Guest Post by Ralph Webster: Female or Male Perspective?

     Today's guest writer is Ralph Webster. He is the author of A Smile in One Eye. His latest novel, One More Moon will be released on February 28th. The novel tells the story of his grandmother’s desperate journey from her life at the Pensione Alexandra in Naples to America. Mr. Webster explains the approach he took in writing from a female perspective in One More Moon.

Female or Male Perspective?


     Whose voice?  A woman’s or a man’s?

     This past week I was asked “how was writing One More Moon different from what I’d experienced writing the last book?”  It’s a curious question - one that I find myself reflecting upon now and certainly something that I was not overly conscious of when I was writing.  Had I considered the difference, would it have changed the way I wrote One More Moon?

     Old habits are hard to break.  I can’t say the way I approached the writing changed much - the way I researched, my daily routine, the thought process.  I always take my craft seriously.  Even though this was a different story, little else changed.  One initial reviewer noticed.  But, no one else did and I never gave it much more thought.

     I realize now that it’s very obvious.  The difference?  My first book, A Smile in One Eye, is told by a man, my father.  I tried to put myself into my father’s head and explain his world from a man’s perspective.  My new book, One More Moon, is told by a woman, my grandmother.  I had to find her voice, understand the world from her vantage point, and speak the words she would have said.  I honestly can’t say that I purposely tried to write one with a male voice and the other with a female voice.  I didn’t instinctively prepare or choose my words differently.  I wasn’t aware of the nuance - I hope this was because I didn’t want there to be one.  I didn’t try to express their emotions or how they said things differently simply because one was a man and the other a woman.  My aim was to portray and project the individual characters as I knew them.  I wanted them to be real.

     Now I wonder how readers will react.  Do readers prefer books written in a woman’s voice versus a man’s?  Did I make these characters authentic?  Should I have used a different pen name?  Will their voices stand up to the scrutiny of my readers?  When put to paper, what does distinguish a man’s voice from a woman’s?  Is there a stereotype that one is supposed to follow?  As One More Moon rolls out in the coming weeks and months I am sure I will learn many of the answers.  Readers have a way of being very direct in their observations.  They will tell me the answers.

One More Moon


Release Date:  February 28, 2018
Genres:            Memoir/Biographical  & Historical Novel
Page Length:   412 pages

Formats:           E-book and Softcover

     Goodreads Choice Nominee Ralph Webster tells the true story of his grandmother’s desperate journey from her life at the Pensione Alexandra in Naples to America – after Mussolini and the Fascists join with Hitler – and as countries across the world close their doors to Jewish refugees fleeing the spread of Nazi evil. (Available February 28, 2018).

     In 1934, at age fifty-one, Elsa’s sheltered life in Mussolini’s Fascist Italy changes remarkably when she and her husband, Paul, purchase the Pensione Alexandria overlooking the Mediterranean in Naples. Though German Jews, they are embraced by their Italian neighbors, and for the next several years, the pensione flourishes.  It becomes their perch to observe the world’s events. Travelers from across Europe and America come to the door, each with their own story, mystery, or surprise.  Nearly all have been touched in some way by the ominous changes occurring to the north, in Nazi-controlled Germany.

     When war breaks out in Europe and Italy sides with Germany, Elsa and her family’s fears are quickly realized. The growing sense that the atrocities in German-occupied lands will soon occur in Italy forces them to sell their pensione and attempt a desperate journey to safety in America. The way seems impossible.  Day by day, war makes travel increasingly difficult as countries begin closing their doors to refugees.

     Told in Elsa’s words and written by her grandson, One More Moon is the extraordinary story of a woman and her family’s often harrowing experiences in the years before and during the Second World War.

About the Author:

Award winning author Ralph Webster received worldwide acclaim for his first book, A Smile in One Eye: A Tear in the Other, which tells the story of his father’s flight from the Holocaust.  Voted by readers as a Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards Nominee for Best Memoir/Autobiography, A Smile in One Eye: A Tear in the Other and this second book, One More Moon, are proven book club selections for thought-provoking and engaging discussions.  For more information, please visit his website.


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