Donna MacMeans

Invisibility can be most revealing.

I remember precisely when I discovered the idea for THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT. It was the summer of 2006. My husband and I decided to go to the movies and chose My Super Ex-girlfriend (crummy movie, but great scene of the super girlfriend tossing a shark at her boyfriend through a skyscraper window.) I was casting about, looking for a fresh idea and thought – superpowers are hot. Look at the popular TV series – Heroes. Other recent movies: Fantastic Four, Spiderman. Perhaps I could do something with a superhero story.

I had just finished my Victorian novel, The Education of Mrs. Brimley, and had fallen in love with the time period. I figured there aren’t many superheroes in historical settings, other than vampires, so this might be good. Plus I wouldn’t be wasting all that research I did for Mrs. Brimley. So I had my setting – late Victorian England.

Now I needed a power. I thought about flying, but that would be difficult with all those skirts and whatnot. If faced with imminent death or flying, would a proper Victorian woman choose the latter if it meant someone could see up her skirt? Sorry, Mary Poppins, I don’t think so. So flying was out. I considered other powers. One of my favorites is invisibility. Remember how Harry Potter had a cloak of Invisibility – so did Frodo didn’t he? It’s a cool talent – and visual (so to speak J). I could already see the opening scene in my mind. Things floating on air with no obvious explanation.

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when the hero can turn his power on and off like a light bulb. I decided pretty early that I wanted this power to play havoc with my heroine, cause her lots of worry and anxiety about her ability to control it. And she had to be visible sometimes – I mean the hero has to be able to find her. My daughter and I talked it over as we waited at the airport for her plane to Chicago. What normal occurrence could we use that would have been available in Victorian times and would play havoc with my heroine – the moon!

We discussed the problem of clothes. That Susan chick from the Fantastic Four had her genius boyfriend come up with some clothes that could turn invisible. My poor Victorians couldn’t have had that technology. Then I remembered the headless horseman. Do you remember him? He’s really what sealed the deal. I decided he must have been of the same race of people as my heroine (nuclear accidents also were out). He rode his horse in Moonlight and his body turned invisible, giving the illusion that he was headless. Perfect.

Now all I needed was a reason to force my heroine out of her house when the moon was full, and a hero who would fall privy to her secret. The book was born.

In the midst of a moonlit safe-cracking mission, British spy James Locke witnesses a ruby necklace spirited away as if by conjurer’s trick. Following the jewels leads him to Lusinda Havershaw who’s inherited the talent of turning invisible in moonlight – at lest, the parts of her that are unclothed. Locke trains Lusinda in espionage, even while he finds her close proximity bewitchingly distracting. And as their mission to track Russian spies grows treacherous, they’ll find that the heart behaves even more mysteriously than Lusinda in moonlight.

The Trouble with Moonlight will be available June 3rd. ISBN: 978-0-425-22198-3
Read an excerpt at http://www.donnamacmeans.com/

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