Twenty-two-year-old Mavis Mills first appears in my novel In and Out of Step. Outgoing, gregarious, and confident, Mavis is a significant secondary character in that novel. Mavis' story - a subplot - is used to provide contrast to and insight into Cassie Sleight's (the central character) journey.
At one point in the novel, effervescent Mavis is severely injured – physically, emotionally, and psychologically - by domestic violence and the fire of her partner’s rage. He also destroys her guitar and the copies of her original songs. Part of the subplot from In and Out of Step explores the context of the domestic violence and provides insight into the psychology of it. Excuses are not made.
At the start of Life Song, Mavis is twenty-eight-years-old and very different from the young woman who shone throughout most of In and Out of Step. She is the central character in Life Song. She has become subdued, distrustful of her own judgement, and an echo of her former self. Unexpectedly, she discovers she has a choice: continue to live a life tainted by domestic violence or seize the opportunity before her and try to rise above her circumstance and, like the phoenix bird, leave the ashes of her past life behind.
'Could she live the rest of her life as she'd been living. She couldn't, not now she'd glimpsed another world, fleeting though that vision had been.'
Life Song is not a cliche 'chic musician on the road' story and is definitely not a romance. It is about the woman Mavis becomes and the people who stand by her as she undergoes transformation – physical, psychological, and to an extent spiritual. She does not solve her problems in the arms of a man but makes the hard choices herself.
The drama comes from the tugs-of-war that Mavis has to work though. It is made all the harder because Mavis' heart is in conflict with itself. One person, no matter how strong, cannot win a tug-of-war alone. The same applies to Mavis.
Readers learn about the things that give Mavis strength and that enable her to boldly embrace the inevitable changes coming into her life as she becomes Nikki Mills, the Song Bird from Oz.
There are many kinds of wins in life, most of them personal rather than widely acclaimed. It's those personal 'brave heart' moments that define Mavis. Reader feedback through my publisher and website is that Life Song is a gratifying read.
As part of your journey in reading this blog, I suggest you listen to Move On. In my imagination, it is first sung by Mavis' support network, but ultimately the song becomes her personal mantra.
Australia is a diverse landscape and has diverse communities. Life Song gives readers an opportunity to spend time in some of those communities. The title alludes to the fact that each character's life has its own melody and when sung in concert become the symphony that is Life Song.
Life Song is one of four novels in The Keimera Series. Each novel is a standalone narrative and has the backstory woven into it. The Keimera Series is an opus.
Keimera does not in any way allude to chimera, a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature from Greek mythology.
If you would like to lend me your support so that I can produce more music from my novels, you can buy any of my songs from CD Baby. Each of my songs can be purchased for the very small price of $1.69. My music is also on iTunes and other major online music sellers as well.