Sunday, September 8, 2013

Home of the Blues

The Enchanter Heir: 
Soundtrack of the Blues

“… the twisty narrative works, propelled by the deft characterizations of tortured, frustrated, desperate Jonah and fierce, feral, determined Emma and held together by the ubiquitous soundtrack of the blues, both literally and metaphorically.”
Kirkus Reviews, The Enchanter Heir
When I was in my teens, I was the lead singer and the least-skilled guitarist in a couple of bands. We sang the songs of the mid-century folk revival; songs that told stories, including traditional ballads, and rock and roll that could be adaptable to our acoustic stylings. I even tried my hand at song-writing, but always felt more comfortable as a lyricist than a composer. Though I wouldn’t call myself a musician, music has always been important to me.
Maybe because I’m a storyteller, I’m especially smitten by the people’s music—the folk and blues and country and gospel music that entwines with people’s lives, telling their stories when no one else will. It’s the music that was carried from town to town by the traveling minstrels of the old world. It’s a music that has stirred passions and sent men to war and soothed the widows and orphans left behind. It rises from cotton fields and country churches and after-hours clubs in the grittier parts of Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, and Detroit.

The blues tells the sad stories of the working class—of mistakes made, of jobs lost, brushes with the law, and the good dying young. The stories are stuffed full of murders, betrayals, devil’s bargains, and lovers who just won’t be true.

This music is always on the move--changing and evolving as it gets passed from hand to hand. It is imperfect and unproduced—vetted only by the test of time. It persists only because it speaks the kind of truth that grabs the heart and won’t let go.
The power of music is an important theme in The Enchanter Heir. Jonah Kinlock is a survivor, left so damaged by a magical accident  that the only way he can connect with others is through music—through his guitar and his intoxicating voice.
Emma Greenwood is a musical prodigy; an unschooled wild-child raised in Memphis by a grandfather who builds guitars and channels the blues. It is music that brings Emma and Jonah  together—and a shared history that threatens to tear them apart.

Many of the chapter titles are the names of blues songs. Maybe some are already familiar to you. If you want to hear more, you’ll find my Enchanter Heir playlist here on Spotify


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ms.Chima please keep writing the heir chronicles. They r epic. BTW fantasy is not last year, it's forever.
P.S. I didn't like the way u ended the enchanter heir. I wanted something to actually happen. Please keep writing. Bye.