Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World, the debut release by Eva Moon
Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner!
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Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World
Becoming real was only the start. Pinocchio got his wish, but finds there’s more to being human than having the right kind of body. Inside, he still feels like that same wooden puppet.
In the wake of WWI, his struggle to fit into a human world leads to a deadly fight with a fascist officer and flight from the only home he’s ever known.
From tramp steamers to stifling sweatshops, from love to bitter heartbreak, he can’t outrun his puppet past. Returning home years later, he discovers his beloved papa, Geppetto, was spirited away in the middle of the night into a Germany newly in Hitler’s grip.
On his perilous journey, he finds a motley crew of allies, love, and an unexpected enemy who knows a secret about Pinocchio’s own magical origins that could help her enslave humanity.
Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World is a tale of friendship, love, and, ultimately, what it means to be real.
To purchase Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World, click on any of the following links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble & IndieBound
Editor’s Pick, BookLife Reviews: “Moon’s richly inventive debut novel proves as enchanting—and as darkly surprising—as the original fairytale from which it takes inspiration.”
IndieReader: “Eva Moon manages to balance humor, adventure, and drama in Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World and the warm humanity of her characters helps illuminate one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century.”
Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World — The Interview
Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World is a historical fantasy novel that takes the original story of the famous wooden boy and turns it on its head. What drew you to using that particular fairy tale as the launch point for your debut?
Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World came about, in part, by your decision to undergo major surgery due to the BRCA1 genetic mutation and high potential for cancer. Tell us about how that experience impacted your work as an artist.
I’ll answer both of these questions together.
People often ask me why I’m so fascinated by Pinocchio. I’ve written a play and now, a novel about him. I don’t feel that I chose Pinocchio so much as he chose me.
The original story ends when he gets his wish to be a real boy, and the assumption is that he lived happily ever after. But it’s a funny thing about wishes. Can you ever really know now what will make you happy in the future? My wish list for future happiness certainly did not include having a double mastectomy, full hysterectomy, and losing my mother to cancer in the span of three months. And yet, I am happier and more fulfilled in ways I could never have imagined or achieved had I not survived those trials.
So, I’ve wondered what happened to Pinocchio after he got his new body. Was it all he imagined it would be? Did it satisfy the longing in his heart? Perhaps he didn’t feel as different as he hoped. Perhaps he even felt like an impostor – human on the outside, but still the same wooden boy inside. How would he integrate his old self with his new self?
We make many emotional demands of our bodies. We want them to live up to impossible standards, to make us happy and loved, to reflect our ideal selves. And so often, they let us down. Perhaps we’re asking too much of them.
Writing about Pinocchio, not as a wooden boy, but as the human adult he presumably grew up to be, has allowed me to explore these questions and come to some understanding of what it means to be oneself in the world.
Describe the time period in Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World. What kind of research did you do for the era, even though your work is fiction?
The novel is set in Europe in the years between the world wars, but primarily at the beginning of the 1930s, as fascism was on the rise but before the threat of war. As a European Jew, this era is especially heartbreaking. Opportunities to oppose the forces that led to atrocities were missed again and again. I remember relatives with concentration camp numbers tattooed on their wrists. We are currently living in an era of rising nationalism, division, and populism, so the time frame of the novel feels especially urgent and relevant. Perhaps there’s still time to change the course we’re on now.
The world in the book has a strong magical undercurrent, but the places and histories are as accurate as I could make them. I read and researched extensively and consulted with experts in many different fields. I’ve spent time in London and Tuscany – two important locations in the book. Just before the pandemic, I spent a frantic ten days on a research trip to Germany. Some elements are fictionalized, but all the places exist. I could probably give an interesting travelogue on hidden Germany.
In addition to writing novels, you also write short stories and musical compositions. You’ve also been a musician, screenwriter, playwright, performer, and done stand-up and improv. How have all those different art forms informed your writing?
Once an idea fizzes into existence in my head, I’m done for. The only thing I can do is let it have its way. The tale knows whether it wants to be a short story, a song, a film, a play, or a novel. My stories can be quite bossy sometimes. I’ve learned not to fight them.
What can we find you doing when you aren’t creating art, music, or stories?
I live in Redmond, WA with my husband. We have two elderly children who are off living their own lives. I’m really into baking sourdough bread and knitting. But I find it hard to follow recipes or patterns. I always need to give it a twist. I also love hiking in the Pacific Northwest and swimming in icy mountain lakes on warm days.
What are you working on now?
I’m in early drafts of a science fiction novel loosely based on The Little Mermaid, but set in a post-climate disaster future.
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:
Embrace the vomit draft. Turn off the inner critic as much as you can and just hurl words at the page. No matter how much clean-up it needs, it still beats trying to edit blank pages.
Make peace with rewrites. That’s writing too. And when you’ve taken it as far as you can on your own, get a few trusted and experienced pairs of eyes on it. Resist the urge to argue. Hear it all, let it sit for a while, and then trust yourself.
Author Pet Corner!
I have two naughty tabby kitties.
Sprocket is only a little naughty.
But Samosa is always into something.
They both love band practice night.
They race up and down the stairs to our livelier songs and when we take a break, they make love to the bass.
I don’t know why.
Eva Moon — Author of Pinocchio’s Guide to the End of the World
Eva Moon is an author, humorist, songwriter, internationally produced playwright, award winning, optioned screenwriter, and performer.
She is a former blogger for the Huffington Post.
Her plays and musicals have been staged across the US and UK, and her solo musical show, “The Mutant Diaries: Unzipping My Genes” is available streaming on Amazon.
Her first novel, which follows the adventures of a grown-up human Pinocchio in fascist Europe between the world wars, came out in March 2023.
To learn more about Eva, click on her name, photo, or any of the following links: Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, Instagram. IMDB, LinkedIn & YouTube
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