Victoria Bolton is the author of the Rude Boy USA Trilogy. One year ago, these books did not exist. Before becoming a successful author, Bolton spent the previous year wondering which direction she should go with her life. Bolton was the subject of controversy when she made a brief appearance in the politically charged film, Free the Nipple, an appearance in which she was topless in a few scenes. At the time Bolton worked at a Westchester County school district as a computer technician. When administrators were made aware of her appearance months after the film’s release, she was pulled out of the building she worked at for many years and sent to an area away from the staff and kids.
“It was humiliating. On the inside, I was made to feel like a criminal. Maybe that was the purpose of it happening.I had no choice but to defend myself. I wasn’t ashamed of my work although there may have been people who felt that I should have been, maybe because of these notions that women are only to do certain things in their life to be respected. If you deviate away from that, then you are a problem. I told people about the film. I had no problem about telling them because it wasn’t anything sexual. There was no sex in it. There are beasts in it. The point was to stop criminalizing women for having the same anatomy as a man. Stop shaming women for breastfeeding. It’s an equal rights film. There have already been positive changes for women as a result of the movie in the form of laws being changed. I thought it would open a social conversation. Instead, something else happened. Some people didn’t get it.”
“I began writing my novel. I’ve had this idea in my head for years already, so I figured, why not. After collecting my thoughts for a few months, I started writing again.”
The first of her novel trilogy Rude Boy USA launched in December 2015 to critical acclaim. Kirkus gave the book a good review. “Bolton aptly captures the tempestuous spirit of the time–a volatile brew of political radicalism, crime, racial tension, and sexual libertinism–and her painstaking historical research is evident on virtually every page.”
The Rude Boy USA Trilogy has seen a recent increase in attention from major publications praising the uniqueness of the story which focuses on a multi-cultural group of mobsters in New York City in the 1970’s.
Bolton grew up on Chicago’s south side. “I spent my early years in the Englewood area and my teen years in the Roseland area. From the outside, the neighborhood that I grew up in looks nice. The houses were well maintained but in reality, the area was full of gang-affiliated teens. Guns everywhere. You could not walk in the wrong neighborhood with certain colors. It was violent in the 1990’s, much worse than it is today and my mother tried her best to shield me from what was happening around us. I went to Catholic schools in the area, and the campuses were this blocked off piece of safety at least for a few hours a day.”
Despite her surroundings growing up, Bolton says that had no influence on her writing.
“When I moved to New York, I became fascinated with everything about the city. When I was younger, I would watch WWOR Channel 9 because they would show it in Chicago. That is where my obsession with New York began. I would watch Knicks games there because they were my favorite team despite me being right in the middle of Bulls territory. I remembered the news stories that happened in the city and followed all of it closely so when I got here; I had to see everything. When it came time to do research for the books, the information came easily. I talked to people, looked at old news broadcasts and newspapers. I went to the areas that were mentioned in the books. The more information I collected, the longer the story got. When it was all over, the single book became a trilogy.”
“I’m so proud of this. I wanted to do something out of the ordinary and away from what I am in my daily life. The series has some shocking moments because, to be honest; it’s real life, but it also addresses many social situations, and it blends in real life events with fiction. It takes what we have known about New York mobsters and flips it on its head. At the very end, the purpose is to keep you entertained.”
Bolton says that her day job has returned to normal.
“Things are quiet again. I’m back to doing tech and writing in my spare time.”