I am a failed pianist.
That is the truth. As a kid I wanted to take my place among the musicians of this world, but that wish was not granted. I didn’t have the gift. After ten years of piano lessons I could play all the notes, but I could not make them sing. My friend SuZan put it this way: “Some people have the gift, but some are just trained.” Though she was speaking of a different art, she expressed my feelings to a T.
Lottie Braun is the musician I wanted to be. At five, she is drawn like a magnet to her aunt’s new piano. At ten, she plays Flight of the Bumblebee by ear, and as an adult she becomes a legendary American concert pianist. A female Van Cliburn. A phenom from the rural Middle West.
When I dream, I dream big.
Today I share with you the cover of Lottie’s Gift. This is the story of Lottie Braun, a world-class pianist with a celebrated career and an empty personal life. Why does she guard her privacy with such vigilance? And what kind of tragedy has separated her from her sister for forty years? One sleepless night Lottie lets herself remember. From her happy Iowa childhood, to Chicago, New York and beyond, Lottie journeys through her life to the moment it changes forever. But Lottie finds that memories, once allowed, are difficult to suppress. Can she make peace with the past? And will she ever find her way home?
The book comes out May 23rd, but you can pre-order it in paperback now at CrossRiverMedia.com. After May, it will also be available in e-book form.
As for my crushed musical ambitions, don’t waste any time feeling sorry for me. I may not be a musician, but I am a writer. Different tribe, same creative impulse. My years of music education provided the storehouse of knowledge I drew from to tell Lottie’s story. She plays classical pieces straight from my piano books. When she meets a less talented pianist, she scornfully points out my faults—er, I mean his faults.
A happy trade-off, if you ask me.