• The Case of the Missing Drag Queen

    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.

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  • Aucune Bonne Action

    La veille de Noël, en 1966, Philip Potter, un conservateur du Smithsonian au grand cœur, termine ses achats de dernière minute. Au même instant, James, son compagnon depuis plusieurs années, s’ôte la vie chez eux. Inconscient de ce qui l’attend, Philip dépose des cadeaux à un refuge pour sans-abris, un acte généreux qui fera plus tard de lui un suspect dans le meurtre d’un prostitué. Après la mort choquante de James, deux hommes entrent dans la vie de Philip… et tous deux conduisent une Continental jaune. L’un d’eux, toutefois, est un tueur avec le sang de six prostitués sur les mains. Et tous deux cachent quelque chose. Comme Philip est sur le point de le découvrir, aucune bonne action ne …

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  • Equality: What Do You Think about When You Think of Equality?

    In the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Stride Toward Freedom and Malala Yousafzai’s, I Am Malala, Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think of Equality? presents thought-provoking and compelling personal essays that probe a concept professed to be the very foundation of our democracy—a concept that may even be more vital today than in the past. From international bestselling author, Anne Perry who asserts we must look within ourselves to our emotions, experiences, and beliefs before we attempt an honest and truthful answer, to Dennis Palumbo, psychotherapist and author, who claims diagnostic labels used in treating mental illness often stigmatize and dehumanize the patient causing clinicians to view their patients in terms of their diagnosis rather than …

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  • No Good Deed

    On Christmas Eve in 1966, Philip Potter, a kind-hearted Smithsonian curator,  wraps up his last-minute shopping. Meanwhile, his lover of several years takes his own life back in their home. Unaware of what awaits him, Philip drops off gifts at a homeless shelter, an act of generosity that will later make him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute. Following James’s shocking death, two men enter Philip’s life—and both drive yellow Continentals. One of them, though, is a killer, with the blood of at least six hustlers on his hands. And both are hiding something. As Philip is about to discover, no good deed goes unpunished. (Originally released by MLR Press in 2013 as After Christmas Eve)

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  • Whippersnapper

    Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver. Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of …

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  • Happy Independence Day

    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 …

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  • The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain

    Recently single Jeremy Jenkins is an average guy working hard as a landscape designer in the mountains of Tennessee. At a conference in DC, he meets gorgeous Donald Matthews, who says the strangest things—like how he thinks Jeremy is hot and wants them to spend the rest of their lives together. This story is part of A Taste of Honey, a Dreamspinner Press Anthology. Other stories in the collection: The Bear Fetish, by John Amory The Bear Next Door, by Jack Byrne The Bear at the Bar, by J. Scott Coatsworth Barefoot, by Lillian Francis Just Breath, by John Genest Bear Chasing, by Renae Kaye Golden Bear, by G. P. Keith Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale with a Very Hairy …

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  • Until Thanksgiving

    Josh Freeman knows his best days are behind him. After his partner of seventeen years has an affair with a younger man, Josh buries himself in takeout boxes, half-smoked joints, and self-pity until his best friend gently kicks him in the ass and encourages him to try out a new job in Washington DC—at least until Thanksgiving. Though DC has its share of troubles, specifically in the form of a murderer targeting gay men, Josh soon discovers its charms as well. Unlike his old home, DC is crawling with men who want to date him—apparently he’s not as overweight, out of shape, or over the hill as the man he once loved made him believe. In particular, Josh would love …

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The Crotchety Old Man

Sep 25, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Picture It: Lexington Ky, 1982

Picture It: Lexington Ky, 1982

My fifth novel, The Case of the Missing Drag Queen, is set in Lexington, Kentucky and takes place in the fall of 1982. It’s my first story set in the city where I grew up, came out, and spent my salad days. Writing it has been a walk down memory lane. I chose the year on purpose. By 1979 when I came out, gay bars were the center of the homosexual universe. Thanks to the 1969 Stonewall uprising, police raids of gay bars had become increasingly rare. Outside of the bar, life could be rough, but inside, we could dance, flirt, make-out, and sometimes, fall in love. In September of 1982, the Centers for Disease Control identified Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome …

Sep 11, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My Gypsy Curse

My Gypsy Curse

A month ago, I blogged about my horrible, no good, very bad week. Since then, my run of bad luck has continued, unabated. I strongly suspect a gypsy curse… To refresh your memory, my air-conditioning went out ($300), I got sick, Toodles had to go the vet twice ($600), and to top it all off, a pizza delivery driver pushed my garage door into the back end of my car and then drove off without saying anything about it. My car was trapped in the garage for three days. I had to get a new garage door ($732) and paid another $150 to find out the rear bumper had not been damaged. I got a copy of the police report …

Aug 28, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Update: Case of the Missing Drag Queen

Update: Case of the Missing Drag Queen

My fifth novel, The Case of the Missing Drag Queen, continues to progress at a record-breaking pace. With 41,000 words in 24 finished chapters, I’m well past the midpoint. If all goes well, I should reach “The End” sometime in September. For me to get so far, so fast, is unprecedented. I usually hit a wall somewhere around 20,000 words. Sometimes, I break through and finish, but with a half dozen abandoned manuscripts, I did not. Thanks in no small part to the three-act structure and my epiphany about the role of the main character, I’ve so far avoided the wall with my fifth novel. I’m having fun too. My fear that something would get lost by planning so much …

Aug 14, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

My Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

A week ago last Saturday (August 5), my air-conditioning quit working a few minutes after six in the evening. In Georgia. In August. I called the folks I have a service agreement with, but it was too late for emergency service that day. I decided to  tough it out until an already-scheduled service call Monday afternoon. I wussed out Sunday morning when I woke up and the house was eighty degrees. The service call cost me $300. Perhaps from sleeping with the windows open and a fan blowing on me, I picked up a bug. It started with a scratchy throat and a cough, but by Sunday night, had acquired various other symptoms that left me feeling like shit. I …

Jul 31, 2017
By Michael Rupured

Progress!

Each of my first four books took about a year to write. This past weekend, I hit 30,000 words — roughly the midpoint of the novel I started writing six weeks ago. At this rate, I’ll reach the end sometime in September. Finishing in three months rather than the usual twelve is amazing. That’s like trimming my time to run a mile from twelve minutes to a world-record-breaking three minutes. Why has The Case of the Missing Drag Queen come together so much faster? 1) It’s my first story centered around the transformation of the main character. My first four novels are more about gay life at particular points in time than the journey of any one character. I’m too thrilled to …

Jul 24, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on A Glimpse of the Future

A Glimpse of the Future

I haven’t taken more than a few days off from the day job for years. Nobody fills in when I’m out. An overwhelming quantity of emails, phone messages, and snail mail waiting when I return offset the benefits of getting away. I use vacation days a few at a time for long weekends throughout the year. I went into work on June 26 and, after checking my calendar, decided on a whim to take off until July 10. For thirteen glorious days, I hardly left the house. I did check my work email regularly and ended up having to go to the office once. But the rest of the time, I did exactly what I wanted to do. Not long …

Jul 17, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Online Shopping: Easy, Convenient & Cheap

Online Shopping: Easy, Convenient & Cheap

The internet has changed the way we shop. Big retailers are closing stores at an unprecedented rate. Shopping malls look like ghost towns. It’s hard to compete with virtual everything. Shopping is not my cup of tea. In fact, thanks to poor or non-existent service, long checkout lines, and people getting in my damn way, I hate it. When necessity leaves me no choice, my goal is always to get in and out as fast as I can. I’ve dabbled with online shopping in the past in search of uncommon, hard-to-find items or gifts for out-of-town family and friends. Buying mundane, everyday goods online never occurred to me. #SlowLearner That has changed. My dog, Toodles, is responsible for a lot …

Jul 10, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Let the Writing Begin!

Let the Writing Begin!

Armed with the three act structure and a detailed character profile template, I started planning my fifth novel on May 28. According to Word, I spent more than 120 hours mapping out the story, developing the characters, and fine-tuning my outline. After incorporating character information into my outline and fixing a problem with stakes and tension, the first act was six chapters too long. Three turned out to be unnecessary and anything of importance in the rest was easy to squeeze in elsewhere. I went over my outline one last time to tweak a few things, switch stuff around, and add notes about dropping hints, revealing clues, and foreshadowing. On Saturday June 10th, I started writing what I’m tentatively calling …

Jul 03, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Saved by a Character Profile Template

Saved by a Character Profile Template

Planning my next novel with the three-act structure has been a piece of cake. Identifying the central conflict and major plot points for a Luke Tanner mystery and writing short descriptions for every scene took a couple of hours. But before I could start writing, however, the characters needed to be fleshed out. A template an editor shared with me consists of thirty or so questions about physical appearance, psychology, sociology, role in the story, and history. Developing a profile for Luke and ten supporting characters took an hour or longer for each one, but was worth the time and effort. Although still subject to tweaking, the characters are clear in my head. I also have way more information about each …

Jun 26, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Uninformed Pantsing

Uninformed Pantsing

Writing fiction was missing from my formal education. Discussions about the novels and short stories we read in school revolved around major themes, symbolism, and meaning — not how to craft a story. Or maybe I just forgot. Either way, I consider myself a self-taught author. I make my stories up as I go along. Writers call it pantsing. Based on my recent epiphany, I’d call my old process “uninformed pantsing.” Rather than the main character’s journey, my stories revolve around an event (or series of events) with a cast of characters to show how things play out. Sometimes, it worked. More often, it did not — especially lately. After my epiphany about the central role of the main character …

Jun 19, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Cure for My Genre Identity Issues

The Cure for My Genre Identity Issues

I recently shared about giving up on writing novels and accidentally discovering the problem with my abandoned manuscripts. Confusion about how to proceed with the trilogy I envisioned prompted me to turn to the gods of the internet for help. A few clicks later, I stumbled upon the cure for my writing woes. My problem is embarrassingly basic. My stories –finished and unfinished alike — revolve around events occurring at particular points in time rather than any particular character. For evidence, I offer my pal’s question about my latest abandoned manuscript: Who is the maim character? I’m not trying to be avant garde or make some kind of literary  statement. People have tried to tell me this for years, but I just didn’t get …

Jun 12, 2017
By Michael Rupured

Genre Identity Issues: Part Two

In the previous past, I shared I’d quit writing novels. Too many things compete for my attention to waste time on stories that never go anywhere. Maybe I’ll pick it up again when I retire. At first, not writing was a relief. The pressure to produce was gone. I caught up on chores around the house, spruced up the yard, and watched a ton of television. But quitting nagged at my conscience. In truth, I hadn’t quit writing novels. For some reason (or reasons), I couldn’t do it anymore. I had tried and tried until I finally just gave up. What was going on? The possible causes I could identify made no sense. They weren’t new, and for the most part, had been around …

Jun 05, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Genre-Identity Issues

My process for crafting a novel is entirely organic. That’s a snooty way of saying I have no idea what I’m doing. I get an idea, and, with little forethought or planning, start writing. The plot, subplots, and characters evolve along the way until, with any luck, the story comes together. My first four attempts at writing a book resulted in three published novels and an unpublished memoir. I credit my pals in the Athens Writers Workshop for the novels. They held my hand through countless revisions of Until Thanksgiving, watched over my shoulder as I wrote No Good Deed, and provided invaluable feedback on early drafts and revisions of Happy Independence Day. After leaving the Athens Writers Workshop to free up more time …

May 01, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on It’s About that Big Truck…

It’s About that Big Truck…

In gay parlance, I’m not a “car queen.” Motor vehicles do nothing for me. Even the nicest car or truck is simply a means from point A to point B. Recently, however, I’ve been very interested in one particular vehicle. A bunch of guys rent a house around the corner. A year or so ago, they expanded into a second house which is two doors down from me. All the guys have vehicles, and, from what I see, a vehicle-owning significant other who often spends the night. The street between the two houses often looks like a parking lot. Judging from the license plates, most of these young men and their women hail from a tiny little county in rural Georgia. Some of the gals drive Jeeps, …

Apr 03, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Surprising Results

Surprising Results

A paper-based system is my go-to method for record-keeping. The transition to digital files and folders has been slow. My system works. If it ain’t broke…. The complicated, time consuming, and essentially useless paper-based system I created for tracking royalties is broken. Excel would be better, but I’m spreadsheet challenged. Minions handle such things for me at the day job. At home, I’m on my own. Having used it since WordStar dominated the market, I know my way around word processing software. An online app converted a table I created in Word to an Excel file. My ex (he’s doing great!) helped me set up the formulas. Entering five years’ worth of royalty statements took about thirty minutes. Wow! Why did I wait …