What is your book all about?
The Musician is a sequel to my bestselling debut novel The Actor that Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail called “a bizarre, David Lynch-like thriller about obsession, delusion and determination.” The Musician is a story about music or as described by some—music in words. The novel continues the story of The Actor with protagonist Ethan Jones searching for not only who he is but what he is while his family struggles to stay together because of his search. Many readers described The Musician as a story of the challenges of mental health. The tag line for the novel is the musician gives voice to the song inside all of us.
The story returns to 1984 when Ethan Jones is released from hospital. He has just emerged from a six-month delusion that he has no recollection of. Undecided on where to go or what to do, Ethan returns to his parents home in Toronto. As his family struggles with the return of a son and brother believed lost forever to his mental breakdown, Ethan finds renewal in a desire to pursue his love for music. As he embraces this new chapter of his life, he starts a band thriving on the joy that accompanies parts of the creative life. But soon he is challenged to overcome much of what he cannot recall from his time away. As he becomes conflicted between who and what he loves and what he is, his past returns with a vengeance and transforms his world yet again.
Foreword Clarion Reviews said The Musician is “an intimate novel that takes place in the spaces where art and madness overlap.”
What inspired you to write the book?
There were a few things that inspired me to write The Musician. Firstly, the characters in The Actor wouldn’t stop talking to me. Secondly, I had occasion to see Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and after seeing The Godfather II decided it was okay to write a follow-up to The Actor. Finally, I was intrigued by the idea of writing a tribute to music. The protagonist has music in his background from high school. Music was how writing found me. In high school, I was a big reader, not so interested in writing but driven by creative expression. I started a band and began writing music. That background became an important part of writing The Musician.
The Musician is a view into the creative life associated with music attempting to capture both the spontaneity of performing music and creating music. Music affects us on many levels but has this special power to mark our memories with where we first heard a song and how we were feeling. The Musician attempts to reflect those ideas.
The intention of The Musician was not only to tell a story about music but to capture the way music connects us emotionally. The feelings of joy, happiness, fear and sorrow and those in between are part of that.
What do you hope readers could get out of your book?
I wanted to tell a story about a music journey, about how music connects us to our emotions, to our souls and to each other that language can’t, yet allows us to interpret; from beauty and love to fear and terror. The Musician is music in words if you like. If The Musician gives a reader something more personal that they can relate to, that’s wonderful.
What is your target audience for the book?
I did not write The Musician for a target audience other than myself. That said, the ideal reader appears to be in the 17 to 45 year old range (42% of the Canadian population; 37% of the U.S. population) and similar to that of The Actor. Many people like the subject of music and interest from women and men is about even. Reading fiction, however, if my 400 book events are any indication, seems dominated by women. Most are college or university educated.
What are your future goals/plans for the book and myself?
In addition to The Musician and The Actor, I’ve also published a collection of short stories titled The Drive In.
The Drive In is slated to be released in the coming months as a scripted, podcast mini-series based on my book. Listen to the trailer here or on any podcast platform.
I have written a third novel to complete The Actor and The Musician trilogy. Also, in 2020 I completed another original collection of short stories. I’ve also written a screenplay for The Actor.
All of my work is represented by Max Alexandre at Westwood Creative Artists.
Visit my website at www.douglasgardham.com for more or follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or here at Author’s Lounge.
The Musician appeared in Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail as part of a feature that included Books That Shaped My Life.
I was also featured in a full-length, front-page article in The Globe and Mail after The Actor and The Drive In were published. The Globe and Mail called me “the hardest-working novelist you’ve never heard of.”