An Invitation to the RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo

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After a bit of a hiatus on my blog due to writing projects — and to life itself — I’m happy to report that this week I’ll be a participant in the inaugural RRBC Writer’s Conference and Book Expo — a virtual book fair Dec. 1-3, sponsored by the ever-innovative Rave Reviews Book Club (for more info on RRBC click here).

The live link will not be unveiled until late on Nov. 30, but come back to this post then to access the various “Author Booths” of fiction and nonfiction writers from around the world. Right before the holidays – a perfect time to find new “reads”! The conference will also feature “Vendor Booths” for those seeking professional services. There will be so many resources for writers, readers and more, all on virtual display from Dec. 1-3.

My Author Booth will feature more on my novel, Bravura, part one of The Music We Made novel series about three generations of the Driscoll family of musicians. My Vendor Booth will highlight my professional writing and editing services that are the culmiation of 25 years of high-end experience.

Hope to see you there soon. Onward!

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An Interview with RRBC’s “Rave Waves Buy the Book”

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Yesterday I was honored to be interviewed by author Beem Weeks for one of the weekly online radio shows of the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). Entitled “Rave Waves Buy The Book,” the show features a different author for a half-hour each week, highlighting their latest work and taking questions from Twitter.

It’s one of the many resources for authors that comes as part of membership in the Rave Reviews Book Club. For more information on how to join RRBC, click here.

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The “Raves Waves Buy the Book” show yesterday centered on my novel, “Bravura,” which I’ve shared about on this blog previously. The book follows a group of young classical musicians in 1960’s London and beyond.

But the show gives some insights into the book and my writing process which I hadn’t shared on the blog before. So I thought it would be great to have the interview speak for itself as my post this week.

Enjoy! And onward.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ravereviewsbookclub/2016/04/16/rrbc-rave-waves-blogtalkradio-buy-the-book-with-lisa-kirazian

 

 

 

Do You Hear the People Sing?

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It’s hard not to think of the heroic music and theme of Les Miserables when mourning the Paris attacks this weekend. And those in Beirut. And all the other places around the world where terrorism has hit in recent months.

In the Victor Hugo book and the musical Les Miserables, we see that France’s democratic revolutionaries in 1789 and 1832 had to endure ‘reigns of terror’ as well. They fought against awful odds for their freedom, fighting for democracy and a new way of life. Factions and divisions, political power struggles and regime changes everywhere. Young people caught in the crossfire. The same ideals as those which were attacked this past Friday, and on 9/11, and at so many other points. Some things never change, some battles seem to never end. In Les Miserables, we see this constant struggle in the checkered but redeemed life of Jean Valjean, set against the backdrop of a Paris in post-Napoleonic rebellion. On Friday, we saw it in the robbery of innocent lives taken at the Bataclan, the Stade de France, and along the unsuspecting streets of the City of Light.

Do You Hear the People Sing? Sadly, many of them have been silenced on earth. But we hear their song from the heavens, even as we saw so powerfully at the conclusion of Les Miserables, when Jean Valjean dies among loved ones ‘past and present,’ and joins the chorus of the beloved martyrs who gave their lives for France’s freedom (see the film version in the link below).

Truth can never be silenced. Truth is eternal. Good will win, evil will lose, eventually — though many consider that a naïve approach, with so much suffering in the interim, yes — but it is long stated in the oldest of texts and scriptures in one way or another. Victory will come. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

But in the meantime, we toil. People hurt each other. Misrepresent each other. Kill each other in body or spirit or mind or heart. Our imperfect efforts to counteract such evil and mean-spiritedness never seem enough. We can only hold fast to what we know to be true, holy, integrous. We can only ask God for another chance each morning, and try our best to keep the faith and live out our values, one day at a time, until tomorrow, if we’re blessed to have it come; we can only pray and serve, seek forgiveness, and love and take care of each other best we can.

Because…“To love another person is to see the face of God…”

Onward.

“Do You Hear The People Sing?” (Reprise Finale)

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
We will walk behind the ploughshare;
We will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

What I Learned as a #RRBC Book of the Month

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I had the distinct honor and pleasure of my novel Bravura being selected as a Book of the Month by the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) in October.

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It was a tremendous month. I saw sales of the book increase. More reviews of the book came in on Amazon and other sites. Increased attention on Twitter came in the form of new followers, retweets, and so on.

But more than gaining numbers, I also learned a great deal from the Book of the Month process. The lessons will stay with me far beyond the month of October 2015:

Continue reading

More on BRAVURA – RRBC Book of the Month

We love who we can, while we can.” – Maggie Crawford, BRAVURA.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so grateful that my novel BRAVURA was selected as an October Book of the Month by the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). It feels like a big (early) birthday present!

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UPDATE: I’m so pleased to say that as a result of being selected as a RRBC Book of the Month, more people are reading, reviewing and providing valuable feedback to me than ever before. I’m extremely grateful for this learning experience. AND I’m thrilled to be getting to know many more authors and readers out there — many of whom I perhaps would not have ‘met’ if it weren’t for this special month.

NEW: BRAVURA, and The Music We Made book series, are now on Pinterest! To visit, click here! And to visit the book’s Facebook page, click here.

This is the first time a work of mine has been selected as a Book of the Month anywhere, and recently I enjoyed having the novel selected for an east coast woman’s book club, another first, which was a joy as well.

I’m grateful for this opportunity — and thrilled that fellow readers and authors are getting to know my work better, just as I am so glad to be getting to know theirs.

Click here for more info on the three books selected as RRBC October Books of the Month, including works by authors Jason Zandri and Rea Nolan Martin.

My fellow Book of the Month-ers and I enjoyed a great online chat with the RRBC Book Club Discussion this past Thursday. Thanks to all of those who stopped by and participated!

Again, if you are a reader or author, please consider joining RRBC, as it is a tremendous resource for writers and writing, and a fantastic source of new works.

ABOUT BRAVURA

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The first book in The Music We Made series, BRAVURA, is inspired by my experiences as a violinist. It follows a group of young classical musicians from 1960’s London to the present. We watch siblings Kate Driscoll (an inspired violinist) and Neil Driscoll (a troubled pianist) and their circle of friends and loves go from childhood auditions to conservatoire to the world stage, and the challenges they face onstage and off.

For me, the whole series is a love letter to music, a valentine to musicians.  Its theme quote is TS Eliot’s memorable line: “You are the music while the music lasts.”

The first scene of what became BRAVURA came to me after one of my violin lessons as a teenager and didn’t let me go for the next thirty years. The trajectory of how this book came about is detailed in my blog post, “The Journey of an Idea,” (click here).

You can read the first chapter of BRAVURA here.  It’s been featured on Literary Fiction Book Review here. And you can watch the book trailer to BRAVURA here:

Purchase BRAVURA on Amazon here

The next book in the series, APPASSIONATO, comes out this Winter 2016.

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It follows an artist of the next generation, Jenny Driscoll, a composer and conductor, navigating her personal and professional life in London in the 1990’s. You can watch the trailer here.

I hope you take time this month to check out BRAVURA on Kindle or paperback. Thanks for all of who you already have! Feedback and reviews always welcome. And thanks again to RRBC for selecting the novel as an October Book of the Month!

Onward!

My Website

My Amazon Author Page

Twitter: @kirazian, @TheMusicWeMade.  Instagram: lisakirazian

Behind BRAVURA – RRBC Book of the Month

Bravura_2final

It’s a pleasure to share that my novel BRAVURA was selected as an October Book of the Month by the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). It feels like a big (early) birthday present!

This is the first time a work of mine has been selected as a Book of the Month anywhere, and recently I enjoyed having the novel selected for an east coast woman’s book club, another first, which was a joy as well.

I’m grateful for this opportunity — and thrilled that fellow readers and authors are getting to know my work better, just as I am so glad to be getting to know theirs.

Click here for more info on the three books selected as RRBC October Books of the Month, including works by authors Jason Zandri and Rea Nolan Martin.

My fellow Book of the Month-ers and I will be chatting online with host author Jan Hawke in RRBC’S Book Club Discussion this Thursday, October 15th at 2pm CST (12 noon PST) at this link.

If you are a reader or author, please consider joining RRBC, as it is a tremendous resource for writers and writing, and a fantastic source of new works.

BEHIND BRAVURA

A longform television script I wrote years ago became the basis for my first novel series, The Music We Made, about three generations of the Driscoll family of musicians in London. From 1960’s London to the present, we follow siblings Kate Driscoll (an inspired violinist) and Neil Driscoll (a troubled pianist) and their circle of friends and loves — from childhood auditions to conservatoire to the world stage, and the challenges they face onstage and off.

For me, the series is a love letter to music, a valentine to musicians.  Its theme quote is TS Eliot’s memorable line: “You are the music while the music lasts.”

BRAVURA is the first book in the series, inspired by my experiences as a violinist. The first scene came to me coming out of one of my violin lessons as a teenager and didn’t let me go for the next thirty years. The trajectory of how this book came about is detailed in my blog post, “The Journey of an Idea,” (click here).

You can read the first chapter of BRAVURA here.  It’s been featured on Literary Fiction Book Review here. And you can watch the book trailer to BRAVURA here:

Purchase BRAVURA on Amazon here

The next book in the series, APPASSIONATO, comes out this Winter 2016. It follows an artist of the next generation, Jenny Driscoll, a composer and conductor, navigating her personal and professional life in London in the 1990’s.

I hope you take time this month to check out BRAVURA on Kindle or paperback. Feedback and reviews always welcome. And thanks again to RRBC for selecting the novel as an October Book of the Month!

Onward!

My Website

My Amazon Author Page

Twitter: @kirazian, @TheMusicWeMade.  Instagram: lisakirazian

Reflecting on a July 4th Favorite: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1942 (Through 2:46)

Anyone who knows movies knows that the brass section of the Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra was like no other. Whether scoring a Bugs Bunny cartoon, Bogart film or Errol Flynn swashbuckler, their trumpets are instantly recognizable, and warming to the soul.

Like in Yankee Doodle Dandy, the 1942 James Cagney film that won him an Oscar for Best Actor portraying the song and dance man and Broadway actor/composer/producer, George M. Cohan — who crafted the famous songs Grand Old Flag, Over There, Give My Regards to Broadway, and of course the title song. The above scene is one of the greatest musical dance numbers ever put on film.

Here on this July 4th weekend, hearing those heralding trumpets again, and through all my years, I was reminded how special this film has been to our family in so many ways.

My mother always says that when I was just a toddler, I’d get up on the piano bench during the famous scene above, and I would start dancing with glee on my face.

As a bigger kid, I’d practice and practice this dance routine in the living room or garage and imitate it best I could — as well as the final scene when the elder George dances down the stairs of the White House after receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor from FDR:

Then as a pre-teen, I was struck by what a bratty stage kid young George was, and how his arrogance hurt his family’s opportunities on the vaudeville circuit. And yet I loved how wonderfully kind and humble he became later in life, with the right discipline, guidance and wisdom from his family and friends. Strong yet gentle. It made me think of my own parents raising us while juggling so many demands — their example, and Cohan’s, made me want to be a better writer for the stage myself, and a better person.

Later, the film shaped my view of our country, of how art can touch people in times of crisis, and how our personal integrity and loyalty to family are far more important than our success.

And finally, now more than ever, watching it with our daughters, this film reminds me that I’m so grateful for the freedom to live each day that comes our way, to worship God, to celebrate together as family and friends on weekends like this, and to share the truths that matter most with our precious children.

My mother thanks you…

My father thanks you…

My sister thanks you…

And I thank you…

Onward!