Today I am very happy to welcome Linda Budzinski to my blog. Her debut novel, The Funeral Singer was released yesterday from Swoon Romance! Congratulations, Linda!
Being a funeral singer was a dead-end job until it led her to him ...
Seventeen-year-old Melanie Martin has witnessed her share of lame eulogies and uninspired epitaphs while singing part-time at her dad's funeral home. She's determined to be more than a funeral singer, more than just someone's "beloved wife" or "loving mother."
When Mel's impromptu rendition of "Amazing Grace" at a local rock star's graveside service goes viral on YouTube, she becomes an Internet sensation, gains thousands of fans and followers, and snags a hot rock star boyfriend--Zed Logan, bass player for The Grime.
But instant fame isn’t easy—and neither is love. Especially when Mel realizes she’s falling for another guy—one who may just want her heart more than her voice …
I love the premise of your novel. Instant fame is a real possibility in today's world, and a very interesting topic. How do you think you'd handle suddenly becoming famous? Would you eat it up, or want to hide under your bed? ;)
What a great question! I've actually given this a lot of thought, because I'm pretty sure THE FUNERAL SINGER is going to become a major best seller, making me a household name much like J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. And I do welcome that. You should probably tell your readers and followers to buy the book as soon as possible. That way they can say, "Oh, I read THE FUNERAL SINGER months before anyone ever even heard of Linda Budzinski."
*Shakes head.* *Wakes up.*
Seriously, though, I'm guessing I would handle fame a lot like Mel handles it in the beginning. She starts out uncomfortable with the fact that people are suddenly paying her all kinds of attention -- they want to get their pictures taken with her, be her friend of Facebook, and get her autograph -- but they don't necessarily know or care about her as a person. Eventually, though, I'm sure I'd come to terms with that and would enjoy having my hired help read me all my fan mail (while fanning me and hand-feeding me Reese's Pieces, of course).
Ha! That's awesome. :) Save some Reese's Pieces for me. :)
Melanie is a singer, (obviously) and it's her performance of Amazing Grace that brings her fame. Did you find inspiration for the novel in that song? What other songs inspired the book?
Amazing Grace is my very, very, very favorite song in the world and is an inspiration for me in life in general. It is of course a song about redemption, and this is ultimately a book about redemption, so yes, there is a strong connection there.
Another major source of inspiration was a Sara Teasdale poem, "The New Moon," which is printed at the beginning of the book. Mel and her high school chorus sing a choral adaptation of that poem, which is about a woman who has been "bruised and beaten" by her day but whose spirit is renewed when she glimpses a "maiden moon" in the evening sky. Again, it's that theme of redemption, a fresh start.
Ahh, I love that answer! This is your debut novel, what has been the most exciting part of the process so far?
Yes, it is my debut, and there have been so many exciting parts of the process.
In terms of writing, I really love it when a new twist to the story appears seemingly out of nowhere. The subconscious is an amazing and mysterious and woefully neglected thing. Those "aha" moment make the process an adventure.
In terms of publishing, I'd have to say my favorite part so far has been seeing my cover for the first time. It was nothing like I ever would have imagined or designed myself, but I fell in love with it immediately. I especially love the guy in the photo. You only get the slightest glimpse of him, but it's enough to know he's super hot. Perfect for Mel and for the book.
Thanks, Linda! Is there anything else you want to share?
Writing is a solitary activity, but that doesn't mean it happens in a vacuum. Entering the next phase of the life of this book -- as a published author whose work will be read and judged by people I know and love as well as people I'll never even meet -- is exciting but is also pretty terrifying. I am so grateful to my friends, my family, and the writing and reading communities for all of their support. There wouldn't be a book without them. So I want to send out a thousand Internet (hugs) to everyone who has made my journey possible, bearable, and even (most of the time) fun. And a special (hug) for you for hosting this stop on my "reveal tour"! Thanks, Rachel!
Thanks for joining us today, Linda! You were a lot of fun! :)