Tell us about your newest release, What the Moon Saw?
As a child, I wondered: if they could talk, what would they say about what they’ve seen? What enchanting or startling events have they witnessed? There must be hundreds of millions of fascinating tales they could offer – of romance, murder, deception, discovery, power.
With a nod and a wink from the moon (because, of course, night is when the most mysterious things happen), I decided to pen one of those captivating stories. My character Libby Shaw time-travels from the 2000s, to 1926, only to discover she lived in a third timeframe as well!
And, the moon saw it all.
Time travel plays a major role in the story. When did you know that Libby and Nathan’s story would transcend lifetimes?
I’ve always said I would never want to live before penicillin and plastic.
But, history buff that am, I also have wished I could go back in time. (For mere hours only, of course – I like my creature comforts too much.) But, it was those creature comforts that got me to thinking. I have read many time-travel novels, and I’ve always come away wanting more about what the heroines left behind. And, about the transitions of adjusting to the limitations of the past.
I like my stories to be real for readers, even if time travel is about as far from real as one can get. So, when research revealed that the average person in the early 1900s (in the U.S.) wanted seventy-two things in their lives, and considered eighteen of them essential, my mind went crazy. I knew I had to take my heroine back in time, and talk about her adjustment to the loss of things, routines, songs, technology…even as she solved crimes and found romance.
Fun thing to do: Make your own list of essentials and see if you can limit it to eighteen! (Research claims the average person today considers more than a hundred things essential. How times have changed!)
Did you have a playlist that inspired the story?
If I wasn’t a novelist, I would want to be a rock star. But, I never looked that good in leather pants and can barely carry a tune, so that probably would not have been a very good career choice. Point is, I LOVE music. Talk about a mood setter or breaker, eh? (Witness Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On – who hasn’t cried to that?)
While songs merited only a small mention in my book, they certainly were playing voraciously in the back of my head as I wrote.
My character suffers a heartbreaking moment where she realizes that – because she traveled through time from 2016 to 1926 – she will never again hear many of her favorite songs. (Unfortunately, no smart phone or iPod to provide those rhythms anymore.) What’s more, jazz heavily influenced music in the 1920s, and their random, haphazard notes just don’t jibe with her.
Living in 1926 means she would not have heard any songs by Elvia Presley, the Beatles, Adele, Celine Dione, George Strait, Louis Armstrong, Pentatonix. She wouldn’t be able to walk down the street singing to Walking on Sunshine, or play Autumn Leaves on the piano. Or, yes, get all goose-bumpy at Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable or Ed Sheeran’s Perfect.
Imagine never again being able to hear your favorite tunes because they haven’t even been composed yet!
Growing up, she learned the power of stories and intrigue from saged storytellers on the front porch of her Appalachian farmhouse. Despite being waylaid for years by academia, journalism, and corporate endeavors, her roots proved that becoming a writer of suspense was only a matter of time. She has been published in seven languages.