Monday, December 27, 2021

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Old Music for New People by David Biddle @RABTBookTours


LGBTQ+ Literary Fiction

Date Published: 12-07-2021

Publisher: The Story Plant

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It's the summer of 2013 and 15-year-old Ivy Scattergood has traveled with her family to their vacation home in Maine. The Scattergoods are a blended, mixed-race family with old Philadelphia area Quaker roots. Ivy loves the Red Sox, one single music group at a time (this year it's Johnnyswim), helping make dinner every night, and this guy in Maine named Bailey Cooper. Ivy also has no interest in makeup, heels, dresses, and most of the basic assumptions people make about what it means to be a teenage girl ― but don't call her a Tomboy, at least to her face. Then her cousin Robert from San Diego (also 15) comes to visit -- as a beautiful, glamorous young woman who has re-named herself Rita Gomez.Thus begins a summer where Ivy's worldview will expand, where she will discover new layers to herself and those around her, and where stepping forward into the unknown will emerge as a bold adventure.


Interview with David Biddle

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    A conversation about gender identity has been going on in America for at least the past sixty years and it’s been getting more and more interesting and complicated by the year. When I was young, many people were openly hostile to me because I had long hair and wore an earring. Who gets to say what is masculine and what is feminine? It has always been fascinating to me how each generation tries to deal with gender questions head on and honestly.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    I wanted to show that many of the issues connected to the teenage search for identity and strength are intimately related and interconnected. Solutions to identity conflict often come about when families openly work to communicate and talk through issues no matter how difficult. Also, there’s something about music as an art form that brings people together and helps them get in tune.

    Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

    I want this book to remind people to give each other the benefit of the doubt and understand the need to try love first.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    Going up to my writing room every morning for nearly two years to carefully transcribe Ivy Scattergood’s thoughts and moods about her family and the summer of 2013. Listening to her in my head (and on the page) try to figure out not just what she thought about her cousin but what she thought about herself was an amazing experience for this father of three boys who will always wish he could have had a daughter as well.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?I’m working on a science fiction thriller called Sound Effect Infinity about music and telepathy. I’m also pulling together a collection of short stories, many of which have been published in various venues over the past few years.

    How long have you been writing?

    I published my first professional article more than 35 years ago. I’ve been publishing pieces in newspapers, magazines, and journals ever since. My first short story, “Guda and His Son,” was published at Toasted-Cheese in 2005.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Old Music for New People?

    This is a story told by 15-year-old narrator Ivy Scattergood who is a middle sibling to two brothers – Delmore, 17, and Zaxy, 10. Everything gets rather complicated when their cousin Rita (Robert) comes to visit for the summer. The Scattergood family is from Philadelphia with historic old Quaker roots, but they’re a new American family, too, with a complicated mixed-race heritage. Scattergood is a prominent Quaker family name. And, yes, I am personally both complicatedly mixed-race and Quaker, plus I live in Philadelphia, although I grew up in a Midwestern college town.

    If you could spend the day with one of the characters from Old Music for New People, who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

    I am quite fond of everyone in Old Music for New People. My favorite character, though, is Ivy’s little brother Zaxy because he is so inquisitive and calmly wise, but also very funny. In the story, he works hard trying to understand why things are so complex and difficult to define for everyone. We’d go see an old movie or two, maybe the black-and-white version of To Kill a Mockingbird as well as the Katharine Hepburn–Spencer Tracy classic Pat and Mike. Afterwards, we’d get super sweet and creamy coffee drinks and ask each other serious questions, then laugh at our answers. 


 About the Author

A part-time professional freelance writer since he published his first article on appropriate technology education with RAIN: Journal in 1985, David Biddle has published work with the likes of Harvard Business Review, BioCycle, Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, GetUnderground, Resource Recycling, BuzzWorm, Talking Writing, etc. He was also a contributing editor to InBusiness (the 2nd best sustainability publication of all-time) for over a decade.


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