TourBanner_The Phantom Glare of Day

The Phantom Glare of Day
by M. Laszlo


GENRE: Historical (Metaphysical) Fiction / Coming of Age Fiction



In this trio of novellas, three game young ladies enter into dangerous liaisons that test each one’s limits and force them to confront the most heartrending issues facing society in the early twentieth century. The Phantom Glare of Day tells of Sophie, a young lady who has lived a sheltered life and consequently has no idea how cruel public-school bullying can be. When she meets Jarvis, a young man obsessed with avenging all those students who delight in his daily debasement, she resolves to intervene before tragedy unfolds. Mouvements Perpétuels tells of Cäcilia, a young lady shunned by her birth father. She longs for the approval of an older man, so when her ice-skating instructor attempts to take advantage of her, she cannot resist. Not a month later, she realizes that she is pregnant and must decide whether or not to get an abortion. Passion Bearer tells of Manon, a young lady who falls in love with a beautiful actress after taking a post as a script girl for a film company—and is subsequently confronted with the pettiest kinds of homophobia.

BookCover_ThePhantomGlare of Day



London, 29 September, 1917.

Sophie paused beside a stock-brick building, and she listened for the unnerving rumble of an airship’s engine car. How long has it been since the last bombardment? Sometime before, as she had stood in this very spot, she had heard the Zeppelin clearly enough.

At that point, a Royal-Navy carbide flare had streaked heavenward. Then, from the neighboring rooftops, fifty or more pom-pom guns had opened fire–and the night air had filled with the odor of something like petroleum coke.

Yes, I remember. Now she braced herself for a salvo of fire.

No deafening tumult rang out. Neither did any sickening, stenchful fumes envelope her person.

No, it’s just my nerves. She glanced at the sky, and she whispered a simple prayer of thanksgiving.

From around the corner, an omnibus approached.

She climbed aboard and rode the way to Mayfair Tearoom.

The establishment had never looked so inviting as it did that night. By now, the proprietress had decorated the tables with Michaelmas daisies the color of amethyst, and she had adorned the china cabinet with ornamental cabbage. Moreover, how appetizing the scent of the fresh Eccles cakes.

The tearoom had attracted quite a crowd, too, the young ladies all decked out in silken gowns.

I wonder why. Sophie removed her coat, and she suddenly felt underdressed—for she had not worn anything too fancy that evening, just a puffed blouse and a fluted skirt. At once, she sat down at one of the last available dinette tables.

An eclipse of moths fluttered through the transom, meanwhile, and even they looked better than she did. What beauty the creatures’ wings—a fine royal purple.

Don’t look at them. Alas, when she turned her attention to the doorsill, a dull ache radiated up and down her left arm.

Not a moment later, a tall, gaunt lad, his eyes a shade of whiskey brown, entered the tearoom.

For a time, he glared at the patrons—as if at any moment he might remove a musketoon from beneath his frock coat and shoot everyone.


author image

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

M. Laszlo is the pseudonym of a reclusive author living in Bath, Ohio. According to rumor, he based the pen name on the name of the Paul Henreid character in Casablanca, Victor Laszlo. M. Laszlo has lived and worked all over the world, and he has kept exhaustive journals and idea books corresponding to each location and post.

It is said that the maniacal habit began in childhood during summer vacations—when his family began renting out Robert Lowell’s family home in Castine, Maine.

The habit continued in 1985 when, as an adolescent, he spent the summer in London, England. In recent years, he revisited that journal/idea book and based his first work, The Phantom Glare of Day, on the characters, topics, and themes contained within the youthful writings. In crafting the narrative arcs, he decided to divide the work into three interrelated novellas and to set each one in the WW-I era so as to make the work as timeless as possible.

M. Laszlo has lived and worked in New York City, East Jerusalem, and several other cities around the world. While living in the Middle East, he worked for Harvard University’s Semitic Museum. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio and an M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

His next work is forthcoming from SparkPress in 2024. There are whispers that the work purports to be a genuine attempt at positing an explanation for the riddle of the universe and is based on journals and idea books made while completing his M.F.A at Sarah Lawrence College.




One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway



What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
In my childhood, my mother always comforted and consoled me whenever the world had me feeling overwhelmed.

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
The money would probably not get spent. Instead, it would end up in some or other bank account. That way, the money would provide a measure of security. In a sense, that bank account would become roughly equivalent to the security blanket that Linus always carried around with him.

Where do you get your best ideas?
The best ideas come from simply living one’s best life. The catch is that you’ve got to be observant enough and sensitive enough to assimilate the idea when it crosses your path. Here’s another thing that writers ought to remember: if you experience people gawking at or judging or expressing repulsion at someone, that’s an instance where you, the writer, must seek to understand that person receiving all that abuse and negative judgment. The task of understanding the unpopular always leads to great ideas.

What comes first, the plot or characters?
It’s impossible to say. Sometimes plot comes first, and sometimes a character or two comes first. At times, the character and his or her problem come simultaneously. All the more complicated, sometimes a story begins with some other craft element—perhaps a setting, a snippet of dialogue, or a desire to write something that experiments with the movement of time itself. Sometimes, tone itself may precede all. If a writer wishes to write something in a certain loving tone, for example, it could very well be that the appeal of the tone itself serves as the seed for an entire novel. Anything’s possible.

What does your main character do that makes him/her special?
My characters have the power to teach the reader something paramount. This is because my characters want to understand the meaning of things; moreover, my characters want to share what they have learned.


Posted on February 21, 2023, in Book Tour and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. The book sounds intriguing. Great cover!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sound like a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds great! Thanks for the interview! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked the excerpt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so excited to read this. I loved all I have read so far. What intrigued me the most, was the cover. It reminded me of a photo I had of long ago.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: