I Wrote a Novel Called Moonlit Tours

I wrote my memoir of manic depression, Invisible Driving, because I had to - literally - to survive.  When it was done, I was free to write whatever I wanted.  In '76 my life was in ruins, my mother had died, father remarried, family wrecked, finished grad school - clinically depressed.  I took the ultimate dead end job - cab driver.  Every day, 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, I drove through Philadelphia's worst neighborhoods.  I was one of 3 white drivers.  In hindsight it was a great job for a budding writer - learning people - learning dialogue.  So, I returned to those days for the setting of my first true novel, Moonlit Tours.  Moonlit Tours, to be published next year, is a black comedy, a satire in the tradition of Swift and Vonnegut.  It concerns 3 nice, well meaning cab drivers that form a rather bizarre enterprise.  They offer "moolit tours" of the city's soft underbelly to rich, jaded sophisticates in search of thrills.  The book is a study in the incremental nature of evil - that is - evil is not an on/off switch, it is like the camel that sneaks into your tent, first a nose, then a head, then legs, etc.  The next thing you know you have passed the point of no return.  It's full of quirky characters from all different walks of life and stations in society, rich and poor, black and white, male and female, damaged and whole.  Where Invisible Driving, as a memoir, is self-focused, Moonlit Tours casts a wide net.  The book was written in a fever pitch, the first draft was complete in a month - a month of 18-hour days.  What I learned from that book is that you have to love your characters; if they are merely symbols the book will be rubbish.  You have to know them and care about them as if they were real people, in fact, for a writer, they may be more vivid than the people one meets in daily life.  I wanted to write about evil, and I'm glad I got it out of my system. 

ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
23 Responses Jun 20, 2007

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Thanks. I try. ;)

Nyx You're good!

C'mon...going to a crappy movie at the multiplex costs around 12 bucks these days. For another 4 (if you take advantage of Amazon's free shipping on orders over $25 deal), you've got DAYS of entertainment that you can re-visit for FREE! So not only are El's books great...they're a great entertainment value!

Bless you, Lilt, I'm very fond of that line too. :- )<br />
<br />
Brut - spoil yourself! 16 beans plus S&H.

I'm really digging it, Brut. The characters are fantastic.<br />
And of course there is El's amazing wit...<br />
"Money didn't talk in Chestnut Hill, but it drank, and played a lot of golf."

I can't wait to get it; as soon as my jewelry line takes off, I will be able to afford a copy :-P

If they buy both books I get to watch.

What if they buy both the books and a watch?

Good question! Frequently people are so moved by Invisible Driving - and entertained by Moonlit Tours - that they loan them to friends. This is a tragic error in judgment - the likelihood of their being returned is virtually nil. The prudent thing to do is tell them to go to Amazon immediately, (if not sooner), and purchase their own copy. (Point out that buying BOTH at once earns them a discounted price AND free shipping!)

El, darling...if you are so inclined, please delete that post from the blue head person. I followed one of the links he/she/it posted. It's an attempt to hijack your thread to sell watches.

Here's my question to you, El...<br />
As I was reading your book at the pool yesterday, my friend asked about it. She said it sounded great and could she BORROW it when I'm done? I said sure, but that doesn't do much for your sales. Should I have told her to buy her own copy?<br />
:)

Yeah, I'm still trying to see if he can somehow fit "Nyxie" into the new book, "Washed Up"...which, by the way, is due out later this year and will be available at Amazon.com! (And which I'm about 100 pages into and loving it!) <br />
<br />
:)

Lester is an angel.<br />
<br />
Writing that sex scene was difficult - not easy to get the right balance.

Oh, and I also liked how you used "lilt"<br />
in the girl-on-girl prison sex chapter.

Is flyinfzg a friend of yours, Alistair?<br />
What a mess.<br />
<br />
Anyway...<br />
I'm only about halfway through, but <br />
I "heart" Lester.<br />
He's all that and a bag of bbq chips.

Look for it later this year.

Thank you for sharing your writing process!