#BookReview: The Big Wide Calm by Rich Marcello

Paige is a rock star. The world just doesn’t know it yet. She’s got the charisma, the drive, and, of course, the mega-musical skills. All she needs is to make her debut album, one that will change the world, inspire revolutions–and make her galactically famous along the way.

When John Bustin, a former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny, like the next step on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guitar in hand, Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future.

But the ever-elusive John, with his mysterious history, and Paige, a big dreamer but naive about her footing in life, clash as much as they coalesce. Before they can change the world through Paige’s music, the improbable duo must learn to work together.

A coming of age story and retrospective, The Big Wide Calm focuses on human nature and the complexities of love through the eyes of young and old on the journey of creating the perfect album.

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This book gave me company while I trudge through the annoying period of healing after an ankle sprain.

I read a lot of reviews about this book and I was quite surprised by the bad reviews, Sometimes people can be so negative online.

Firstly, I didn’t take The Big Wide Calm as anything more than Paige Plant’s debut album. For the simple reason that I had never thought of it as something life changing in terms of philosophy. And it is preferable that you don’t read too much into it.

The book takes you through a journey of how Paige goes about recording her album. Her trials and her thoughts as she makes music and makes it much better than what she had ever made. I found the fact that Paige painted her songs, an interesting twist.

I was drawn into the world of songwriting and music and I could imagine a small haunt somewhere, which was the creative spot for writing music and pushing yourself. Sometimes, we do our best when we are not around the usual hustle and bustle of life.

I felt the relationship between Paige and John was a typical teacher student relationship. I could relate to Paige because I was like her, I was competitive and driven towards my goals. Paige also called her friends by their first letters, especially the men, like a David would be a D and that was a quirk i really enjoyed.

I realised how much an artist has to be motivated, to continuously put out good work, and also how hard they have to work in this overtly competitive world. The twists and turns hooked me in and I was totally involved in the story.

At the risk of giving away too much, I’m not going to talk about some of my favorite bits of the story. I felt that the language sometimes seemed to betray Paige’s age. I felt sometimes, the language was like a teenager. But Paige is a confident and a driven character and I appreciate women who are like that.

I felt the end was brilliant. I felt so complete. Like the author said in his interview, by the time the book was done, I could let the book go. And feel complete. This is what I liked.

It is not strictly a romance novel as I want to promote on my blog, but this book is more about the combined love for yourself and what you do.

My Rating: 4/5

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There’s something about letting a piece of Art go, says Author Rich Marcello in a #Candid #Interview

He’s the one whose book was my comfort while I deal with a twisted ankle. His book detailed aRich_Marcello songwriter’s experience while writing and cutting out her debut album.

It took me on a journey and before I review it, I ask him to feature in this blog’s FIRST interview and he readily agrees!

Here’s Rich Marcello with his thoughts on Love, Art, Books and Writing

Q: What is the book’s genre/category?

A:    It’s literary, millennial coming-of-age fiction. Millennial in the sense, that the heroine of The Big Wide Calm, Paige Plant, is a little older (25) than most coming-of-age heroines. Literary in the sense that it deals with a number of philosophical and existential topics.

Q: What events/inspirations led up to you publishing “The Big Wide Calm?

A:        A number of years ago, I decided to write down everything I believe about love—romantic love, platonic love, and love in a broader community. I’m in the process of writing three novels about these different kinds of love. The Big Wide Calm was just published in July of 2014 by Langdon Street Press. The first, The Color of Home, was published in 2013, and the third, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published in 2015.

Q: Is there a common theme or life-lesson in your books?

A:         Yes. Thematically, even though there are different characters in each novel, they are tied together by struggling to truly and deeply learn to love, even when their histories or current obstacles conspire against them.

TBWC_1129Q: I see that you have published two books. What was the biggest challenge you encountered between writing your first book and second book?

A:         For The Big Wide Calm, I wrote very fast. Basically, I caught a creative wave and finished the first draft of the book in three months. Then I edited it for another year. The biggest challenge was literally dropping everything else in my life so I could make room to ride the wave and channel all of my creative energy into the book.  Because I’ve been writing songs, poems, and novels for a long time, I know it’s rare to catch a wave like that, so I made a decision to honor it and drop everything else I was doing. In a way, it was an easy choice, albeit not a practical one.

Q: Looking back at both of your publications, What do you think you did that makes your books stand out above the rest?

A:           I try to infuse my books with a great deal of emotional intimacy. In addition, because I’m also a songwriter and poet, I try to incorporate poetic and song elements into my writing.  Sometimes I’ll spend a couple of hours on a paragraph until I get the words right. The combination of emotional intimacy and poetic writing is what helps the books stand out.
Q: On that note, would you have changed anything that you have done?

A:            No, I’m really proud of both books. Like most writers I know, I could tinker with a book forever. With that said, with both The Big Wide Calm and The Color of Home, I reached a point where I felt the book was done and I let it go. There’s something about letting a piece of art go that is relational. By that I mean the best novels, in my opinion, have the ability to invoke an emotional reaction in a reader that is unique, that is relational. In that sense, even when someone doesn’t like one of my books, as long as they have some emotional reaction to it, I feel it’s serving its purpose.
Q: Besides personal life, where do you draw most of your inspiration from? 

A:          From dreams. I’m a big believer in writing in the morning, and in a way, going from one kind of dreaming (sleep) directly to another (writing fiction). My best writing comes from that dream-like place where I totally inhabit a character and write from their point-of-view.

Q: What can your readers expect from you in the coming years? 

A:          The Beauty of the Fall will be out in 2015. After that, I plan to write for the rest of my life. I figure I have a good ten novels in me.

Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

A:           Write the first pass of any scene quickly, and then rewrite it until it’s sensual enough that the reader feels like he or she is actually there.

Rich_Marcello

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I’d love it if you let me know how you found this review in the comments below!! I’m looking at featuring more and more authors on this blog and your feedback is vital to me!!

 

 

#GuestPost by Y.L Parker: Angel Wings

images (1)The angel exhibits unconditional love or man. Man need not be afraid of the angel because the angle like man is a creation of god. God made both the angel and man. The angles are higher more sophisticated beings than man sent to help man. Man is made of clay the angel made of pure light. The angel will love you forever. The angels bring and show us gifts. The greatness of these gifts is love, faith, and hope. Angels show us our true path and duty. It is their duty to show us our duty. This is to show love to one another. They teach us and guide us when we forget and fall, and give us the strength and direction to stand.

Continue reading #GuestPost by Y.L Parker: Angel Wings