Once in a while, I get the chance to interview authors. Today, I’m talking with Lisa Preston, author of The Measure of the Moon.
Lisa, would you introduce yourself to the readers?
I am, of course, a lifelong reader and I wrote in childhood, starting with horse stories because I couldn’t find enough of them. I still write what I’d like to read: character-driven revelations, stories moved forward by interesting people in interesting situations.
Introduce us to Greer and Gillian from The Measure of the Moon.
Greer is a rural boy, the youngest child in a rowdy family, with five grown siblings. Gillian is a thirties-something photographer and film rescuer in Seattle who is dysphoric in her marriage to a good guy, and she needs to figure that out.
Tell us about The Measure of the Moon, without spoilers.
As a whole, this is a novel about protecting the people you love. Moon explores childhood post-traumatic stress through parallel stories. The link between Greer and Gillian’s lives is a good guess for some readers, while other reviewers are gobsmacked. I love those different reactions to Moon.
The Measure of the Moon has some very dark elements. How do you escape from the dark side in your daily life?
Realistically, I think many of us aren’t free of those dark slices of life, but living through tough events with healthy choices makes all the difference. Bringing that hope forward in my novels lets the reader find a satisfying resolution.
Alaska and Washington. You’ve lived both places as an adult. What are your favorite spots to take visitors?
I love open country. I take friends to the trails and the big views, whether on the shore, looking up to my mountains, or high in the hills, gazing out to the sea.
You’ve been a paramedic and a police officer. What was the most unusual work experience that you can tell us about?
Those jobs make you clean up after some of the most shocking, heartbreaking and unbelievable human behaviors. Delivering secret babies was a challenge. There was a teen who’d successfully hidden her pregnancy from her parents, and a bathtub birth from a woman who’d hidden it from her husband. The latter call necessitated police protection for the woman and for us in the Fire Department. Death notifications I delivered as a cop are stuck in my memory, as are so many bizarre and ugly events that I expect most civilians really do not want to know.
What made you decide to write fiction?
I’ve always been a reader and loved great fiction. As a child, I’d pause after finishing a good story and want to give back the pleasure that the novelist lavished on me. I love the timelessness of good books.
What authors have inspired you?
The first was in childhood, when Mrs. Kendall read Wilson Rawls’s Where the Red Fern Grows aloud to our class. It was my favorite part of third grade. Hearing a wonderful story unfold lets the mind run free. I’ve read countless good works since then, with many more to come.
What author would you like to recommend who you think has been underappreciated?
With a nod to my friend Jo-Ann Mapson who recommended this novel to me, I suggest Joyce Weatherford’s Heart of the Beast, which deserved its wonderful reviews.
You attended Left Coast Crime in Hawaii. What was your favorite experience at the conference?
Honolulu Havoc was a hoot. I got to: say hi to Barbara and Robert; give a talk at the “˜Meet the New Authors’ Breakfast; co-host a banquet table with the lovely Catriona MacPherson; moderate a roaring panel featuring Doug Lyle, Patty Smiley, Ellen Kirschman, AK Gunn, Bette Lamb and John Burley; then speak on a panel about specialized police work.
The big serendipity of this year’s Left Coast, however, was discovering that the wonderful Janet Rudolph may have been my high school English and Humanities teacher! We’re still combing back through the dates, but she was on her first job where I went to school, at around the same time.
Thank you, Lisa. Lisa Preston’s website is www.lisapreston.com
You can see the book trailer for The Measure of the Moon here. https://youtu.be/oleTyrx_5-E
You can order a copy of the book or the audio book through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/2p5WXLm