NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- New Canaan resident Michael Turpin describes his books and blog posts as "Erma Bombeck with swear words."
Not to mention a male perspective. The healthcare consultant has had an interesting career having lived and worked in Europe and after returning to the U.S. assuming the role of CEO of Oxford and Regional CEO of United Health Care. To cope with the stresses of executive responsibility, Turpin returned to his roots as a college Lit major and resumed writing short stories. He processes his angst aka Woody Allen, through self deprecating stories and humor. It's also, he jokes, a great way to avoid paying for therapy.
So far he's written three books -- all self-published - which grew out of his detailed memory of his childhood (very 1970s, with a liberal, new age mom and an old Testament, Reaganite dad) and the dichotomy that exists with parenting today.
"I like to think I came out the last great age of Jurassic parenting," he said. "My father would come home and ask my mom two questions, "How was your day?" and "Who do I hit?"
His first book, "TRex By The Tail" is written as fiction though with very vivid personal memories. The story follows the ramifications of the death of Karl Patton, a reptilian conservative, on his four sons. The T-Rex character, explains Turpin, possessed an abnormally large mouth and sharp teeth from which he devours any weaker forms of life. He's the perfect eating, sleeping, and working automaton preprogrammed to control every aspect of his white-picket world while his partner, She-Rex, serves as his alter ego.
Turpin's writing struck a chord -- mostly, he said with friends and family and the blog post he started (go HERE to see)-- which led to "Bicentennial Rex," his second book. "Bicentennial Rex" is a prequel based on the same characters, but this time dealing with T-Rex in his prime during a particularly dark time for Conservatives -- the bicentennial year of 1976 where Saigon has fallen, the GOP is in tatters and teenagers are turning to sex, drugs and rock and roll.
The father of three teens strayed a bit with his third book, which came out in October of 2015. "53 Is The New 38," was named a finalist in the humor/comedy category in the National Indie Publishers Review. The non fiction book is a series of humorous and poignant short stories comparing the distant mirror of that age of Jurassic parenting to how we're raising kids today, daring to ask honest questions about whether we are helping or hurting our progeny. His stories also don't shy away from the indignities and revelations of middle age.
"My first two books are almost like an inside joke – if you grew up in my town or with my generation, you get it." His third, he acknowledges, has achieved a wider audience appeal.
"I like to write along the fault lines of life where tension and humor lie," he said. "To be credible as a writer, I believe you have to lampoon everyone but start with yourself and keep hammering away early and often."
Go to www.trexdad.com/ for more of Turpin's musings.