Rebecca Boyle—Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are

January 17, 2024

Cover of the book Our Moon: How Earth

Our Moon

Rebecca Boyle
Random House, January 16, 2024
Hardback, $28.99, eBook, $13.99, Audio Book, $28
Hardback ISBN-13: 9780593129722
Audio Book ASIN: B0C4BYYQC4

Boyle reports:

This book was inspired in part by my reporting on the formation of the Moon, which is a hot debate in planetary science, and even more so by my lifelong love of the Moon.

I feel the Moon is often taken for granted, even in astronomy, which is my primary beat as a science journalist. I wanted to tell its story, especially through the lens of modern efforts to return to the Moon’s surface and make money.

Portrait photo of Rebecca Boyle

Rebecca Boyle
Photo by Randall Kahn

I developed a proposal with the help of my wonderful agent, Laurie Abkemeier, whom I met through a good friend after he published his first book. The proposal took a few months to write and revise, but it paid off. I was thrilled that Hilary Redmon at Random House bought it in a pre-empt.

I used part of my advance to fund my reporting, including travel throughout Europe and the US. I also spent a ton of time in libraries. During pandemic shutdowns, I spent money on Abebooks. I have a background in history, so I tried to find primary sources for my conclusions. Sometimes this involved things like reading translations of Sumerian cuneiform script, which was fun.

Before I started working on the book, I wish I had known that writing a book was, for me, nothing like writing a series of magazine features, but instead a complete restructuring of my writing life and mind. It was much more difficult and much more fun than I anticipated. The research and writing was the best part, so far, and I hope to do it again.

I wish that I had known the Covid-19 pandemic would happen while I was trying to write my first draft, because I would have asked for a longer extension of my initial deadline. That said, I truly would not have done anything differently.

I went through the pandemic and then had a surprise baby while working on this book. While difficult at the time, I think juggling all those very different things helped me clarify what mattered—in my life and in this book. I am proud of it all and would not change a thing.

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Banner image adapted from original photo by Rebecca Boyle.

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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