Michael Rupured on Characters, Writing, and his new release The Case of the Missing Drag Queen (A Luke Tanner Mystery #1) (guest blog)

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The Case of the Missing Drag Queen (A Luke Tanner Mystery #1)

by

Michael Rupured

DSP Publications

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Michael Rupured here today talking about writing, characters, and the latest in the Luke Tanner mystery series, The Case of the Missing Drag Queen.  Welcome, Michael.

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Our Interview with Michael Rupured……

 

How much of yourself goes into a character? Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the character. Probably more than I realize. Many combine aspects of people I know, have seen on television, or in a few instances, passed on the street. Regardless of the inspiration, characters have a way of taking on sometimes surprising lives of their own before I finish the first draft.

Does research play a role in which genre you write? A desire to show how much things have changed for the LGBT community in my lifetime motivates me to write. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness, same-sex relations were illegal, and discrimination was the norm throughout most of the 20th Century. Because life for homosexuals was often dangerous, mysteries are the ideal genre for my stories.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? Like them or not, ebooks in one format or another are here to stay. More options make reading accessible to more readers. I prefer paperbacks, but because of vision issues, usually buy (or rent) audiobooks. Piracy, however, is a huge problem with ebooks. I get notices almost every day about a site offering free downloads of one or more of my books.

How do you choose your cover? I envy authors who know exactly what they want for a cover. I never do. Filling out the cover request form is always a struggle. My brain doesn’t work that way. The artist creates a few different versions, I say what I like and don’t like about each one, and we repeat the process until everyone is satisfied. The stunning cover Alexandria Corza designed for The Case of the Missing Drag Queen is perfect for the story.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why? The Case of the Missing Drag Queen is a contender. It’s the first set entirely in Lexington KY—my hometown—and it takes place in 1982, a few years after I came out. Whippersnapper is the best story. Unfortunately, it’s in the wrong genre. Rather than the May-September romance suggested by the cover and blurb, it’s really about Peggy Tucker’s big awakening. The HEA ending makes me cry every time.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work? Funny you should ask. After Happy Independence Day was published, I abandoned half a dozen manuscripts. Around 15,000 words, the story ran out of gas leaving a great cast of characters with no place to go. With a lot of encouragement, I did finish Whippersnapper, then couldn’t finish a story if my life depended on it. In May of last year, I figured out what was wrong with my abandoned stories. I found out a novel is supposed to be about the main character’s literal or figurative journey. You could have knocked me over with a feather! The Case of the Missing Drag Queen is my first novel since that epiphany.

What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into the story? I first heard about m-m romance a few weeks after I started writing Until Thanksgiving. When pressed to identify the genre, a member of my writers group said it was m-m romance and sent me several to read. Like many gay male authors who stumble into the genre, I confess to having had a bit of a chip on my shoulder for a short time about all the straight female readers and writers. I felt like I had something to prove, and wrote some extremely graphic sex scenes. Another member of the group said lighting was the difference between romance and porn, and my scenes were very brightly lit. In the end, I kept a few paragraphs from the beginning and end of each scene and cut the rest.

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why? It’s tempting to say the beach, or the mountains, or by a lake, but I’d be lying. I’m happy writing in my comfy leather recliner here in Athens GA with my diabetic chihuahua between my legs and everything I need within easy reach.

Blurb

Broke, saddled with a mountain of debt, and dependent on his Aunt Callie’s support, aspiring writer Luke Tanner has returned to Kentucky to put his life back together after a failed five-year relationship.

On his twenty-fifth birthday, Luke meets diminutive Pixie Wilder, a long-time performer at the Gilded Lily. After headliner Ruby Dubonnet doesn’t show up, Pixie takes her place as the star of the show—a motive that makes her a suspect in Ruby’s disappearance.

Luke reluctantly agrees to help his new-found friend clear her name. He and Pixie set out to find the missing drag queen, and in the process, put themselves in danger.

About the Author

Michael Rupured writes stories true enough for government work about gay life from the 1960s to today. This life-long Southerner was born in Fayetteville NC, grew up in Lexington KY, and after 18 months in Washington DC, moved to Athens GA where he’s lived since 1999. By day, he’s senior faculty in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. He’s an avid fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, the Kentucky Wildcats, and any team playing the Florida Gators. In his free time, Michael tinkers with his garden, plays with Toodles (his diabetic chihuahua), and keeps up with his many friends around the country. Previous novels include Until Thanksgiving (thriller), No Good Deed (mystery/thriller), Whippersnapper (regional), and Happy Independence Day (historical). Visit his website, follow on Twitter and Goodreads, like his Facebook page, or shoot him a message (mrupured@gmail.com).

 

The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

Series: Luke Tanner Mysteries, Book One

Genre: Mystery, LGBT Fiction

Word Count: 60K

In the Book Spotlight: The Camp by Victoria Zagar (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Camp by Victoria Zagar
Release Date: August 5, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Prizm Books
Cover Artist: BSClay

Sales Links:   Torquere Books  | Amazon

Blurb:

Jesse Harvan comes home from school one day to find his parents have discovered the gay pornographic magazine hidden under his bed. Disgusted, they decide to send Jesse to Camp Grady, a summer camp which prides itself on converting people’s sexuality.

Once at the camp, Jesse meets the other inmates: Charlie, a disabled African-American gay teenager, Natalie, a transgender girl, her sister Lita, Japanese lesbian Sakura, and last of all, Minister Grady’s son Jacob, who works for the camp under duress. These teens must learn to bridge their differences and get along if they’re to beat their common enemy and keep their identities–and sanity–intact.

Pages or Words: 27,600 words

Categories: Contemporary, LGBT Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, Transexual, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance

Excerpt:

I sit in the back of an old school bus that has been converted for the camp’s use. It rankles that I didn’t even get to say goodbye to Sam. Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me near him. I tried to send him an e-mail, but it was blocked. I didn’t have time to figure out how their new family-filter software worked. The next morning, I was on a plane to Pennsylvania, Mom and Dad accompanying me like this was some kind of family vacation. They left me at the airport and went their own way, transferring me directly to camp custody so that I wouldn’t get infected with any gay on the way.

I know I’ll be going back home eventually, but it doesn’t feel like it right now. I feel like Camp Grady will go on forever. My greatest fear is that the me who goes home won’t be the same as the one sitting here right now.

What if they can change me? What if they do have the power to fix me? That thought in my head argues with its natural opposite: I’m not broken. I won’t change. There’s nothing they can do to change who I am.

Last night I scared myself. I went onto the Internet and looked up ex-gay camps, which surprisingly were not filtered out. There are people who claim that they work. That they’ve thrown away partners, friends, and husbands because they’ve been ‘cured’. I read reports of abuse and beatings that made my stomach clench. I cried myself to sleep for the first time in a long time. I’m genuinely scared. How can something like this be legal? Apparently in California it isn’t. I wish I was a San Francisco kid. Maybe then my parents would be cool, and I wouldn’t feel so alone in the world.

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About the author:

Victoria was born in the United Kingdom but emigrated to the United States at age 21. She’s bisexual, genderqueer, happily married, and still shouts in a British accent. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania where she spends a lot of time playing and talking about video games, especially Japanese role-playing games.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/synthesislandale
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/infinitelovefiction
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/landale
Website http://victoriazagar.com


Tour Dates & Stops: August 3, 2015
Parker Williams, MM Good Book Reviews, Just Love Romance, Jessie G. Books, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Full Moon Dreaming, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, My Fiction Nook, Ogitchida Book Blog, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘The Camp’ by Victoria Zagar Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Need An Anthology to Love? Well, Love is a Mess Has the Stories for You! (contest)

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Time to Focus on Anthologies!

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Title: Love Is A Mess (a Supposed Crimes anthology)
Release Date: January 3, 2015

Author Names/Stories:

  • Viral Valentine by L. M. Perrin
    When a Valentine’s Day prank goes badly, Paige’s guilt won’t let her watch the victim walk away without a proper apology.
  • Date Blind by Geonn Cannon
    A woman discovers the worst possible blind date scenario when her date turns out to be someone who bullied her in high school.
  • The Politician and the Pilot by Amber Kinsey
    A politician and a pilot make a steamy connection on Valentine’s Day.
  • Bar Tryst by Rachael Orman
    After her roommate blackmailed her into going to an Anti-Valentine’s day party, Vanessa decided to make the best of it especially when the bartender shared that she was looking to have a good time too.
  • Quarter Life: Energy Feed by Adrian J. Smith
    With strange creatures in her path, Faye is determined to get the information she wants no matter the cost.
  • Property of Cupid by Eva Lefoy
    Will an ancient Greek god give up half his powers to love a mere human? Or will Cupid loose his golden arrow, letting Jeremy fall in love with another man?
  • Private Dance by A. M. Leibowitz
    With Alex’s sexy boyfriend, Phin, gone for three weeks, there’s only one option: let his best friend’s kids lead him on a treasure hunt through town to find his Valentine’s gift waiting for him to unwrap.
  • The Last Mitzvah by Michael DuPuy
    One man seeks salvation over love, death, and ice cream.

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About the authors:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family at amleibowitz.com.

Adrian J. Smith, aka AJ, loves to write women, and specifically women who are strong, independent and fall in love with other women. She claims bisexuality but is probably closer to omnisexual. She’s a go with the flow type of person. She loves writing urban fantasy and creatures and powers of all different kinds. She also loves writing women in uniform, because let’s face it, a woman in uniform has an irresistible draw. Most of her stories have a romantic element, but if you want action, drama, plot with a hint of romance, she’s the author for you. Find her at adrianjsmith.wordpress.com.

Amber Kinsey is a part-time federal employee, full-time geek, and occasional writer. She lives in a suburb of Nashville, TN with her three cats: one is the light of her life; the other two are just little stinkers.

Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers. You can find her blog at writery.wordpress.com.

Geonn Cannon is the author of On the Air, Gemini, World on Fire, The Following Sea, Tilting at Windmills, Only Flame and Air, Confused by Shadows, Chasing Dragons, What Matter Wounds?, Silence Out Loud, the Riley Parra series, Railroad Spine, Gunfire Echoes, the Underdogs series, Girls Don’t Hit, and The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary. He also wrote an official tie-in novel for Stargate SG-1 titled “Two Roads” and contributed a Stargate Atlantis story to the “Far Horizons” anthology. An archive of free stories can be found at geonncannon.com. When he’s not writing, he’s asleep.

L. M. Perrin is an English major who writes fiction to break up the monotony of analyzing novels. She lives in Leelanau County, also known as Michigan’s pinky finger, with her dog and the occasional stray cat, and in her opinion there is nothing wrong with spending a night binging on Netflix and pizza. This is her first published piece.

Michael DuPuy, while not investigating epistemological dead ends, cultivates a greater understanding of the folly of man most often by recreating as many of such folly’s as possible through no intent of his own. Michael turned to writing as a method of perhaps extending his sanity and to justify his coffee consumption. If anything this tactic has backfired.

Rachael Orman: Mother by day. Writer by night. I spend a majority of my day with my children and reading while my nights are filled with the sound of the keyboard as I work on my next work. 

I have written in F/F, F/F/M, F/F/F and then of course F/M genres…. So, beware, I do not always have the most ‘traditional’ scenes. And one day I will venture into M/M, just have to find the time. 

I love to try new things and learn from every piece of work I write. I’ll write just about anything once to learn from it. I’ve even ventured out of my normal erotica genre into Monster Erotica. Doubt you’ll find me writing anything not erotic as you can barely get me to even read something out of that category, but then again, you never know what I might try next.

About the Publisher:
Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Cover Artist: C.E. Case
Categories: LGBT fiction, Romance, Gay Romance, Lesbian Romance
Pages or Words: 35,000 words, 119 pages
Tour Dates: February 9, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Rebecca Cohen Writes, MM Good Book Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews, Molly Lolly, Kristy’s Brain Food, BFD Book Blog, Cate Ashwood, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Kimi-Chan, Carly’s Book Reviews

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Love Is A Mess’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Rafflecopter Code:
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Never A Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton

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Release Date is May 13, 2013 from Riptide Publishing.  Review reposted on May 14, 2013.

Rating: 4.5 star

Never A Hero coverOwen Meade watches from his window as the duplex next to him exchanges one renter for another looking at the men he sees carrying boxes and moving furniture.  Two are clearly a couple and the others are astonishing in their diverse physiology and tattoos.  And Owen wonders who they are and what they do, knowing the chances of finding out are slim as he never leaves his house.  Owen stutters, and years of  verbal abuse from his mother over his sexuality as well as his congenitally amputated arm have left him so traumatized socially that he confines himself to his rooms in his side of the duplex, rarely venturing out unless absolutely necessary.  Owen works at home and has his groceries delivered, making his hermit like lifestyle possible until his new neighbor changes everything.

Veterinarian Nick Reynolds moves into the downstairs duplex with his three dogs and immediately goes to meet his new neighbor. Friendly, outgoing and unflappable, Nick lets Owen know immediately that his arm doesn’t bother him as his sister has a congenitally amputated arm too. Introductions soon turn into friendship with Nick and his sister who pulls Owen into piano lessons for the both of them.  And always Owen senses that Nick is attracted to him, an attraction that Owen returns.  In fact, Owen thinks he just might be falling in love with Nick, but every time they get close physically, it is Nick who pulls away leaving Owen confused and hurt.

Nick is hiding a secret of his own and Owen must become his own hero, thwart his mother and Nick’s own fears, to save the day and his future with the man he has come to love.

What a lovely book!  Marie Sexton has provided us with many wonderful characters before but Nick Reynolds and Owen Meade are at the top of the crowd.  Owen has had a life time of parental abuse from his mother that has resulted in a stutter, lack of self confidence and a painful shyness about his truncated arm.  I have never met a character quite like Owen before . Marie Sexton has done a great job in bringing this man totally to life so that we get a glimpse of what it must feel like to be a person with disabilities, their apprehensions and difficulties in doing small things for themselves that others accomplish with ease.  The title comes from the fact that his mother refused to let him wear super hero costumes on Halloween because of his disability. And the author brings home to the reader the pain and unrelenting stress his mother’s abuse that Owen suffered from as a child and into adulthood. Owen’s endearing, easy to empathize with, and you feel angry on his behalf when his mother reenters the picture.

Nick Reynolds was also a surprise.  I never guessed at his secret and found myself as confounded as Owen was.  Here again, the author moves forward with knowledge and sensibility to defuse a delicate situation and handle this serious topic with needed sensitivity.  Plus Nick is a veterinarian, a favorite vocation of mine.  Gorgeous, caring, you just know he is the perfect match for Owen. He has his own flaws and is easy to relate to.  I loved him as well.

Another thing I have come to count on in a Marie Sexton story is the beautiful flow of her narrative.  Never dense, never jerky, the story moves forward so smoothly, so effortlessly that the chapters transition one into another without bringing the reader up short once.  She makes it look so easy that you forget how difficult it is to achieve.

As this is a Tucker Springs, Colorado book, other characters from previous stories make appearances to my total delight.  Really, I can’t get enough of this series, I hope you feel the same when you get started.   Never A Hero contains everything you need for a fabulous story, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself still awake at 2 am because you just can’t put this book down.  I wanted to don my Superman duds and head out to the Light district to find Nick and Owen, Seth, El and all the rest.  By now they feel like close friends.  So grab a few tissues, this book and curl up in anticipation as you start in on Never A Hero.  You don’t have to have read the other books in the group but it helps to identify the various characters who pop up in this story.

Tucker Springs Website

Here are the books in the order they were written:

Where Nerves End (Tucker Springs, #1) by L.A. Witt

Second Hand (Tucker Springs, #2) by Marie Sexton

Dirty Laundry (Tucker Springs, #3) by Heidi Cullinan

Covet Thy Neighbor (Tucker Springs, #4) by L.A. Witt

Never a Hero (Tucker Springs, #5) by Marie Sexton