BookView with Ralph Webster, author of One More Moon

That is a great question – one that I am still struggling with. It is a story of happiness, sadness, and survival. This is a bad habit and I do not recommend it. There are different opinions to consider. From a young age I was taught how difficult it can be for refugees and immigrants. I believe all books must start by rattling around within one’s head and my head needed a lot of rattling. The people, the places, the events are true and real. Some things about family we learn as children. Many questions are answered only after the right questions are asked. Too many thoughts crammed into my head makes sleep a continuous issue. They should never be made to be the enemy. I have had great success with book clubs. There are times when fiction is more interesting than fact. It is a plea for compassion, respect, and dignity. The writing did not take too long – the composing did. The personalities of the characters and the storyline. Where did you get the idea from? But, the backdrop was broader. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? Probably the three most important things I learned this time were to slow down, be patient, and to take my craft more seriously. Every day I learn something new. It may have been a different time, a different circumstance, and a different generation. My mother liked to say that she never knew she had an accent until she moved to America. Get your copy of   One More Moon from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Impressions are not formed in one sitting. I do have one tip to pass along – a quirk from my first book that I will never repeat again. Was I up to the challenge? The complete stories are not always told in their entirety. Admittedly, like a stage play, sometimes there are moments that need to be more expressive than real life. I enjoy participating in book discussions – in person and via Skype. But, I am certain that the feelings are much the same – the anguish, the loss, the confusion, the uncertainty, the isolation, the fears, the unknown, the way others react. I took about six months to actually write the book. Ralph Webster – 3 March 2018
The Back Flap
One More Moon tells the true story of my grandmother’s desperate journey from her life at the Pensione Alexandra in Naples, Italy to America – after Mussolini and the Fascists join with Hitler – and as countries across the world close their doors to Jewish refugees fleeing the spread of Nazi evil. For this book, One More Moon, I needed to get into my grandmother’s head, to see things from her vantage point, and to speak the words she would have said. What new things did you learn about writing, publishing, and/or yourself while writing and preparing this book for publication? While I hope everyone will read the book because of the messages I want to convey, the book is written for readers who are interested in compelling family stories of survival. I needed to spend hours, days, and, in this case, years, talking to myself. Mine is not a plea for money. Growing up in a smallish town in middle America I was quite aware that my parents had accents – that we were ‘foreigners’. I set my own bar higher. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Editing one’s own prose is a comfortable space but interferes with forward progress. I want others to understand the personal depth of this humanitarian crisis. IT WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY! Often, re-reading (and rewriting), my habit of always going back to the beginning, makes me wonder whether I will ever reach the end. Thinking about their stories and experiences filled my imagination. I used to have the word processor count my words so I could monitor my progress. End of Interview:
For more from Ralph visit his website or follow him on Twitter. It is how history gets rewritten. That makes me want to continue to write about my family’s journey and experience. Do readers prefer books written from a woman’s perspective versus a man’s? This time I did not set artificial deadlines for myself and I didn’t stop rewriting until I was absolutely convinced I was finished and I was satisfied with each and every word. Now I wonder how readers will react. I have always known that I came from a family of immigrants – that I was a first generation American. My first book, A Smile in One Eye, was about my father. I want us all to recognize that refugees, those forced to leave the lands of their mothers and fathers, are the victims. These remain interesting questions. I am confident that this book will too. I want to say that the idea came from the guestbook of the pensione – the register of those who visited. I want us all to recognize that refugees, those forced to leave the lands of their mothers and fathers, are the victims. About the Book
When did you start writing the book? I remain afraid that I will either finish with not enough words (which would mean having to find or invent additional things to say) – or, that I will end with too many words (which would mean cutting things out – a very painful exercise.)   DON’T DO THIS. And, far too often, and for far too many reasons, sometimes important things are never told. It took me a lifetime to compose the song and gather my thoughts. I learned that it is easier to self-edit than it is to write new passages. Perhaps that is what is required when writing a book about family. For me, the writing was the final stage – after everything had time to ferment – that’s when I put it all on paper. Google once told me to strive for 90,000 words. I want to do my part to shine a light on this. When put to paper, what does distinguish a man’s voice from a woman’s? I suppose that is the way life is passed from one generation to the next. Politicians across the world have made a mess of this issue. How was writing this book different from what you’d experienced writing previous books? Other things are told only when we are old enough to listen – and we don’t always listen. Perspective is not always the same.   What came easily? I had to compose the words and imagine the melody. Trying to write a story from a woman’s perspective and to be authentic for the reader – no question – that was the biggest difference and a significant challenge. Neither are emotions. When I write, it seems there are never enough hours in the day to get the words onto paper. Connecting the dots between them often involved some informed speculation and conjecture. There may be secrets that are not to be shared and moments that are suppressed or forgotten. My first book prompted good book club discussions. They should never be made to be the enemy. The longer I do this the thicker my skin. Writing what I do is a labor of love and a struggle only made easier knowing that the people I write about are no longer here to correct me. I knew both well. As always humility continues to be a good lesson. Do you have a target reader for this book? I wanted to put myself into my father’s head and tell the story from his perspective.