The Crotchety Old Man

Dec 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

In My Wildest Dreams

Getting my first novel published was a huge accomplishment. That Dreamspinner Press would publish paperbacks in a genre dominated by e-publishers was an added bonus. I’d never become a household name, but at least I’d have a book to autograph for my friends. To temper my expectations as the release date drew near, I kept telling myself that I’m in this for the long haul. Thanks to my day job, I don’t need the income to pay my bills. No big deal if nobody buys my book. At least it’s out there, and that’s an important first step. Building up a base of readers takes time. Shortly after it was released, Until Thanksgiving broke into the top 25 on Amazon’s …

Dec 28, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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The Longest Night

Winter is my least favorite time of year. I hate cold weather, and the shorter days trigger my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Throw in all the holidays that revolve around food and a tendency to carb-load, and the biggest gift I get every year is an extra twenty pounds–or more–that I spend the next twelve months trying to shed. Moving to Georgia helped. Mild winters make it possible to get out in the sun more, and that really makes a difference with the SAD. But I’d still gain too much weight over the winter. Something had to change. And since winter and shorter days weren’t going anywhere (absent climate change), it was up to me. Last year, after losing a lot …

Dec 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Still Crotchety

Okay, I admit it. People piss me off. Not what you’d expect from the guy who works so hard to stay focused on the positive. But it’s true. Most, if not all, of my anger episodes come about when someone breaks a rule. Some of these are laws. Others are things that, in my opinion, you’re just supposed to know. I guess you could call them Michael’s Rules. The net result is that my bitch button gets pushed all the damn time. The grocery store really sets me off. I’ve got a job to do, dammit, and it’s not one I enjoy. Maneuvering carts with damaged wheels is hard enough without people stopping in the middle of the aisle to …

Dec 23, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Joining a Writers Group

The start of another year is like Christmas for the resolution industry. The gym will be crowded and meetings at Weight Watchers will be standing room only. January is also when we see a big influx of new members in our local writers group. Seems there are lots of aspiring writers out there. Some have maybe only thought about writing a book. Others have finished works that keep getting rejected. They want to know if I did something they didn’t do that made a difference. That’s not what they say, of course, but that’s what they really want to know. Quite a few successful writers–far more knowledgable and experienced than I–have written books about how to write a novel and/or …

Dec 21, 2012
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Meet Shira Anthony

Today it’s an honor and a privilege to welcome the beautiful and multi-talented Shira Anthony. She’s here to talk about her newest novel. Make her feel welcome! Thanks, Michael, for hosting me on your blog and letting me ramble a bit about my classical music series, Blue Notes. It’s a pleasure to be here. And congrats to you on your new release! For those of you who may not be familiar with the Blue Notes Series, these are interrelated, standalone gay romance novels, each with a classical music theme. Secondary characters in one book become the main characters in another, and the books can be read in any order. The third book in the Blue Notes Series, Aria, will be …
Dec 19, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged in the Next Big Thing—a blog hop that started back in October and has gone viral. To participate, I need to answer questions about the novel I’m currently in the process of writing. Thanks to Charlie Cochet for inviting me. What is the working title of your book? After Christmas Eve. Yes, another holiday title, and I’d be willing to bet you’ll see more holiday titles from me in the next couple of years. Where did the idea come from for the book? In Until Thanksgiving, available from Dreamspinner Press, Thad’s Uncle Philip–one of the supporting characters–mentions a lover who killed himself thirty years earlier. After Christmas Eve is set in 1966 and begins with that suicide. What …

Dec 17, 2012
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A Release Party, Southern Style

Let the party begin! Today Dreamspinner Press releases my very first novel, Until Thanksgiving, a male-male romance/thriller involving a serial killer who has it out for Josh Freeman. The story begins in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky and jumps to the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC. There’s an excerpt below. One of the neatest and most surprising things about becoming a published author has been the warm welcome by other writers. I’m sure there are exceptions out there, but all the Dreamspinner Press authors I’ve met have been very nice, and generous with sage advice that I don’t know what I’d have done without. As luck would have it, I share a release date with Eden Winters–one of the nicest of …
Dec 16, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Totally Cool

The big day has finally arrived. At midnight tonight, Dreamspinner Press will release my first novel, Until Thanksgiving, as a paperback and in multiple digital formats. I’m walking on air. That the editors at Dreamspinner Press liked my first novel enough to offer me an advance blew me away. But four months ago, I had no idea what was in store for me. Signing the contract was just the first of many thrills, and I’m pretty sure this is only the beginning. I’ve had an amazing career in academia and achieved success beyond my wildest dreams. Over the last quarter century, my work has garnered numerous awards, recognitions, and accolades from my peers across the country. I tell you this …

Dec 12, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Home for Christmas

All the change in my life in the last six months will make 2012 a year to remember. To recap, I’ve said goodbye to my father, reconnected with a dear friend I never thought I’d see again, talked to family members I’d never met before, published my first novel, split up with my ex, moved into a new house, and taken on new duties at my day job. That’s a lot for one year, much less six months–and that’s just the big stuff. Friends and family members worry about me and how I’m coping with all the loss. I’m blessed to have so many people in my life who care about me, and grateful for the outpouring of love and …

Dec 10, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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And a Dog Named ‘Too’

If you’ve seen me with my little chihuahua, you know that Toodles and I have a special relationship. Views on our bond vary from “isn’t that adorable!” to “one or more of you needs professional help.” I can see both sides and will only say, it is what it is. One of the more difficult decisions my ex and I had to make as we restructured our relationship was whether or not to separate the dogs. I can’t imagine how difficult the decision must be when you’re dealing with children rather than dogs. Would they be scarred for life? Require years of counseling? End up on death row in the dog pound? We went back and forth, changing our mind …

Dec 07, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Change

Change is the one thing in life that never changes–and I’m not talking about coins. That change is a constant force in our lives isn’t a novel concept. A quote about “change being the dominant factor in society today” is attributed to Isaac Asimov, with lots of dissenters pointing to similar comments dating back to 500 B.C. The versatile word can be used as a noun or a verb (transitive or intransitive) and, depending on how it’s used, means many different things. Change can be gradual or instantaneous, positive or negative, expected or not, and of varying magnitude and intensity. The impact may be minimal, enormous, or somewhere in between. Most of us learn to live with the gradual changes …

Dec 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

The Southern Way

Today my new bedroom furniture arrives. Regular readers will recall I ended up ordering enough for at least two and possibly three bedrooms. After the furniture arrives and I get it arranged the way I want it, my move will be complete. I’m grateful for a team of contractors who worked together to get me into the house as fast as they could. My success can be attributed to what I call the Southern Way. Allow me to explain. Without going into the particulars, I picked my real estate agent because I’d done something nice for her daughter. I’m not saying she owed me. It wasn’t like that at all. But she did have a deep appreciation for what I’d …

Nov 30, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Beeping New House

This morning I woke up in my new house. Though I thought moving day would never get here, in truth, time has flown. Hard to believe that as recently as three months ago, the idea of moving hadn’t even entered my mind. I heard on the news that consumer spending was down last month. It’s not my fault. In fact, considering what I’ve spent, I’m rather surprised we didn’t see an uptick. Since the closing two weeks ago, my new house has been visited by a steady stream of contractors, installers, and delivery men. Before you chastise me for sexist language, I was going to say delivery persons, but they were all men—so I’m merely being accurate. Don’t judge me. Earlier …

Nov 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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The Devil is in the Details

Over the weekend, I finally finished writing After Christmas Eve. Finding time to write had been the biggest obstacle–never mind that I had loose ends all over the place and no earthly idea how to tie them all together. I had time to write this weekend and along the way, figured out how to end the book. Hallelujah! I sent the draft to my beta readers for general feedback, two technical consultants to look at specific things, and some of the folks in my writers group. At this point, I just needed to know if everything makes sense and fits the characters. And with my technical consultants, I want to make sure details about guns and explosives are correct, as well …

Nov 24, 2012
By Michael Rupured
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Creeping Forward

To the best of my knowledge, the move I’m about to make will be my fourteenth–not counting any moving my parents did while I still lived at home. Most–all but four–took place when I was in my twenties and involved moves between apartments. This is just the second time I’ve moved out of a house, and if I get my way, it will be the last. Every move has been different. None have been what I’d call enjoyable. Taken together, my general impression is that moving is a stressful, costly, and mostly unpleasant experience to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. This move feels different from the rest. I’m not stressed out, exhausted, or worried about whether I can afford the …