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Cast of Characters

Cast of Characters

Every written work—whether fiction or non-fiction—has a cast of characters. They are the beings whose world you explore through the narrative, whose stumbles and triumphs and detours and exploits the author attempts to bring to life before your mind’s eye.

The difference with non-fiction is that your cast of characters is real. They exist beyond the page and in some cases have been written about many times before. Either way, the author’s challenge is to put you in the room with their subject matter and let you experience that person’s presence, their persona, their—in this particular case—art.

Believe in Me is a novel set in the world of popular music. And while I’ve playfully called My Heart Sings the Harmony a sequel to it, it’s really a prequel: the story of the world from which the story of Believe in Me sprang. None of the cast of characters in My Heart Sings the Harmony actually appears in Believe in Me—with the exception of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Bruce Springsteen—but in a way all of them do, because the novel would not exist without the source material from which its world grew, like wildflowers colonizing a hillside.

In her book Musicians in Tune—recently reissued as as It’s Not Only Rock’n’Roll—psychologist and former rock royalty Jenny Boyd* describes the musical artist’s “peak experience” in terms of a moment of ecstatic connection where the world drops away and all that remains is some dimly-felt remnant of self, and the music. The cast of characters that inhabits My Heart Sings the Harmony — coming March 21 — offers you (and me) the same. And here they are.

*Jenny Boyd was married to Mick Fleetwood, and sister-in-law to first George Harrison and then Eric Clapton via her older sister Pattie Boyd.

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