Monday, April 6, 2009
Carole Weatherford, author of Becoming Billie Holiday will be stopping by today for her blog tour. Tomorrow we'll get information on Billie's story as well as Carole's, but as a teaser, here's a bit of Carole's road to publication.
I conceived the idea, or rather Billie Holiday, my muse, planted it in my head, in early Spring 2006. I initially resisted, doubting that young adults would be interested in a long-dead jazz legend. Then, a chance encounter with a 14-year-old Billie fan in front of the singer's likeness at Baltimore's Great Blacks in Wax Museum convinced me of Lady Day's enduring appeal.
I ordered Billie's early CDs so I could listen to her music on my 100-mile, twice-weekly commute. I also ordered several biographies, which I cracked open when the spring semester ended. After deciding that the poems should be titled after Billie's songs, I printed a discography. Episodes from her life suggested musical backdrops, and the poems poured out of me. Some days, I wrote two or three poems. In retrospect, the only explanation is that I must have channeled Billie.I emailed the manuscript to my editor and received an offer 24 hours later. How unusual is that!? The entire process was rather magical.