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Under the Blue Moon

Joan Schweighardt

June 20, 2023

Today I talked to Joan Schweighardt about her book Under the Blue Moon (Five Directions Press, 2023).

An automobile accident in front of a homeless shelter causes Lola, a dog trainer/groomer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to renew her battle with the grief she previously pushed below the surface of her daily life. Ben, formerly an architect in the same city, has been abandoned by his family and is currently homeless. Lola sees him on the day of her accident, trying to smuggle something into the shelter while all the people associated with the facility are outside with her, waiting for the ambulance to arrive and watching the drama unfold at the end of the street as the guy who broadsided her runs from the scene and is pursued by police. Ben, who lives on a ledge under an overpass with his 18-year-old cat and two space-mates, wants nothing more than to find a job and get back on his feet (and thereby win back both his dignity and his daughter’s love). Lola wants a second chance for a meaningful life. Their individual pursuits put them on parallel paths that offer not only chance encounters with each other but glimpses into the mysteries of luck, love, art, compassion, and what it means to be human in these times.

Joan Schweighardt has worn multiple book-world hats over the course of the last many years. She has been a publisher, an agent, a ghostwriter, an editor and more. Her own projects include Under the Blue Moon (2023), and the Rivers Trilogy—Before We Died (2018), Gifts for the Dead (2019), and River Aria (2020). The Art of Touch: A Collection of Prose and Poetry from the Pandemic and Beyond—an anthology she conceived and co-edited, containing the work of 38 contributors—will be published by the University of Georgia Press in November (2023). When not reading or writing, Joan enjoys hiking in the foothills of Albuquerque's Sandia Mountains, bike riding on the city’s numerous trails, oil painting, and hanging out with friends and family.

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