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Exciting New Book Release: The Star and the Strange Moon

Nl Header May 2023

Where has the time gone?

I just finished up edits to the first-pass pages for The Star and the Strange Moon and reflected on what a whirlwind the last three years have been for all of us.

When I began my publishing journey with A Witch in Time in February 2020, we were on the cusp of what would be a strange two years where the world shut down due to Covid-19. I was one of the last writers to have a book launch in person and if writing is a lonely profession, it was even lonelier not connecting with readers live. When The Ladies of the Secret Circus came out in March 2021, I was living in West Palm Beach for the winter having just finished radiation treatment for breast cancer and did a virtual  “book tour” with amazing writers like Erika Swyler, Alma Katsu, Gwendolyn Womack and Greer Macallister who so graciously gave of their time.

Fast forward two years and it’s been wonderful seeing people again. I’ll be in San Antonio from June 8-10 for the Historical Novel Society, North America 2023 Conference to do a session “Toil and Trouble: The Witch in Historical Fiction” with the amazing writers Paulette Kennedy and Alyssa Palombo. Then, on June 17, I’ll be appearing at Awesome Con at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

At both events, I’ll be promoting my (third!) book, The Star and the Strange Moon, which comes out November 14, 2023. (You can pre-order it now!)  A haunting tale of ambition, obsession, and the eternal mystery and magic of film, The Star and the Strange Moon tells the story of actress Gemma Turner, who disappears on the set of a horror film in 1968 and is never seen again, and film student Christopher Kent, haunted by one of film history’s greatest mysteries, sets out to discover the truth, he risks losing himself in the process. He’ll have to outrun the cursed legacy of the film—or become trapped by it forever.  

This book is odd, even for me, but it was soooo much fun to write! It has a mash-up of influences from an old ABC-Movie of the Week, Death at Love House (1976) starring Kate Jackson, old gothic romance novels like On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt, Hammer Films (the Christopher Lee ones) and the 2008 British TV-miniseries, Lost in Austen.  The main character, Gemma Turner, was also inspired by the actress, Francoise Dorleac who was the older sister of Catherine Deneuve.  Dorleac died tragically in 1967 in a car crash in Nice.  (See images of the book’s inspiration below.)

Inspiration

When I’m working on a novel, I give up about every weekend and most evenings to hit the deadlines and so there is a real relief when I finish a manuscript and I get to read again!  My top picks right now are: Night Film by Marisha Pessl (another big inspiration for the book and I re-read it again), Cackle by Rachel Harrison, Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourne, The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston and House of Cotton by Monica Brashears. With the last two, you tell me there is a strange funeral home in the story and I’m there!

Have a great summer!
-Connie