We’re so pleased to welcome author Michael Rupured today to give us all a little insight into Happy Independence Day, the historical novel just re-released by DSP Publications.
I left my old Kentucky home in 1996 for a temporary assignment in Washington, DC. Forty was just around the corner and I was bitter about being over-the-hill, and—once again—single. The change would do me good. I rented out my house, packed two cats and all my worldly possessions into a rented truck, and drove to DC.
For the next eighteen months, I lived in an apartment two blocks from Dupont Circle. A colleague hooked me up with a great group of gay guys who invited me along to parties and showed me around town. I may have been over-the-hill in a college town like Lexington, but in DC, Stella got her groove back.
Until Thanksgiving, my first novel and the first Philip Potter Story, was inspired by my time in DC. The characters and story are fictional. Bits and pieces were inspired by real people, places, and events. That’s why writing fiction is so much fun—nobody knows the difference.
Josh Freeman is interested in Thad Parker, who lives with Philip Potter in a big fancy house near Dupont Circle. Philip is Thad’s uncle, but Josh assumes they are lovers and, as there are other fish in the sea, moves on, catching the attention of a serial killer.
No Good Deed (the second Philip Potter Story), was inspired by a conversation in the first book. Philip mentions a lover who’d killed himself thirty years earlier on Christmas Eve. Until Thanksgiving is set in 1996, so the suicide had to take place in 1966. Since my astute fans would already know it happened, I decided to start the story with that Christmas Eve suicide.
Reading up on gay life in the 1960s was a refresher course on the way things used to be and a reminder of how very far the LGBT community has come. Looking back helped me to appreciate where I am today—where we all are today. The contrast between then and now inspired much of the story.
After No Good Deed, I wasn’t ready to leave the 1960s. I’d heard about the Stonewall riots and started thinking of ways Philip and some of his friends might have been involved. As I learned more about the riots, the story for Happy Independence Day came together.
The details around the Stonewall uprising make for a great story. There’s a Mafia connection, corrupt cops, ties to a political campaign, chorus lines of drag queens facing off against the riot police—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The uprising is the backdrop for a story that practically wrote itself.
About the Book
Series: Phillip Potter
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 256 Pages
Purchase Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || DSP Publications
Blurb: Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. Little does he know the world is already changing, and his part in it won’t be what he expects. A prelaw student at Columbia University, Terrence’s interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie, the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn. Too bad Cameron bolts whenever Terrence looks his way.
College dropout Cameron McKenzie left tiny Paris, Kentucky, with dreams of a career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he prostitutes himself to survive. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes. He’s in over his head with no way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve cement shoes and a swim in the Hudson.
Terrence finally confronts Cameron, and they return to the Stonewall Inn during another police raid. But this time the patrons aren’t going quietly. While Terrence sees his chance to stand beside his friends and stand up for his beliefs, Cameron sees the distraction of the riots as an opportunity to escape—even if it means walking away from the only man he’s ever loved.
About the Author
Michael Rupured joined the Athens Writers Workshop in 2010 and has since published four novels: Until Thanksgiving in 2012, After Christmas Eve in 2013 (rereleased as No Good Deed in 2016), Happy Independence Day (a 2014 Rainbow Award runner up rereleased in 2016) and Whippersnapper (January 2016). He’s on the faculty of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia and has received numerous awards for financial education programs he’s developed over the last thirty years for youths and low-income families and served in a variety of leadership roles at the state and national level. Visit his blog, follow him on Twitter @crotchetyman and Facebook, or send an email message to email@example.com.