If anyone had told super model Rena Hilst she would find true love and happiness with someone twice her age, she would have laughed them out a window. Yet, there she was, at 22, living her dream as one of the fashion industry’s top talents, in passionate love with her 43-year-old manager at Moonglow Model Management, Shell Dawes. From the outside, no cracks in the crystal of their relationship were apparent save for something on Rena’s part:
Rena never really hunted for people to cheat with but being far away from home on jobs with the most beautiful and interesting people on the planet occasionally led her to party too much and end up in another girl’s bed. In fact, Rena repeatedly promised herself to stop straying on Shell. Then, at a fashion & celebrity elite gala, she meets Koko Dean and Lilly Morgan, 18-year-old best friends on the path to stardom in their own rights; Koko, an up-and-coming fashion model and Lilly, a musician with a knack for fashion design. Koko and Rena hit it off right away, which puts a damper on Lilly’s plans of finally telling her best friend she loves her beyond the boundaries of friendship.
Rena finds herself wedged between an inclination to get to know Koko better or finally stay true to Shell. Feeling it’s about time to change her ways, she opts for the latter but temptation won’t let her off the hook that easily. Booze-fueled circumstances put her in line to stray yet again; this time, with her childhood best friend, Shannon Sadoveanu, a socialite who recently lost the love of her life by tragic means.
Shell had always put Rena’s flings aside, chalking it up to necessary life experience for someone so young and free-spirited. She rationalized them as indiscretions of youth, fully believing that nothing — especially a few meaningless affairs — could rupture their love and bond. However, when she finds out what happened with Shannon, the crystal cracks. Something about it doesn’t seem so meaningless. She feels the loss of Shannon’s girlfriend may have opened the door to a hibernated love with Rena. Not sure how to deal, Shell wonders if she is to blame for tolerating Rena’s occasional bouts of horseplay. For the first time in their four-year relationship, Shell questions the promise of “happily ever after.” Together, they must finally confront the skeletons that have hung in their closet for far too long.
Set against the eclectic fictional cities of Moonglow, USA, and Utsukushisa, Japan, MOONGLOW will titillate your imagination, strum your heartstrings and prove that — no matter what era we live in — love is our strongest ally.
Now that we’ve covered what MOONGLOW is about, let’s talk about where the story came from in the first place!
Although our story takes place in a futuristic, sci-fi environment it’s entirely Earthbound. My favourite sci-fi is rooted in the human element. As much as I love aliens and spaceships, I have a distinct preference for sci-fi that approaches the genre from a more “down to Earth” perspective. My favourite sci-fi picture/story is “BLADERUNNER (The Final Cut)” based on Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” The idea of the “skin jobs” we created wanting nothing more than to be as human as everyone else — just wanting more life than they were designed with — really rings with me. That said, my other favourite sci-fi story is what Dr. Isaac Asimov created in his “Foundation” Saga. Although Foundation spans a galaxy, it never leaves us stranded in the stars.
This passion for sci-fi is something rooted in my earliest memories. I grew up on “Star Wars” and always wanted to be an astronaut. As I got older, it was apparent I sucked at Math (STILL DO!) so the whole astronaut was short lived. However! I figured out long ago that I could travel to space in my mind and — by that — tell stories about it.
Now, one may ask, “What business does a guy have telling lesbian romance stories?!” Firstly, from as early as I can remember, the women in my life have always been my heroes. I’ve always been closest with my mother and aunts, girl cousins and grandmothers. All through school and beyond, my social circle has always been women and the LGBT community so telling a story like this never felt awkward or forced. In fact, I don’t feel entirely responsible for it. In many ways, MOONGLOW came to me. I just took notes!
Many of the places in the novel I’ve seen in my dreams ever since I was very, very young. Around 2004, I began dreaming of the characters and world of MOONGLOW in a more coherent manner. As time went on, the dreams became more and more vivid, so vivid they began spilling over to my waking life, like the people living in my head needed to bust out! So, I’ve felt obligated to tell their story and share it with all of you.
As for everyday inspirations, one will find that quite a few of my friends and people I admire have inspired the characters in the book. Everytime, I just let it happen. If someone inspires me, I just wait for the waves to start hitting and — sure enough — that inspiration quickly becomes a downpour of creativity that has shaped the life and soul of MOONGLOW.
After roughly six years of fermenting, I couldn’t contain it any longer and began the creative crackdown to get MOONGLOW into written form. About two years ago, I grabbed a spiral notepad and a pencil and got to it. When I FIRST began, it was shit. Seriously! I saved those first two or three pages I wrote to remind myself of what over-thinking can do because, at that time, I DID give “trying to write” my all. What a tragedy. After a few days, I told myself to just let go — release! — and let the story flow naturally. Let the girls flow on their own. Once I did that, it was complete liberation. Even though this first story took two years to finally come full circle, the characters of MOONGLOW did it on their own terms and I can’t be happier with the results. I hope you are, too!
On the fashion aspect of this story: I wouldn’t have it any other way. My earliest fashion memory is, as a five year old, hugging my mother and feeling the cool softness of her rabbit fur coat. Everything about that texture is still as clear in my mind as if it were yesterday. As I got older, I was always infatuated with all the delicate fabrics and lush, vibrant colours of fashion — and the models! Ooooohhh, do I love the amazing women that make the fashion industry what it is today. I admire them as beauties and muses, it’s true, but also as people. Nothing overjoys me more than seeing these girls take the world by storm from the moment they debut on the runways or in print to whenever they branch out and gift us all with a variety of their talents.
You may have noticed many foodie elements in MOONGLOW. Well, I’m a Private Chef. Food is a huge passion for me. My Great Grandmother and Great Aunt on my mother’s side were the grand cooks of the family and I feel their presence whenever I’m at the pots and pans. A love for food and a love for making people happy through food is something that’s in my blood. So, it kinda came out in the literature, too.
On a personal note, I am — for all intents and purposes — a SHAMELESS hopeless romantic. I’m such a Libra on the cusp of Scorpio, it’s not even funny. I’m in love with being in love, (even though I’m single with no kids, I appreciate the sentiment a great deal!) My favourite stories are those that sweep us off our feet in a whirlwind of grand, passionate abandon (Hello, Moulin Rouge! (20001) and do so with NO apologies whatsoever. I feel MOONGLOW took that natural course as a reflection of who I am as a person.
MOONGLOW is the equivalent of taking these passions — from space to telling stories to beauty to fashion to models to food to love — dropping them in a blender and hitting puree. I firmly believe that the best way to get to know an artist is through their art. Thus, a great way to get to know me is to read MOONGLOW. I’ve put everything I have — everything I am — into this universe. That’s why this is just the beginning. I will write these stories for the rest of my days and I really, really hope each and every one of you will be right here with me as MOONGLOW evolves through the years.
Thanks for reading & thanks for joining the MOONGLOW family!