Interview with Mark David Campbell on Eating the Moon
August 30

Interview with Mark David Campbell on Eating the Moon

How do you describe yourself as a writer?

I consider myself a gay adventure writer within the genre of speculative (anthropological) fiction.

 

What was your inspiration for this book?

Over the years, through the course of our struggle for equality, I’ve heard many LGBTIQ people ask the rhetorical question time and time again, ‘what if it were the other way around and gay people were the norm and straight people were in the periphery?’

Using my knowledge of anthropology, I decided to try and address that question and create a society in which almost everyone was gay or lesbian. I wanted to see what would happen both within the story and amongst readers.

 

Where do the details for the island come from?

Of course I invented them, however, much of the social organization and many of the rituals and traditions on the island were either inspired by or borrowed from real societies.

 

Where do the myths come from?

I didn’t want to plagiarize anyone’s myths because that might be considered disrespectful, so I invented my own.

 

Is this book intended as a critique of our society today?

Yes, as is any utopic vision or fantasy world. More than a critique of society, first and foremost, I wanted this book to represent a ‘safe place’ where people could go and dream and fanaticize about other possibilities for living and loving. It was very important to me that this vision of a homosexual society was imperfect with many flaws and injustices of its own, as Guy and Luca learn.

 

Why are they so sexually open/permissive on the island?

The concept of monogamy is actually rare among human societies. And even though we prize monogamy in our society, most people, both men and women, can not conform to it, either within a same sex or opposite sex relationship. I wanted to see what might happen in society that does not have preconceptions about monogamy and does not believe jealousy is an affirmation of love.

 

And what about jealousy?

I’ve heard numerous people, both gay and straight, claim that their partner really loves them because they are so jealous. On the island, jealousy is not considered proof of love, it is an expression of power and an attempt to control and dominate the other person.

When Guy ask Kizo if he gets jealous about Luca, Kizo explains, “Sex is like talking. You can’t tell someone you love not to talk to anyone else.”

“… and jealousy?”  Guy asks.

“Jealousy is always a problem. Big problem,” Kizo says shaking his head.

 

How relevant do you think the romantic genre is? 

I believe the gay or LGBTIQ romantic genre is very relevant and is much more than just entertainment. It is at the very heart of our struggle for identity and legitimacy. After all, gay people are defined and marginalized largely based on who we love.

Just as gay people embrace and hold dear stories of straight romances, many straight people, both writers and readers, recognize that gay/LGBTIQ stories of love and romance, be they sticky sweet or rough and tumble, are an intriguing and important part of the human story.

All too often, however, gay stories and LGBTIQ experiences are censored or edited out of the mainstream, or made palatable for heterosexual sensibilities. At best our stories appear as titillating or humorous sidelines embedded within overwhelming heterosexual romantic experiences. How many times has the lovable gay character been the only one in the story who never even gets kissed? We have fought hard to claim our place in history and our right to love.

 

Who is the book intended for?

I’m a gay writer, but I always try to make my stories accessible to anyone.

For gay readers, a sexually open society of homosexual men on a tropical island is a paradise-fantasy come true, but, as the reader soon discovers, everything, even paradise, comes with a price.

For straight readers, this is a challenge to enter into the world of our fantasies and reexamine society from our side of the fence.

 

Does the island really exist or is it just a frightened old man’s delusional fantasy?

Of course it exists! I’ve known about it and visited it my entire life. But like Never-Never Land, it can only exist if you truly believe.

 

 

Eating the Moon

What if there was a place that nobody else knew about – a secret place – where everyone was queer?’ That’s the question Guy, a 70 year old, lonely gay anthropology professor asks Richard, his 32 year old psychiatrist. During their twice weekly sessions, Guy tells Richard a fantastic tale of his experience as a young man bound for Cuba on a cargo ship which sinks in the Bermuda triangle. Guy and the first mate Luca are washed up on the shore of an uncharted tropical island and discover a complex society where almost everyone is homosexual.

Eating the Moon takes you on an erotic tropical vacation to a place where all your fantasies of homosexual love and sex can come true, but as both Guy and Luca soon discover, even paradise comes with a cost.

 

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