After a career in information technology, Victoria Bolton has turned to writing. She self-published a series of novels called Rude Boy USA which is finding cult success in the book world. Bolton describes the Rude Boy USA series as all of the mafia movies that you love rolled into one and remixed into something you’ve never seen before.
In the Rude Boy USA Trilogy, the Chimera group consists of four smooth but lethal guys who want to fit in with the big bosses in the Cosa Nostra, but as with anything that is new and different, fitting in isn’t always easy. The book series consists of Rude Boy USA (Volume 1), BunnyWIne (Volume 2) and The Tide is High (Volume 3.)
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
The response has been great so far. I listen to my critics. I appreciate when they tell me that something is wrong. I will usually take their advice if I feel it will benefit the storyline or improve my writing. Right now, I am getting a lot of people who would like me to expand the Rude Boy USA series. I think it is possible, and they may be right. We’ll see.
You write very well about mob life. Have you ever been in organized crime?
No. I grew up in Chicago. I spent my teenage years in the Roseland area which back in the 1990’s was riddled with gang violence. I stayed in the house because I was scared of some of the neighbors (they were always harassing the women) and they were loud with their music from their cars and you can hear bullets discharging a lot of nights. When you hear things like that, you usually know what’s happening. I made the decision to stay in the house until I graduated high school. It’s weird because I never thought I would one day write a story like this that has the amount of violence in it when my life is the opposite. The more I researched the history of the mob and the real life events that took place in New York during the time of the story, the more fascinating it got. I felt that if the story was going to be authentic, then I could not hold back on some of the violence that took place, so I went for it.
Is the world a better place because of your books?
Probably not. I have, to be honest here. I set out to write something that is entertaining but at the very least I want readers to think about some of the content. I cover the Vietnam war, the Weathermen who were a domestic terror group. I tackle the drug problem in America in the 1980’s as well as the corrupt political system later on in The Tide is High. It also challenges you on the conventional standards of what’s right and wrong.
Give us an insight into your main characters. What do they do that is so special?
Bernie is the Brains of Chimera who has been in the business for a long time. He started off wanting to be a small businessman, but the lure of the mob life and the amount of money those groups were bringing in was too much for him to ignore. Bernie is gentle in his old age but is still sharp and very smart. He has a heart, and Bernie saw these guys who work under him as his kids. He picked one to succeed him and tried to lead the others to an eventual successful life. Some turned out better than others.
There is Celia who is also known as Bunny. She is young and naive. She does typical twenty-something activities and has a great job at the Playboy Club. She is a trailblazer since she is one of the few bunnies of color at the New York Club at the time. She also has a mind of her own and has no problem speaking out about things that she finds challenging. She sticks to her word. I also like her because she is not perfect. Celia makes a couple of big decisions in this series that will likely have readers in a tizzy and some of them upset. One of those decisions she has no regrets about because she follows her heart. The other decision she follows instinct.
There is John who I also love a lot. He is the heart of Chimera. He is the second half to Bernie. A body cannot operate without a functioning brain and heart. He has an arrogant air about him, but it is so irresistible that you cannot help but to love him. He is an alpha male and the way he carries himself reflects that. He is tough when he knows that he has control over the situation. He is fiery, and he protects his friends. You cannot help but respect him for that. He is honest about who he is and doesn’t sugarcoat it for approval.
Jerome is the forever frat boy. He has a good nature about him when he deals with his family and friends, but when it comes to his job at Chimera, he is all business. The Boss (Bernie) has him there for that very reason because he is good at what he does. When it is time to take care of business and get dirty, he gets dangerous, but he does the job.
Ben is the tragic figure. He is the type of guy who has let events in his life shape all of his decisions. His past experiences cause him to be jealous in an environment that needed multiple smart and thinking people to run it. The need to be constantly on top is his only priority, and when it doesn’t happen for him, he results to substances to make himself feel better which takes a toll on his life and job.
There are so many minor characters in this series that this interview would be miles long if I named them all. However, they are current that pushes this series along and in many ways help the main characters grow.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Write because it is something that you love to do. I would not suggest you write solely for profit. Then it becomes a job, and I think writing should be a passion. Those who have not started yet, I would suggest that you take notes of interesting things that you may work well in a novel. Start with an event that you saw while you were out for the day or write down what you dream about.
What’s next for you?
I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve. A few of my readers want me to do something that is like a prequel for Bernie’s character. I think it is an excellent idea, and I will figure out if there is enough backstory for it to be good.
Visit Victoria Bolton at AuthorVicoriaBolton.com