G-S0FRWVK02S script async src="https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js?client=ca-pub-5316903433019074" crossorigin="anonymous">
top of page

Bathed In Moonlight: An Interview with Author Stacia Kaywood!

A captivating love story and a journey of rediscovery are at the heart of Stacia Kaywood’s debut novel, Bathed In Moonlight. Set near the end of World War II, it centers on Captain Jimmy O’Brien and Greta Müller as they struggle to overcome a number of obstacles forcing them apart. Kaywood has written a thrilling and impressive debut with perfectly woven elements of romance and historical fiction. It is a welcome addition to any must-read list!

To learn more about the story behind the story, read A Good Book To End The Day’s interview with the author below.

Tell us about Bathed In Moonlight and the inspiration behind the story.

Bathed in Moonlight is set at the end of World War II in Bavaria, Germany, as the allies are pushing through the country, delivering the fatal blow to the Nazi regime. The story centers around Captain Jimmy O’Brien, recently wounded in a firefight, and the woman who helps him survive – Greta Müller. While Greta uses rudimentary first-aid, Jimmy discovers she isn’t alone. Instead, she’s hiding a little boy named Ezra, whose silence confuses the soldier and deepens the mystery of who these two people are and why they are not afraid of the enemy now sitting on their sofa. Bathed in Moonlight explores the lives of Greta and Jimmy as they attempt to redefine who they are after the chaos of a hard-fought war while putting to rest the skeletons of their pasts.

The inspiration for the novel came to me one morning when I woke with the German word for run echoing in my mind. Lauf! I could picture Greta and Ezra perfectly on a dark night, the sounds of dogs and gunfire, while a woman commanded in a hushed whisper to run. From there, the words flowed from my fingertips and my debut novel was born.

What part of the book was the most fun to write?

Without a doubt, the epilogue was the most fun to write, as everything came together so perfectly. Whenever I read a romance, I want to know a little bit more, so naturally, the epilogues are my favorite part of the story - when the happily ever after is realized and the characters emerge as their new selves. I loved watching Jimmy grow into the man he was always meant to be, while Greta discovered an inner strength she never knew existed. Plus, it was fun showcasing Erin O’Brien at the end of the novel, because her story is coming soon.

What were the challenges in bringing this book to life?

The biggest challenge in bringing this book to life was the balance between creating a story with a German protagonist during World War II, that didn’t paint the Nazi regime in any sort of positive light. I wanted to create a narrative that remained true to the horrors of the Holocaust but was not a book about the Holocaust. It needed to be a blend of good fiction, real history, and romance, but most importantly, not be an unrealistic portrayal of life during this time.

With those requirements, the historical facts I believed I understood changed, especially with my understanding of war brides (German women being the second largest group) and the time frame for when our soldiers began coming home and changing their roles from conquerors to policing a nation in chaos.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Hmm, this is a tough question, but I believe my earliest experience was learning to read. I would like to say I learned to read young, but the truth was, I struggled with it immensely. It wasn’t until Mrs. Roberts, my 3rd-grade teacher, figured out how to connect with a child who preferred verbal stories to written ones, and that perhaps, after all, I wasn’t stupid, but rather needed to be shown the beauty of prose and listening to the author’s words being spoken aloud in my mind. I remember her giving me a copy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume before I discovered so many fascinating books. Books that made me cry, made me believe, and most of all, fall in love.

Do you have any other projects in the works at this time?

I have a few projects in the works. The first is a Regency Era romance centered around a group of debutants trying to navigate the hazards of the London marriage mart. The first of the series, I hope to have out this fall. I also have a contemporary romance, which is slightly more personal, as it features a middle-aged woman finding herself falling madly in love with her younger boss. As middle-aged women, we don’t see a lot of representation in romantic fiction, so it has been an absolute joy to write. Though no, I didn’t fall in love with my boss, though there might be a bit of Mr. Kaywood in all my heroes. And it is my hope that this year I finish Erin O’Brien’s story – sister to Captain Jimmy.

What does literary success look like to you?

Literary success is to continue publishing my stories and finding an audience who enjoys reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. It includes one day walking into a brick-and-mortar bookstore and seeing my novel for sale. I know for many of my friends, they count success as being a best-selling author or making the rounds of a talk-show circuit, but for me, it is connecting with those who say: my book made them smile or they fell in love with the characters – those types of sentiments.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Find your cheerleader – the person who believes in you and will help you when self-doubt creeps in or life conflicts with your dreams. The second is read. Read your genre, read books about writing and our craft. Read for inspiration. Read for clarity. Simply, read, because you cannot write if you do not read.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Readers can get in touch through Facebook at facebook.com/stacia.kaywood or Twitter. My website is staciakaywood.com and they can also email me at stacia@staciakaywood.com. I would absolutely love to hear from them, so please send me a message from wherever and I will happily write back!

59 views0 comments
bottom of page