Throughout the course of my 40 years as a professional writer, starting in theatre and progressing to radio, TV and film, I had never before tackled a book, thinking I would probably fail to see it through. Then in 2009 my wife Hannah and I suffered the tragic loss of one of our identical twin boys at birth. I struggled with many confused emotions: grief for my lost son, Rafal, and gratitude for my surviving son, Joseph. It took me ten years but finally the idea for my novel ‘Six Moons’ began to take shape in my mind. ‘Moons’ in this context represents months, six months being the twins’ gestation before they succumbed to ‘Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome,’ a condition almost always fatal for both babies. It seemed like a miracle that our son had survived.
I used the story, set in a fictional corner of medieval Europe, to finally exorcise my feelings of love and loss. It is allegorical, dealing as it does with metaphysical questions like free will versus destiny, (with a lot of humour thrown in). Writing the novel was enormously cathartic for me and though there are painful moments, I believe the story expresses more joy for the gift of life than sadness at its loss. We switch between the fortunes of two opposing characters, one a serenely happy but imprisoned monk, the other a free-to-roam vagrant, tortured by doubt. Each is on a path to find the other and solve his life’s profound riddle.