Today we're excited to share a guest post by Charles Dubow, author of Indiscretion, and Girl in the Moonlight, on sale today! Girl in the Moonlight is a searing tale of love, passion, and obsession—the story of one man's all-consuming desire for a beautiful, bewitching, and elusive woman. Purchase your copy here.
What inspired you to write Girl in the Moonlight?
By the time my first novel Indiscretion was published, I was almost finished with a new manuscript, one loosely based on my grandfather and set in Virginia during both the early years of the 20th century and the 1950s. My agent told me it wasn’t the right book with which to follow up Indiscretion. He explained to me that readers expect a certain amount of continuity from authors, especially at the outset of their careers. Once you build an audience base, it is possible to do something different. But doing something this different, right now, would be as though the author of a science fiction book decided he would next write an historical novel about the War of 1812. Readers, expecting one thing but getting something else, would be jarred. It’s not a good idea to jar readers. They might feel as though they had been swindled. “Hey, where are the zombies and ray guns?” they might ask. “What’s up with all this business about the Treaty of Ghent?”
So for Girl in the Moonlight, I returned once again to a world that I wrote about in Indiscretion: the lives of people who have homes in the Hamptons and the passions and weaknesses that consume them. This was a world I knew well, having been fortunate enough to have spent the first forty or so summers of my life there. I knew its beaches, its secret beauties, its snobbishness, its sunsets, its backroads, its working people and its wealthy weekenders. I knew the pain that tore apart families, their tragedies and their joys. I had been exposed to artists and farmers and arrogant jerks and women of unutterable beauty. Finding a story from such rich (in all senses of the world) material was not hard.
But it was also important for me not to make this one of those dreadful books that simper about how great it is to be rich and to own a private jet and worry about what to wear to a fabulous cocktail party. (This was certainly not how I was raised or live now.) I have no intention of celebrating the so-called “one percent.” My main protagonists, Wylie and Cesca, are fictions, but their experiences are common to many Americans, regardless of wealth or background. I set out to address the concerns that beset most of us: How to best live a meaningful life? How to maintain a strong family? How to give and receive love with grace and honesty? How to redeem ourselves when we fail? How to come to terms with death and loss?
It doesn’t matter whether these questions are being confronted on the East End of Long Island, the jungles of Central America or the streets of Belgrade. It is their universality that echoes within all of us and, hopefully, I will be able to find a common chord with as many readers as possible. But I can’t wait to write about zombies in my next book.