currently between relationships, Michael writes with his longhaired Chihuahua, Toodles, in his lap from his home in Athens, Georgia.
To find out what Michael’s up to now, visit his blog (http://rupured.com), follow him on Twitter (@crotchetyman) or send an email message to email@example.com.
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