Interview with Steve Myers,
Garden of the Falling Moon
Welcome, Steve Myers, to The Happy Book Reviewer! I’m excited to have you on today to discuss your historical thriller, Garden of the Falling Moon, which is currently available from Damnation Press.
Your main character, Esther Marie, is powerless when her family declares her incompetent and in need of psychiatric help. Her only hope for escape is with a mysterious stranger on a secretive and dangerous mission. Sounds exciting!
It wasn’t until recent history that women had power over their own lives and medical care. What time period is Garden of the Falling Moon set?
Myers: It's the summer of 1909, a time of labor unrest, terrorism, a war in the Philippines against rebels, extremes of poverty and wealth, and discrimination based on gender, race, and class.
Do you usually read historical fiction, and that’s why you chose to write it? Or did you have a specific interest in this time period?
Myers: I like some historical fiction (after all, War and Peace and Vanity Fair were written long after the time of the story) but this novel is part of a sequence of stories I'm writing for each decade of the 20th century. No matter who you are or what your gifts, you pop into the world at a particular place and time and society and family that affect your life. No one gets to choose their parents or the place they're born in.
Great point. One of your characters is a perfect example of that! Tell us, how does the little homeless girl come into play in the story line?
Myers: Little Nina is the emotional axis around which the story revolves. Esther pities this child who works cleaning a brothel for a dollar a week and hasn't decent clothes. Esther sets about educating Nina, taking her on Sunday excursions, and loving her. Sal meets Esther because of Nina and the child becomes very important to him.
That is really touching. No wonder she's such a prominent part of the cover art, which by the way is gorgeous! Did you have an idea of what you wanted the cover to look like, or did the artist (Ash Arceneaux) come to you with a vision?
Myers: I agree on the cover. It was completely the artist's idea and I believe it shows the relationship between Esther and Nina well and suggests the outcome.
If a high school class were reading your book some day, what themes or messages would they be discussing?
Myers: The position of women in society, the political and economic situation, the casual cruelty of accepted attitudes to people, and the courage of some women. I hope they would also discuss how concern becomes compassion becomes love.
Great messages. I love when a book can tell an interesting and exciting story but also has this kind of depth. Seems like a prime candidate for book clubs too (hint, hint)! So tell me, what part of the writing business do you like the best?
Myers: I like the actual writing best. I hear and see the people and the scenes. I don't write easily and struggle too often, but it's worth it.
How about what you like the least?
Myers: Tough to say, but I guess it's submitting. I expect rejection every time but that doesn't make it feel better. I have one story that's been rejected at least 30 times. I'm running out of places to send it.
At least you're in good company! I think pretty much all writers have the same experience. Your experience is unique though in that you also write short stories, poetry, Sci-Fi, and even children’s lit! With that kind of variety, you're not just carving a narrow niche. So while it makes it harder to find a publisher, it also keeps you from being stuck in one genre, afraid to break the mold! Which means... your next work could be just about anything! Can you give us a hint of what you’re working on?
Myers: I have four novels to be published this year.
FOUR?! You've been busy! What genre or genres are these?
Myers: A hardboiled detective mystery, a crime thriller, a detective novel, and a western plus two western stories. Right now I'm working on a western set at a fort in the Dakota territory in 1868, and a novel about a man who believes this world is run by the devil. The novel is set in the 1920s and centers around the making of a movie based on Hawthorne's “Young Goodman Brown.” I have detailed notes for four more novels that I hope to get to before the year is out.
That's so exciting! I'll keep an eye out for those coming out this year. Thanks for coming on for an interview, Steve! And now, I'm going to pick up a copy of Garden of the Falling Moon, and recommend my readers (and all you book clubs out there) do the same!
Find Garden of the Falling Moon in e-book or print at: