Journalism Alumnus Publishes Vietnam Era Novel

Posted on: May 16, 2013


1967 MSU School of Journalism graduate Bob Calverley recently reconnected with his alma mater to let us know that his novel, “Purple Sunshine,” was published as an ebook by StoneThread Publishing. Set during the years of the Vietnam War, the book is a thriller and a love story, with part of the story taking place on the Michigan State University campus. Real events such as the 1967 Detroit Riots and Vietnam’s Tet Offensive contribute to a story about two young people wanted by the mob – and by the police. 

Caverley says that it really does include all the subjects featured in the book’s subtitle: “Sex and drugs, rock and roll, war, peace and love.” “And,” he adds, "it has a lot more, including a thread on the media and the Vietnam War." 

After graduating from MSU, Caverley was a reporter at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, FL and then at the Detroit Free Press where he was the recipient of several awards for stories on a large environmental accident. His journalism career included stints as a medical writer, general assignment reporting, coverage of local governments and police reporting. After leaving the newspaper industry, he worked in public relations and communications, mostly for nonprofit organizations including the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, the Los Angeles County Medical Association and the University of Southern California. He retired as Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering. 

The short description of the book published by online retailers reads, "Jimmy 'Purple' Hayes' psychedelic band is on the cusp of success. Drafted, he becomes a door gunner with a fondness for drugs and a surprising talent for combat. Back in the World, Gloria, his girlfriend, is running for her life. She has a photographic memory and secrets to die for, and Jimmy can’t help her. Mobsters, detectives, and the counter culture clash in this gritty look at the 1960s."

Congratulations Bob!

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