Hi Ex Libris! I’m so happy to be back, talking this time about the inspiration behind my new novel, ABBY ROAD.
I’ve always been interested in Top 40 music. I was making ghetto mixed tapes off the radio when I was eleven. That love has only grown over the years. When I started taking writing seriously, I toyed around with some more mainstream plots, but I kept coming back to the idea of writing about pop music. I thought: why not put all those years of watching celebrity interviews on MTV and VH1’s Behind the Music to work?
At first, I didn’t know what the story was going to be, but I knew I wanted my heroine to be a famous singer. I was in college at the time—around the same age as the character I was going to write about. So I did a lot of thinking about how someone like me might stumble into such a unique career.
The first chapter I wrote was a flashback about how Abby (my main character in the still-budding ABBY ROAD) was “discovered.” That scene was eventually cut. I don’t want to give too much away here, because I might release this chapter as a bonus someday… But here is the gist:
As the owner sat behind the glass, the four studio musicians inside the recording room with Abby asked what she wanted to sing for the mike test. Mind blank, the only song Abby could dig up was “Foolish Heart”—her brother Christian’s favorite. (Coincidentally, “Foolish Heart” was my favorite to sing karaoke at the time! Crazy, right?)
Christian’s favorite—which Abby was convinced reminded Christian of some girl who had dumped him:
When Abby finished singing the song, there was dead silence. Then the other musicians started laughing. Insulted, Abby was about to storm out, ticked off that she’d taken time out of her busy day to help a bunch of laughing apes who had nothing better to do than humiliate her. Only then did the owner of the studio announce that he’d never heard anyone sing like that before, with such pure talent and raw emotion. Abby met her manager Max shortly afterwards, and the rest, as we say, is music history!
Even now, I continue to sing “Foolish Heart” in my car, but so far, no one has discovered me at a stop light and swept me off to Hollywood. Until that time, I’ll live vicariously through Abby.
Do you have any hidden talents? What is something that could make you famous?
Touted by the tabloids as the biggest rock star of our generation, Abigail Kelly is used to being in the spotlight. But beyond the glam of Hollywood, her world is falling apart. Still reeling from the death of her brother and wilting under the iron fist of Max, her manager, Abby banishes herself to the secluded beaches of Florida for the summer, thinking some anonymity and sunshine are just what she needs. What she finds, instead, is Todd, an ex-marine eager to embrace life after war. Together, Abby and Todd find the balance Abby’s life has been missing.
That is, until Max resurfaces, demanding Abby return to Los Angeles to record her band’s newest album. As the pressures of public appearances, paparazzi, and late-night recordings start to mount, Abby will have to risk everything or lose the life she always dreamed of.
Ophelia London’s ABBY ROAD is a love letter to music—both the kind you cherish and the kind you create—as well as a beautiful love story that proves even when everyone in the world can recognize your face, the only people who matter are those who can see inside your heart.
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