Where Did You Get The Idea For The Color of Music?
This story came out of a deep infatuation with The Beatles. I had the biggest crush on George Harrison at 12 years old, and I was obsessed with London. I decided I would write a book inspired by the band. I wrote a 200-page manuscript in pencil, paid to have someone type it for me and submitted it to publishers. I was roundly rejected, but I was in the game. Fast forward, and a few years ago I decided to dust off the idea, spiff it up with a revised storyline and I was off!
What Do You Love About The Characters In Your Story?
The main character is Esme, a young girl from New York City. Her parents have perished in a car accident and she’s living with her grandmother in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I moved to New York at 30 with $400 and no job. What an adventure! I landed a position as a receptionist at a snotty fashion PR agency, which offered a bird’s eye view into how that town works. I got a degree in New York life, and within a few years, I was running my own agency. Can we say motivated? Some of my clients were the world’s biggest beauty companies. And I was intricately involved in fashion week, film integrations, and the like. I know how overwhelming New York can be, and how it can crush people, putting so much emphasis on things that don’t really matter - like how you look and dress. I once got a client because I had the right Marc Jacobs bag.
Esme’s parents were major high-flyers, they looked and acted the part of consummate New Yorkers. Esme, on the other hand, is a bit awkward, allows herself to be everyone’s “confident” in school and just slots in where she can. She sees herself as Very Vanilla, but that’s ok because flying under the radar means you don’t get in trouble. It also means that you’re not living to your full potential. When she falls - literally - into her adventure, all that goes out the window. She’s forced to confront her fears, speak up for herself, and push and prod into areas that would otherwise have been too uncomfortable for her to manage. I love how brave she is, but most of all she finds that her biggest superpower is empathy.
What’s The Big Message You Hope People Will Walk Away With When They Read Your Book?
The book is ultimately a rollicking adventure. But at its heart, it's meant to help the reader see that understanding how other people live, and having a heart for their circumstances and culture, can really make a difference in how “successfully” our world moves forward. We all need each other, as much as we may not want to admit that some days. In this book, if people don’t pull together - all over the globe - the earth is going to be in big trouble. But isn’t that true now? Empathy is the book’s superpower, and I hope it encourages people to allow themselves to take a walk in someone else’s shoes. It can be uncomfortable and painful, yes, but it can make all the difference in the world.