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What Could Have Inspired Them

Debbie Burke Author Interview

Icarus Flies Home follows a Jazz bassist as he tries to publish his great-great uncle’s lost music, only to discover someone else has claimed the rights to it. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

We took a tour of one of the biggest former plantations in the South. As we toured the home and went into the parlor, the guide told talked about the famous people who had likely spent time there, including literary and film stars, people like George and Ira Gershwin. Maybe they had even passed through at some point. As a musician, I wondered what could have inspired them and what if, I wondered, they had heard something that influenced their own musical compositions?

Beauregard (“Bo”) Sonski-Abbott wants to honor a lost relative but has to overcome unbelievable odds to do so. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

He’s torn because he wants to think the best of people. He also doesn’t know how to wrap his mind around something so profound, that his relative lived his life enslaved and all he must have endured. He was a musician and Bo was trying to understand how one could still find joy amid the horrors and tragedy in a life like that.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Legacy, family relationships, love, marriage, and who really owns a song; the idea of intellectual property when a person had been stripped of all rights.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

By this fall/2022! A murder mystery about a sax player. There’s a pretty obscure event in jazz history that this book explores. It takes place in Brooklyn, NY and St. Petersburg (Russia).

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

A stolen song, a stolen kiss and a stunning family legacy
Jazz bassist Beauregard (“Bo”) Sonski-Abbott finds himself reeling after learning an aging Broadway producer may have stolen a song written by his distant relative: a great-great uncle who was enslaved on one of the biggest plantations in Georgia. Bo’s journey to unravel the truth takes him from the music scene of New York to Washington, DC, only to be sidetracked by a much younger woman who threatens to tear apart his marriage and his career.

Icarus Flies Home

In Debbie Burke’s Icarus Flies Home, Beauregard Sonski-Abbott, or Bo, begins making a jazz album to honor the music of his enslaved great-great uncle, Lymus Abbott. His relative was never emancipated from the plantation in Georgia, but this did not stop him from writing music. Using some lyrics written by Lymus, Bo worked on creating an album to honor his long-lost relative.

As the bass player and de facto leader of his band composed of old school friends, Bo encounters an array of challenges in completing this project. He discovers a Broadway playwright is claiming rights to the music from his great-great uncle. This sets off a legal battle over the copyright of the music between Bo’s family and the playwright who is claiming ownership of Lymus’s lyrics. The problems do not end there; there is an aggressive woman that keeps making romantic advances on Bo that are unwanted. With perseverance and the support of his wife, Margret, Bo pushes forwards to reach for his ambition.

Icarus Flies Home is a touching story of the determination of one man who is trying to do right by his disenfranchised musical lineage, all while facing the mounting odds against him. These obstacles affect his personal and professional lives and his musical life respectively. Facing each obstacle injects a tension that slowly builds throughout the narrative, causing headaches for Bo, and well-managed stress and excitement for the reader. Despite the building suspense of upcoming conflict over many chapters, the build-up fizzles out and never materializes.

Icarus Flies Home is a suspenseful African American historical fiction novel. It perfectly captures the element of hope which grows within Bo and enables him to face the trials he faces on the road to his musical catharsis. Music’s ability to evoke emotions can be a difficult thing to accurately describe in prose, but with music being a huge focus of the text Burke does an excellent job of representing the effect music has on her characters, lending poignancy to many moments of the text.

Pages: 178 | ASIN : B08QQJRWGD

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