Welcome to Author's Spotlight
with Stacy Eaton
Today we have Rena Hilst with us from MOONGLOW written by Charlie Romo.
Welcome Rena, I believe your nickname is actually Rennie if I heard through the grapevine correctly. So happy to have you hear today. Tell us about your story.
Love has a way of inspiring us to re-evaluate who we are, or who we think we are. Sometimes, it hits us out of nowhere. Other times, we know we have it coming! That's the fix I'm in.
I'm Rena Hilst. I have the most amazing girlfriend anyone could hope to have. Shell Dawes is sweet, caring, endearing… the fact that she's twice my age is so beside the point.
It's not huh?
We're perfect for each other and I love her more than anything in the world. I have a problem, though… other women.
Oops... just a little problem.
It's not like I go prowling for opportunities to cheat. I'm a fashion model so I travel a lot and party a lot. Sometimes, that gets out of hand and I stray.
That's not really a great thing is it?
I know it's a severe character flaw and I really want to change. I will change!
Okay - I believe you, I think...
Sometimes, I wonder if I'm too young for the love I've found. Then, I remind myself how lucky I am. It's like my twin brother says, "Remember. Someone in this fake f****d up world loves you." I know it.
I'm glad you know that.
Question is, will I toughen up and make the personal changes I need to make before it's too late? I'm not the only one wading through the murky waters of love!
Oh I know!
My new friend, Koko Dean, does everything she can to dissuade the affections of her childhood best friend, Lilly Morgan. What she needs to do is realize the best thing in her life is right under her nose.
Sometimes that is hard to see.
My childhood best friend, Shannon Sadoveanu, recently lost the love of her life by tragic means. My friends, Miracle and Amanda, belong together but it's like they don't know it yet. Then, there's Fayina! We never hooked up so it's like she searches for me in other girls.
Does she find it?
When she finds what she's looking for in Koko, you can imagine Lilly is none too pleased. Our hearts are all over the place and we have a lot of work to do! Welcome to my life. Welcome to MOONGLOW.
Sounds like a crazy place!
We all want to be different, so what is the one thing you wish your creator had done differently with you?
Not all of us want to be different!
Okay - I'm sorry... I didn't mean to offend you.
I don't believe in regrets. Charlie and I did our very best to put all my cards on the table, sans artifice. If we had done anything differently, it would not be an honest depiction of who I am or my life. That said, there's nothing I would want done differently.
If you could have added something to the story, and your creator would have let you, what would that have been?
Early on, we adhered to manuscript standards becoming of what one markets to literary agents. As a first time author, Charlie had to work within an ideal margin of ninety-to-one-hundred-twenty-thousand words. That left a fairly dramatic subplot that involves Sonja Koehler, Lina Andel, Ruby Melville and Mariska Tarasova on the back-burner because the book would definitely have run over one-hundred-twenty-thousand words.
That's a long novel.
When Charlie decided to self-publish, we talked about injecting that whole thing back into MOONGLOW but ultimately went against it because the whole situation with those characters—and how I play into it—works really well in the sequel so…that's where you'll read it!
Something else I would have loved to add! MORE COOKING! (laughs) I love to cook! I only had the opportunity to make one dish in detail within MOONGLOW…. I rocked it hard on some bananas foster!
Thing is, I love what Charlie has done with how he portrays us models because it's a more accurate representation of who we are in contrast to the very tired, ignorant cliché that plagues the common stereotype of us as robotic, air-headed pretty faces.
We're professional women with widely varied interests and goals. We're artists, photographers, musicians, poets, writers, some of us are really into philosophy and science, some are into history.
Wow... a lot of talent!
Some girls come from medical families and would be in med-school had they not been scouted and given the opportunities modeling offers. You'll find a lot of natural actors fueled by what we do every day because every day on those runways, before those cameras, is some sort of performance.
I can believe that.
And, yes, almost all of us love to cook! There are some serious culinary chops amongst models. People who say models don't eat should get to know a few before they accept that misconception as gospel.
MOONGLOW is merely the surface of the depth Charlie has created for myself and the other girls. There's so much more to come!
What do you love best about yourself? What do you like least?
What I love best about myself is my huge heart. It doesn't always lead me down the right road but I firmly believe we sometimes have to do what's wrong to know what's right.
Sometimes that is true.
I go through a lot of that in MOONGLOW. Really, I wouldn't have it any other way. I could sit back and wish to be perfect but where would the life-lessons in that be?
I don't believe in perfection, anyway. Anyone who makes out to be perfect is either lying or hiding something, or both. I'm a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda girl.
What I like least about myself…? Nothing. I'm content with who I am. Joseph L. Mankiewicz wrote, "We love people for certain qualities and in spite of others." That's how I love myself.
My faults are my teachers. They're part of my divine comedy. Surviving the personal pickles I get myself in means I get to look back and laugh some day. It may not be the happiest laugh—one of those, damn, I can't believe I did that! sort of laughs, but it's a laugh of survival… a survivor's laugh.
We all need one of those.
What part of the book was the hardest for you and your creator to work through?
My girlfriend, Shell, experiences a significant loss towards the end of MOONGLOW and I wasn't there to comfort her. I was working in Utsukushisa, Japan, when it happened and just felt… powerless! There's no worse feeling than that of helplessness—especially when someone we love is in pain.
I'm sorry you weren't able to be there.
We want to be there, be that tonic, the magic antidote. The heartbeat of someone we love, beating in tandem with our own, chest-to-chest…. That's the best medicine on Earth.
Yes it is.
Is there a sequel for this book? If so, what do you want to accomplish in the next book. If not, do you wish you could continue your story?
YES! There is nothing one-shot about MOONGLOW. We're going to churn these babies out for the rest of our lives! Charlie and I are having a great time with MOONGLOW: FOREVER HOLD.
At the heart of the story—and why we've called it FOREVER HOLD—is the promise of two people being together for the rest of their lives. Marriage is in the air. Engagement is in the air. It isn't all lavender & lilies, though. Some people will ask themselves, Gee, should we really be doing this?
Another goal of MG:FH is to illustrate that love conquers all. Love is powerful enough to conquer the deepest pitfalls, and is the strongest sword to wield against something like addiction.
That sounds very deep.
We really want to show people that love is stronger than any drug on the market. Lennon and McCartney said it best, "Love is all you need."
Yes - most times it is.
Is there anything else you'd like to share Reenie?
I'd like to comment on the drug use in MOONGLOW because I think it's important for people to understand that addiction affects many people from many walks of life. The people who use in MOONGLOW, including myself, have a problem! And it's depicted as the serious problem this disease really is. It's never glamorized.
I'm glad to hear that. Why did you guys add it to the story?
Addiction is something that has affected Charlie's family, affected Charlie and in turn, affected me. What we're doing with MOONGLOW is painting a portrait of the pitfalls addiction creates in any relationship, and what it takes to overcome those obstacles. Sometimes, we have to hit rock-bottom before we find the gumption to spring back and do the right thing.
That is very true!
MOONGLOW's first volume takes us through the problem, the rock-bottom and introduces us to potential solutions. The love, support and healing involved are what will carry us into MOONGLOW: FOREVER HOLD.
It is very obvious that your story holds a lot of information! I hope that our readers check it out! Thank you so much for visiting with us today.
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