Monday, May 7, 2012

Melvyn Chase Reviews His New Novel, September Songs

(Is That Legal?)

An author reviewing his own book? Get real! Isn't that just a sneaky way for me to publicize my work?

Yes and No.

I won't deny that I want to stimulate interest in my new novel. But, as most authors will tell you, once he or she has written and revised and re-rewritten a short story--a novel--or a play--the umbilical cord is truly severed. This is especially true when that work has been published--in print and/or online. Like a child who has grown up and left home for good, the story--the novel--the play--has become a separate entity, leading its own life, meeting new people.

Usually, it leaves behind fond memories of its childhood--and, hopefully, it helps pay the mortgage by sending royalty checks to Mom or Dad.

My book now belongs to its readers and not to me. As one of those readers, I've begun to view September Songs in a more objective way. I find myself reacting to a turn of phrase or a scene, as if I weren't the author who created that phrase or that scene. So I guess I'm ready to write that review.

In September Songs, we meet David Berger in the autumn of his life. It is the season of his discontent. He's retired from a financially rewarding, but unfulfilling career. He is estranged from his wife, whom he still loves--and from his son, who is manipulated by a greedy, possessive wife.

But David hasn't lost his sense of humor or his humanity. After all, he is finally a published author--a lifelong dream--although he good-naturedly admits that literary fame has eluded him. And he continues to hope that he can reignite his romance with his wife and reestablish his relationship with their son.

The key to turning his autumn into spring is a new friend, a fascinating, successful, unpredictable lesbian author, who insists on playing his Muse. With her prodding encouragement, David's latest work-in-progress--a novel--takes him on an emotional journey through the sometimes funny, sometimes poignant memories of his life toward a better understanding of himself and the people he loves.

Each of us is really the sum of his or her memories--memories that help us interpret our past and, in doing so, shape our future.

The future of my youngest child, September Songs, is now in your hands. I'd love to know what you think of it.