Only the Moon Understands the Beauty of Love is an autobiographical work of nonfiction, wedding Thomas Slatin’s colorful poetic prose with reflections on lost love and sacrifice. From the earth to the moon to the sun and back, follow along with Thomas as she shares what were once deep secrets hidden within her journals. With tales of tumultuous beginnings, bittersweet farewells, and finally the romance of her dreams, “Only the Moon” is a carriage ride through emotional highs and lows you won’t soon forget.
Thomas Slatin’s new book, Only the Moon Understands the Beauty of Love, signifies the next chapter in the creative nonfiction writer’s life. Though Slatin enjoyed a rewarding career as an Emergency Medical Technician and Firefighter spanning some two decades, writing has permeated every aspect of Slatin’s life since writing on her parents’ New York City apartment walls as a child.
Slatin says, when it became apparent that she was unlikely to stop, her parents set up a desk and chair with a pile of notebooks and pens. So, how do you rekindle creative passions and pursue them as your second career? For Slatin, rebranding herself as a writer has been a significant challenge but is equally rewarding.
It was reaching her retirement goal from the fire service and a failed long-term relationship that catalyzed Slatin’s conversion to writing and photography full-time. Today, you’ll find the Vermont-based writer scribbling ideas, song lyrics, snippets of news, or conversations on paper that she later incorporates in her writing – a change of pace from her former life.
For many amateur writers, success is incredibly challenging and habitual – it requires disciplines, portfolios, exposure, and contributions. Early on, Slatin turned to the online world, establishing her author platform and building a readership. Her journalistic-style entries include first-hand personal accounts, layered with assiduous hindsight narration. Slatin describes her writing style as reminiscent of the 1988 television show, The Wonder Years. For example, she devotes a passage to her favorite tree as an 8-year-old in her parent’s backyard in Stamford, New York, titled, A Little Ghost For The Offering.
The new book amalgamates Slatin’s most inspired pieces, a tangible product decades in the making. In essence, the book documents her life, careers, and relationships with the potential for expansion in future releases. Though she admits many aspects of her life are irreconcilable, nevertheless, in her work, Slatin deconstructs, then bridges the two spheres. In life, as in her writing, Slatin recognizes that everything is connected in some way, even if connections are unseen or not fully understood.
She’s also grateful to those who invigorated her writing passion. Slatin received mentorship and encouragement from her youth by some illustrious literary names, including American journalist Charles Kuralt, and poet and writer Allen Ginsberg. She describes Ginsberg’s mentorship included sharing his writing process and practices that Slatin still uses today.
Slatin dedicates the entire memoir to her wife and agent, Amelia Desertsong. It’s clear that Amelia is at the center of all her work as muse, confidant, and greatest supporter. Desertsong’s admiration, love, and respect are also clearly apparent in her description of Thomas and her work, having written the foreword to the new book – challenging the myth that writers assume solitary existences in success.
When asked about the most challenging aspect of self-publishing, Slatin says it takes an enormous amount of discipline, but the biggest challenge is wrestling with extremely high standards. She seeks the absolute pinnacle of quality as a writer, refusing to publish anything short of such a standard.
As a self-publishing author with Barnes and Noble, Slatin also takes on the roles of book cover designer and marketer, with Amelia serving as editor. Her experience in photography and web design supports her endeavors in these roles. Slatin’s photography work help to shape her writing and thrives through the thousands of images living on her website, TomSlatin.com.
In 2022, Slatin published her photography book, Reckless and Wild, a follow up to her 2019 release Entropy. Like its predecessor, it immortalizes abandoned historic places now lost forever to fire, decay, or intentional demolition.
Slatin’s new book, Only the Moon Understands the Beauty of Love, is available for pre-order from Barnes and Noble, and will be on sale starting June 1st, 2023.