'Sunshine Days' is the most recent of my songs to be released. It features Rachel Thorne (vocals) and Milo G (performer, arranger and producer). As with all of my music, I am the composer and executive producer. Although I am a musician, I no longer perform publicly but use talented session musicians.
I use music as part of my writing process when developing a novel as it allows me to explore character perspectives, challenges, and personal journeys.
'Sunshine Days' is an intimate song of disillusion, longing, and hope that is relevant to world-shaking events that generate fear as well as being a song about personal moments of disillusion, loss, and pain. Although the singer feels oppressed by her current circumstance, she does not seek escape into a fantasy land. She recognizes that life - past and future - had and can have golden moments even though the present is tainted by disillusion, isolation, and the pain associated with loss. The song is about facing reality and committing to reclaiming what has been lost.
'Sunshine Days' features in chapter 1 of my novel ’Life Song' and later in its sequel, 'Song Bird'.
Initially, it is sung by Mavis Mills (aka Nikki Mills – the girl from Oz). My songs 'Life Song' and 'Sunshine Days' provide the backstory for Mavis' choices and the motivation underpinning her narrative journey. She chooses to boldly travel down the road less traveled and is determined not to let trouble get the best of her. Easier said than done though.
Although music and a career in the music industry function as a portal into a better life for Mavis and her son, Dan, it also adds complexity to Mavis' life as she works to balance her personal needs and the demands she faces as a single parent.
When 'Sunshine Days' recurs in 'Song Bird', it is sung by Zoey Blake (a secondary character), the illegitimate daughter of Susie Blake and Max Ryan (rock musicians). Susie and Max had a passionate relationship until Susie fell pregnant. While Max supported Susie's right to choose abortion, he opposed her choice to have a baby. As a result, the couple broke up.
Zoey sings 'Sunshine Days' in her late teens. Having lost the innocence of her childhood and confronted by the knowledge that her biological father did not want her, Zoey struggles with her loss of innocent hope. In that context, 'Sunshine Days' is a turning point in Zoey's personal journey.
OVERVIEW OF MY NOVEL ‘LIFE SONG’
My novel 'Life Song' picks up Mavis' story six years after the end of 'In and Out of Step' in which Mavis was a significant secondary character.
There are many harrowing stories of violence against women but a lesser number of stories address how some women rise above the trauma and move on in life. 'Life Song' does the latter.
A character-driven novel, 'Life Song' explores the choices Mavis Mills makes as she balances competing demands and responsibilities with her desire to find an identity beyond motherhood. A survivor of domestic violence, Mavis discovers unexpectedly that she has a choice: accept her life as it is or try to rise above her circumstance, realize her potential, and make her nearly forgotten dreams become true.
The novel does not focus on the abuse – that is in the backstory - it traces the ramifications of it as Mavis strives to put her past behind her. The novel's uplifting plot is very much about the woman that Mavis becomes and the influences that shape her rather than being a novel about a ‘chic-musician on the road to fame story’.
In terms of its appeal, readers agree 'Life Song' is a blend of wry humour and vivid storytelling. The general feedback from readers is that the characters are memorable and inhabit the imagination long after the reading of the novel is finished.
OVERVIEW OF MY NOVEL ’SONG BIRD’
In 'Song Bird', Nikki (aka Mavis) has become an international singing sensation - the Girl from Oz. Determined not to be caged by the media circus, she travels down the golden road through a land of glitter and gloss, facing challenges on the way while struggling to leave the demons from her past behind. In ‘Song Bird’, Nikki continues to grow into the woman she wants to be, not the one others expect her to be. She forges ahead with the support of men, not because of them.
ONLINE SITES WHERE YOU CAN BUY THE SONG
You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn about one cent per one hundred plays.