Refracting Reality Into Rainbows of Possibility

Eliot Peper
1 min readJan 20, 2022
Photo credit: Tiffany Anderson.

I interviewed Monica Byrne about writing The Actual Star, an epic tale of self-discovery that spans millennia and questions the very meaning of civilization. Born of extensive research into Maya history and culture, this wildly ambitious speculative adventure will challenge you to reframe the past, present, and future.

Monica is also the author of The Girl in the Road, as well as a prolific playwright and screenwriter — an artistic career supported by her patrons on Patreon. We discuss her creative process, what she learned writing The Actual Star, some of the big ideas the story explores, and the power of speculative fiction.

From our conversation:

Imaginative fiction — mythic, speculative, genre, fantastical, or science fiction, whatever you want to call it — is the prism through which we aim the white light of our current “reality” and see the full array of colorful possibilities projected on the wall.

Read the full interview.

Eliot Peper is the author of nine novels, including Cumulus, Bandwidth, and, most recently, Veil. He publishes a blog, sends a monthly newsletter, and tweets more than he probably should.



Eliot Peper

Eliot Peper is the bestselling author of eleven novels, including most recently, Foundry. He also consults on special projects.