About the book:Jessica Long has the voice of an angel. But Jesse's cold beauty masks a brutal past filled with privation and cruelty. As the talented soprano approaches her final year at New England Conservatory, she is faced with a choice: stay with her striking young lover or accept the offer of a successful Broadway producer. She chooses the latter only to discover that fame can exact a cruel price. After years of yearning, the lovers meet again - at Jesse's ragged homestead on the Maine Coast. Matt will reveal the benefactor who's followed and protected Jesse as the lovers face a confrontation with the jealous pursuer who's tried to destroy her. One final choice awaits that may cost Jesse both Matt and her life. The Broadway impresario, a mysterious crime lord, and Matt's stunning literary agent head a cast of absorbing secondary characters. Filled with unexpected plot twists, Solo is a classic, leading the reader over a bittersweet tapestry spanning fifteen years.
Interview with Kevin V. SymmonsHow long have you been writing, and how did you start?
Since college, but my career as a novelist began about ten years ago.
What’s the story behind the title Solo?
As a former serious music student and published author, I wanted to synthesize those art forms and create a serious novel that dealt with them and also included a segue into the sad world of domestic violence, for which I have raised funds and been a spokesman. Solo is the result.
Do you have another job outside of writing?
No. I am a full time author.
Who are you?
I am a renaissance man. I have been a classically trained musician (studied at New England Conservatory and have a minor in music at the undergrad level), a businessman (#1 in my MBA class), an Army officer, a consultant, an athlete, a Coast Guard certified operator in both seamanship and navigation, and of course a best-selling author of commercial fiction.
How did you create the plot for Solo?
There are those who spend months outlining and those of us who write using what Stephen King characterizes as “Organic writers . . .” I’m one of those, meaning I developed an idea . . . two ambitious and successful young people who are instantly attracted to each other and then I let my characters and imagination run with it. I could never have imagined what I emerged with as the final product!
What’s your favorite line from a book?
The tag line . . . borrowed from Oscar Wilde, BTW . . . “When the gods want to punish us they let our dreams come true.” IT is the best example of summarizing a novel’s plot in a single line I have ever seen (and my publisher agreed).
How do you get to know your characters?
It took me seven years to write Solo. I wrote two other novels for my publisher while working on it, so I got to know every character very well. And as you may expect, several did major changes over the evolution of the novel.
Which character did you most enjoy writing?
Jesse . . . Jessica Long, my heroine. I believe in vibrant, dynamic heroines and Jesse may be my most. She is so driven and yet so vulnerable and so sensitive. I love her!
What would your main character say about you?
My desire to create complex and vivid characters who both engage and challenge the reader. I want them wondering, guessing what and how she’ll handle the next crisis in her life . . . perhaps supposing what they’d do in her place!
Is your book based on real events?
Yes and no. As a former musician and student of music, I based it roughly on the evolution of musical theater during the mid to late 1980s. Think of the relationship between Sarah Brightman and Andrew Lloyd Weber.
With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
My hero . . . he is a mega best-selling author of historical fiction!
What song would you pick to go with your book?
“I Dreamt a Dream.” It is the song that my heroine, Jessica Long, sings at her watershed recital — the one that propels her to stardom — and so appropriate for her life.
Who are your favorite authors?
So many. Cormac McCarthy, Dan Brown. John Grisham . . . Nicolas Sparks (every other novel . . . ha ha!) and several friends.
Do you have a routine for writing?
No. It depends on my schedule!
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Late into the evening. My favorite time is between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. in the morning!
Where’s home for you?
I live south of Boston . . . Plymouth (America’s Home Town!) and Cape Cod in the summer.
Where did you grow up?
Boston’s South Shore . . . born in Quincy, Massachusetts and grew up in several local locations.
What dumb things did you do during your college years?
Too many to numerate. Once kicked a fire hydrant and broke my ankle!
Ouch! I love Boston and New England in general. What do you love about where you live?
The history and the people.
Have you been in any natural disasters?
Many hurricanes, if that qualifies.
It does. What are you working on now?
I began edits with my editor on February 1st on Chrysalis, my new novel. It’s a YA/NA romantic thriller. I expect it to be released late spring/early summer of 2015.
About the author:
Kevin Symmons has a BS and an MBA. He has attended the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and studied in France. After a successful career in business management and consulting, he returned to his first love: writing. His first novel, a spell-binding paranormal romance titled Rite of Passage is set in the chaotic period after World War II. It's received dozens of great reviews and was a RomCon Reader's Crown Finalist for 2013. His second effort is a contemporary romantic thriller set near his Cape Cod home, titled Out of the Storm. Like his first novel, it is an Amazon Best-Seller and received many 5-star reviews. Solo, an intense and ambitious women's fiction work, has been released from The Wild Rose Press, his award-winning publisher. It explores the devastating effects of privation and domestic violence on the beautiful and extraordinarily talented young heroine.
Connect with Kevin:Website | Facebook | Goodreads
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