Character Interview with Michael “Mick” Murphy from Christopher Hawthorne Moss’s Angel Eyes

mick jpg

1. How did you get yourself caught up in the Mexican War?
I had just graduated from the West Point Military Academy, commissioned second lieutenant, class of 1846. My father, Col. Liam Murphy, was an instructor at the Academy and great friend s and wrestling opponent of Major General Winfield Scott, the man chosen to lead the invasion of the east coast of Mexico. The war was already underway south from Texas under “Old Rough and Ready”, Gen. Zachary Taylor. President James K. Polk listened to Santa Ana’s buddy and let the Generalissimo back into Mexico where he promptly turned his coat on us. Scott needed a sort of aide decamp to his own aide de camp, Maj. Henry Scott, his son-in-law. I guess my old Da called in a favour or just on the sentiments of an old friendship, because I found myself in no time taking ship for Veracruz.

2. What did you really feel when you first set eyes on the first man you ever loved?
I had lots of trysts, but I think the first the man I ever truly loved was my poor little Gabbo. When I first laid eyes on him I was in a panic. He was in a dress, you see, and had a wig on. He actually made quite a good woman, a prostitute. He, um, went down on me, and I was a bit nonplussed that a woman could give me so much pleasure. Then one day I went back into his little cabana and saw him with his wig off and knew that “Gabriela” was a man! I think I started to fall in love with him then, his innocence, his sweetness, and those skilful lips and tongue! And the rest of him, once I got the dress off him. But it wasn’t until I woke up in the monastery hospital in Mexico City to find Gabbo nursing me that I fell the rest of the way. I can’t tell you what eventually happened to Gabbo, since that will be in a future book, but the time we spent together was quiet and loving and a great deal of fun.

3. Favourite childhood memory?
Hmm, I remember my father coming home from the Point in his uniform and, my being just a lad of five or six, I would sit on his knee and listen to him say where he got all the ribbons and medals. I think that’s what made me go into the army, though from a young age I figured out that I also loved a man in uniform, any man, preferably soon out of uniform and into my bed. I know the army would be a mixed blessing, lots of treats for the eyes, but having to be particularly discrete. But the childhood memory was innocent, just a lad admiring his father’s honors and playing with the colourful and shiny things attached to his tunic.

4. Ideal liaison?
I remember, when I was still at the Point I would take the train down to New York, and meet my friend Jonathan Powel at a little hotel in Manhattan. We had met at one of the watering holes where men like us found each other. At the hotel we would stay behind locked doors day and night for a couple or three days and just have all the rutting and pounding we could handle. I always loved being buggered by that man, he was so good at it. Is that too frank for you?

5. One thing from your back story the reader won’t know from reading the book?
I hinted this in the story, but I did not elaborate. When I was a lad, later on than my other story, maybe about 13 or 14, I used to go down to the city, to New York, to visit my uncle. My uncle was one of us, you see, and I pester him for something I could “do” for him. He finally took me one of those watering holes. They were a revelation to me. There were all these men of different types, old, young, fat, skinny, but all of them white. They would buy me drinks, talk about my “angel eyes”, kiss and fondle me, and we would all sit around and sing the popular songs of the time. The song “Annie Laurie” I remember we sang as “Danny Laurie”, and Home is Where the Heart Is” was more risqué, with “hard on” instead of “heart”. I usually didn’t go home with the men, since a lot of them lived with family, but the tavern always had private spaces and I learned a great deal in the dark there. What good memories I have. They got me more than ready to meet all the men I could at the Point, in the army, in Mexico, and, well, that’s for another story.

Book: Angel Eyes: A Gay Romance of the Mexican War of 1846-48


Publisher: Shield-wall Books, March 2015
Buy it here

Michael Murphy , who will be seen again in Moss’s Where my Love Lies Dreaming, tells his own story of his youth, sent to assist Major General Winfield Scott when President James K. Polk declares war on Mexico in 1846. Michael, or “Mick as he is known to his intimates, has a series of romantic adventures along the way, ending almost tragically at the hands of the young scion of a wealthy Mexican family. You know he gets back to New Orleans, but this stirring tale will tell you how he gets there and why he limps. Prequel to Where my Love Lies Dreaming (Dreamspinner Press

About the Author:
Christopher Hawthorne Moss wrote his first short story when he was seven and has spent some of the happiest hours of his life fully involved with his colorful, passionate and often humorous characters. Moss spent some time away from fiction writing content for web sites before his first book came out under the name Nan Hawthorne in 1991. He has since become a novelist and is a prolific and popular blogger, an editor for Wilde Oats and the GLBT Bookshelf where you can find his short stories and thoughtful and expert book reviews. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his partner of over 30 years and four doted upon cats. He owns Shield-wall Productions at . He welcomes comment from readers sent to and on Facebook and Twitter.

Characters in Le Beau Soleil will appear in Frankie and Johnny which will be released by Dreamspinner Press in late summer 2015.

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