Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Michael Holloway Perronne for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: Gardens of Hope: A Novel
Author: Michael Holloway Perronne
Publisher: *Not Listed
Cover Artist: Geronimo Quitoriano
Genre: Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Historical
Release Date: 01/15/2017
Can two men from the same city but segregated worlds maintain a connection during a time in US history that not only brands one of them as the enemy but denies that a love such as theirs exists?
On the surface, Jack appears to have all a man in World War II era 1941 could want with his solid middle-class background, upcoming college graduation, and the perfect, devoted fiancee. But one night when he accidentally stumbles upon a shadow life of men who desire other men in a Downtown Los Angeles park, he begins to realize exactly what has always left him with a feeling of emptiness.
Despite the constant danger of being arrested by vice cops, Jack continues to visit the park every chance he has to feel a connection, no matter how fleeting, with another man. One night he meets a handsome and charismatic Japanese-American, Hiro, who appears to want more than a quick encounter, and Jack surprises himself by starting to truly fall in love for the first time.
However, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066 and orders the mandatory relocation of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, who have never been charged with a crime, to far flung internment camps sites. Jack and Hiro suddenly find themselves torn apart before their secret, fledgling romance can blossom.
Desperate to find and reconnect with Hiro, Jack accepts a high school teaching position at an internment camp in the California desert, Manzanar. There, surrounded by armed guard towers and a prison-like environment, Jack begins to fully realize the injustices being faced by Japanese-Americans during one of the most controversial times of United States history and shifts his world view- forever.
Recent Release Spotlight with Michael Holloway Perronne.
We are here today to talk about Gardens of Hope. What can you tell us about it?
Gardens of Hope is about two men from the same city, Los Angeles, but different worlds, culturally, who struggle to maintain their fleeting romantic connection during one of the most controversial parts of World War II.
Please tell us more about our main characters.
The novel is set mostly in 1941 and 1942 during World War II. The main protagonist is Jack, a twenty-two year old man studying to be a teacher, who’s engaged to the first young lady he’s ever dated. He’s struggling with his sexuality, and because of the timeframe of the story, he doesn’t really have a vocabulary to explain what he’s feeling even to himself. One night at a park in Los Angeles that’s infamous for men cruising each other in the 1940s he unexpectedly meets a handsome Japanese-American man around his age, Hiro. This happens just when anti-Japanese sentiment is building in the US and right before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jack is surprised when Hiro seems to want more than just a quick, physical encounter. Just when their relationship is starting to develop and Jack begins to realize his true feeling for other men, President Roosevelt announces Order 9066 which requires Japanese-Americans who have never been committed of any crime be relocated to internment camps, basically prisons, in far flung parts of the country.
What about Gardens of Hope makes you the proudest? This is my first historical novel, and I spent a few years doing research on and off on Japanese-American internment and gay life in 1940s Los Angeles. I hope the book not only touches readers with the love story of Jack and Hiro but also inspires them to learn more about the Japanese-Americans during this time.
What one story made you lose sleep as a kid? It was actually a movie- Poltergeist. I still get shivers down my spine if I hear that little girls say, “They’re here!”
What’s your favorite thing to wear? Sweatpants! I would wear them everywhere if I could get away with it. They’re not very fashion forward, but they sure are comfortable.
How do you choose names? If you decide to change a name, do you feel that it alters your perception of the character? Choosing names is always a tricky thing for me. I try and pick ones that are not just era appropriate but give some insight into the characters. In Gardens of Hope, Hiro’s name is pronounced like the English word “hero,” and that’s exactly what he becomes for Jack through the story.
How will the world end? Hopefully, none of us will be around for this one, but if it does, I have a unfortunate feeling it will be due to human action…or inaction.
If the world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth? I would tell my loved ones how much I care about them, and I would consume as many glazed donuts as I could get my hands on!
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list? Currently, I’m reading “Transition” by Chaz Bono. One of the characters in my next novel, The Other Side of Happy, will be transgender, and I’m reading numerous books on the subject to try and educate myself more on the lives and journeys of the transgender community.
Rapid Fire Time
Batman or Superman? Superman- especially if it’s the early 1990s Dean Cain version. The way that costume fit him- wow!
Salt or Pepper? I love salty, salty foods!
Pickup Truck or Sedan? I definitely prefer a sedan. There’s only so many friends I could cram into a pickup truck!
Hawaii or Colorado? I haven’t been to either location, but I’ve been itching to visit on Hawaii.
Top or Bottom? Well, that all depends on the situation! J
Ice Skating or Ice Hockey? I am a sucker for Olympics figure skating.
Boxers or Briefs? I’m definitely a boxers man. I like everything to be nice and loose!
Tropical island or snow covered mountain cabin? I have to go with the tropical island. I’ve never been a fan of the cold.
West Wing or Friday Night Lights? I haven’t watched either!
Light saber or a Sonic screwdriver? The screwdriver is probably more practical.
Call or text? Without a doubt, I prefer calling! After all, didn’t we invent the phone so we wouldn’t have to write out messages. Sometimes I feel like a conversation via text could be wrapped up a lot faster if people just spoke to each other!
Handcuffs or Rope? I would have to pick rope. What would happen if you lose the handcuff key???
Jock or Thong? Ha! Neither one, especially if it’s me doing the wearing!
Red or White? I have to pick red. A lot of my décor is actually red!
Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings? I’ve never been one for the fantasy genre. That being said, if I had to pick one, I would go with Lord of the Rings.
Trees or Flowers? Flowers! I would love to have a garden if I had some yard space.
first pet and name? I had the cutest chihuahua named Star.
Waxed or Furry? Furry all the way! Be natural!
Country or City? Besides Los Angeles, where I live, I have a soft spot for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and I dream of retiring there one day.
Hugs or Kisses? Why not both? J
Lucky Charms or Trix? I love the marshmallows in Lucky Charms!
Butterfly or Lady bug? Butterflies have also represented a type of rebirth for me, and because of that, I’ve always loved them.
Tattoos or piercings? Actually, neither. I’m too chicken to get a tattoo because I know what I like today could be completely different a month from now.
Pasta or potatoes? You can never have enough carbs!
Cry or Scream? Both!
About the Author
Michael Holloway Perronne is a writer living in Los Angeles. He has a BA from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MFA from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His debut novel, A Time Before Me, won Foreward Magazine’s Bronze Award in Gay & Lesbian Literature. “Gardens of Hope” is his seventh book. For more information on Michael, please visit his website at www.michaelhperronne.com.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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