DSP Publications releases the second edition of Happy Independence Day tomorrow. The 1969 Stonewall Riots are the backdrop for the third Philip Potter Story. The story picks up two and a half years after the end of No Good Deed (the second Philip Potter Story).
For Harold Clarkson’s high school graduation, Philip Potter and George Walker take Harold and his pal Abigail Dombrowski to New York City. Terrence Bottom lives in Greenwich Village and attends Columbia University. Thad Parker (and his parents), Shirley White, and Mrs. Dombrowski make cameo appearances.
Kreema Dee Kropp and Kelsey Ryan were inspired by two unidentified individuals (a drag queen and a lesbian) who allegedly started the riots. I had to fill in a lot of blanks about them as people, but for the most part, details about their actions during the raids are accurate. Everything else about them is made up.
I had no idea the Stonewall Inn was owned and operated by the Mafia. Frankie Caldarone is loosely based on the manager — a high-ranking member of the mob who pimped male prostitutes on the side and blackmailed the men who paid them for sex.
Cameron McKenzie is one of Frankie’s prostitutes. He is entirely my own creation, based on impressions and imaginings drawn from what I read about the extortion scheme. The Mafia connection was also a great tool for stakes and tension (i.e., giving the reader a reason to keep turning the page).
Well into the story, I saw the need for a character to show the police response to the uprising. Liana Salvatore volunteered for the job. Again, I had to fill in some blanks, but the action she sees is based on reports of what happened.
Marty (who still has no last name) is a composite of the homeless young men who considered the Stonewall Inn their home away from home. He ended up playing a much larger role in the story than I’d originally planned. His romantic involvement with another supporting character was something I didn’t see coming.
Some readers of the first edition were put off by the historical aspects of the story. I hoped to give readers new insights into what happened in 1969, but Happy Independence Day is a work of fiction. The characters and what’s going on in their lives take center stage, with the riots as a backdrop. I hope you enjoy the story.
For more information about Happy Independence Day, No Good Deed, and Until Thanksgiving (the first Philip Potter Story), visit my web site (https://rupured.com). If you’re already there, click on the cover (above) for a blurb, reviews, and buy links.