A few years ago my husband and I rented a dark old house in Highlands, North Carolina, a place of summer retreats and historic old homes hidden away in the beautifully misty mountains, where close bonds are forged and remain for generations. While wandering through the overgrown flower gardens in back of the house l stumbled upon a circle of stones which marked the final resting place of the previous owner, the woman who had created the wildly beautiful, now sadly neglected gardens.
By chance I had brought one of my favorite books with me, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. At night, I found myself searching for the previous owner in the shadows of dark corridors, and imagined her standing at the foot of my bed, calling out to me. In that secret place writers go to weave our stories, I became the woman who had come into another woman’s house, her gardens, and her life, which I later learned had ended tragically, and much too young. Like the nameless narrator of Rebecca, I could not shake the feeling that I didn’t belong there. And thus the idea for Moonrise was born, my admiring homage to the most deliciously gothic romance of all time.