"A girl was never ruined by books," my mother used to say. I've spent most of my life trying to prove that wrong.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

River Music by Mary Soderstrom

River Music

by Mary Soderstrom

Giveaway ends June 27, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Okay, River Music Has Arrived

This photo's pretty poor, but I had to post it because it gives some idea of the lovely time I had on Thursday, May 14, presenting River Music to about 60 people in the Atwater Library.

The books arrived the day before, and I only saw a copy a bit before I began to talk about the book to the bibliophiles present.  (Jana Stuart, by the way, beautifully played Debussy's The Girl with the Flaxen Hair, a piece important to the story, as part of the presentation.) 

There will be more copies in stores soon, May 27 we'll celebrate with a launch party at Librairie Drawn and Quaterly.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Out of Character: Maureen Forrester's Autobiography

The life of a great artist is never easy, particularly when he or she must fight for training.  The Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester is a brilliant example, and she also had the wit to write an engaging autobiography about how she succeeded.

Out of Character was published in 1986, 
when she was at the height of her career.  Funny, frank and full of insights into what it takes to forge a musical career, the book details her struggles at the beginning, her marriage to violinist Eugene Kash, the birth of her five children and her distingished international presence.  She lived another 24 years, dying in 2010 of dementia-related problems. 

When I first read this book well before she died, I was impressed by how determined she was to sing, and how she tried to balance her career with her personal life.  Ten years ago when I started thinking about writing a book with a concert pianist as the principle character, I returned to it.  Forrester's autobiography gives much  insight into what it's like to build a world-class career--and how hard it is for a woman to balance passion for an art and love in all its forms.

If my novel River Music is any good, I owe a lot to Forrester's generous sharing of her life in this most entertaining and insightful autobiography.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

River Music Countdown Begins

All right, it looks like everything's a go.

Monday I signed off on the copy for the cover of River Music, and Alessandra Ferrari, Cormorant's publicity director, just wrote that copies of the book will be shipped to arrive in Montreal May 13.

That will be perfect for the Words and Music even the Atwater Library is planning for Thursday, May 14.  That's when I'll present the book at 12:30 p.m., and pianist Jana Stuart will play some Debussy that is very important in the novel. 

Then we'll have an official launch party at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27 at the Librairie Drawn and Quarterly, 211 Bernard West, in the Mile End district of Montreal. 

And to whet your appetite, here's an excerpt from the publicity bumph:

"Set against a backdrop of war, economic changes, and social upheavals, River Music explores the sacrifices that women make to fulfill their destiny, the wildcards of sex and passion, and the complicated relationships between mothers and their children.   

After an adolescence playing in churches and hotel lobbies, Gloria Murray  prepares to study in post-World War II France, but tpassion intrudes and, halfway through her year abroad, she finds herself forced into a hard choice that she shares with no one. Back in Canada, her career blossoms, she marries and has two children, and her secret seems best forgotten — until, thirty years later, her past and her career collide."