Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Improving With Age

One of my favorite writers, Michael Rupured, has a new release from MLR that ties murder, 60's era Washington, DC and the gays right movement of that era into a shiny, thrilling bow. And he's giving away not one, not two, but TEN books during his blog tour! Check this out... 
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Thanks so much, Tali, for inviting me to your blog to talk about my new release, After Christmas Eve, from MLR Press. Can you believe it’s already been a year since I first turned up on your blog? Funny how time flies when you’re having fun!
To celebrate the 10/11 release of my second novel, I’m giving away 10 copies (ebooks) through an 11-stop blog hop. To enter, comment before midnight, October 25, 2013 on any of my posts on the eleven participating blogs. Be sure to include an email address.
I took French in junior high and high school and plodded through three semesters of Russian in college. I never learned enough to think in either language. I was too busy for all the required studying in college, but high school was a different story. Five years is a lot of time to have learned so little. I should have been thinking in French.
Becoming a good writer is like learning to think in French. The more you practice, the better you get. Eventually, good writing becomes second nature. Then the writer's mind is free to focus on more interesting elements—like pacing, plot, and character development. With experience, these things become second nature, too, and the focus turns to new ways to improve the writing.
I've spent hundreds of hours ripping apart the work of the Robot Unicorns (writers in my critique group), listening to what others said about the same piece, and noting things others saw that I missed. Now that I'm paying attention, I notice the story-telling techniques in books, movies, and television dramas. Thinking about how the writer has crafted the story is great practice.
After Christmas Eve benefitted from having gone through the publication process with my last book. Experience is a great teacher. Writing three books (my unpublished memoir and two novels) has taught me a lot. Now I feel a little more like I know what I'm doing. 
Here’s the blurb:
As Philip Potter wraps up his last minute shopping on Christmas Eve, 1966, James Walker, his lover of six years, takes his life. Unaware of what waits for him at home, Philip drops off gifts to the homeless shelter, an act of generosity that later makes him a suspect in the murder of a male prostitute.

Two men drive yellow Continentals. One is a killer, with the blood of at least six hustlers on his hands. Both men have secrets. And as Philip is about to discover, James had kept secrets, too. But James wasn’t trying to frame him for murder…

*This is the third of eleven stops on the After Christmas Eve Blog Hop. Excerpts appear in serial form along the hop, beginning with my post at http://www.shiraanthony.com.
Excerpt #3 of 11
The very idea of asking anyone for money rubbed Philip the wrong way. He prided himself on his self-sufficiency. Asking Roland Walker was the last resort. All other options had failed. James meeting with the father he hadn’t seen or spoken to in the last five years was a testament to his desperation.
Philip stopped in front of Walgreen’s, admiring the attractive display of powder blue, sea foam green, canary yellow, and fire engine red transistor radios in the window. He bought two of each color and an extra red one—James’s favorite color. While he waited to have Daddy’s Helpers wrap the radios, he enjoyed a piece of cherry pie and a hot cup of coffee at the fountain. His impulse purchases when money was such an issue were blameworthy, but he knew James wouldn’t mind. A few more dollars wouldn’t make much difference anyway.
On the way home, he detoured by the Relief Society Shelter for wayward boys where his lover had often stayed before Philip had rescued him from the streets. Perhaps a cheery new radio would lift the spirits of the boys who’d spend this Christmas there. Philip knew James would appreciate the gesture even more than the watch that waited for him under the tinsel-laden tree in the G Street apartment they shared.
Philip opened the shelter’s door, stomped his feet a few times, and whisked his coat free of snow. He’d expected the cash-strapped facility to be deserted, and was surprised to see that wasn’t the case. The snow and cold had chased all but the hardiest souls from the streets. He hoped he’d bought enough radios.
The squeak of the color wheel changing the white artificial tree from amber to green, then red, blue, and back to amber competed with the tinny music coming from an eight-track tape player on the front desk. Philip recognized Joan Baez singing “Ave Maria” from her newly released Christmas album. Are eight-track tapes still albums? He wasn’t sure.
Boys playing Chinese checkers on a card table near the white-flocked tree erupted into laughter. A shortage of volunteers meant they lacked much in the way of parental influence, supervision, or positive role models. Philip wished he had time to join them as he walked toward the young man at the reception desk. The boy’s head was down, the fingers of his left hand tangled in his bangs as he concentrated on the fountain pen that danced across the page.

Continued on 10/16 on the blog of Eden Winters. (http://www.edenwinters.com/)

Buy link: MLR Press (http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php)

Michael's Web site: http://rupured.com

Remember to leave a comment to enter!


  1. Still enjoying the read, but waiting for that sword to drop!

    littlesuze at hotmail dot com

  2. Thanks, Suze! Your odds of winning a copy are three times better than anyone else in the pot ;-)

  3. I love the excerpt's! Keeps me coming back for more!! ;-)

    1. Thanks Pam! I couldn't ask for a better fan ;-)

  4. Serial excerpts - what a great way to hook a new reader like me! I'm enjoying the story and am looking forward to the rest of the tour.

    Lynette - sabrinasmadrina@gmail.com

    1. I didn't know if folks would love it or hate it. Glad you're enjoying the story and the tour!

  5. Well, you certainly hooked me! Count me in please.


  6. Thank you! And you're in...

    Gosh. For a minute there I felt like Heidi Klum!

  7. Sounds like a good read. I'd love to read more.


  8. Thank you! And thanks for hopping along--I've entered you again ;-)

  9. Serial excerpts are a great idea but I'm nervously anticipating tears upcoming.
    kalimar2010 @ gmail.com

    1. Might wanna keep some tissues handy ;-)

  10. I'm loving the excerpts so far. Keep 'em coming! :D


    1. Yay! #4 of 11 posted today on Eden Winter's blog. You can find the link to all the stops on my web site (rupured.com)

  11. Great excerpt! Please count me in. Thanks!

  12. Thanks for hopping along!