Today’s the day! After so long of working on this book when I was able and wishing and dreaming that it would someday be published, Heavy Metal Symphony is officially out in the world today.

It’s been seven years coming, in fact. It was a little over seven years ago that I first started writing this book because the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. I found that I couldn’t stop writing it once I’d started, even though I was on deadline for another book that I was supposed to be writing (the book that became The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence). In a way, I think Most Beautiful only exists because of Heavy Metal Symphony. I struggled so mightily to write that book, my first under contract (and I blogged quite a bit at the time about the dreaded “second book syndrome” that I was experiencing). By setting it aside and writing Heavy Metal Symphony, I proved to myself that I could write another book. I opened the floodgates and let the words come. And when I finally went back to Most Beautiful, it scared me much less by then, this idea of writing another book.

But I also wrote Heavy Metal Symphony for the purest reason that anyone writes a story, I think: because I needed to. Because I loved it so much, because it wouldn’t leave me alone until I got it all out. After that first draft was done, I would come back to it and revise here and there over the years, in between other projects. I just couldn’t leave it alone, even as there were several moments along the way when it seemed like it might never get published.

But I never gave up on it. And today, that book is out in the world for anyone and everyone to read. It’s a real book that I can hold in my hands. And it gives me great, immeasurable pride to be able to say that not only is this one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, it’s also one of the best. It has some of my most beautiful, lyrical writing in it. It’s a song I wrote for myself, with all my favorite things in it: heavy metal, a touch of classical music, live music, creativity, a woman finding her voice, romance, friendship, the artist-muse relationship, and of course my hometown of Buffalo, New York.

I hope you will give this book of my heart a try. If you do, I hope you love it. And I hope you’ll join me tonight for my virtual launch party via Talking Leaves Books!

I’m also excited to announce something very cool. Because what’s the point of writing about a metal band if you can’t have MERCH? Well, now everyone can get the Handel’s Messiah 2017 tour t-shirt! The shirt was designed by Jennifer Hark-Hameister, who also designed the book cover and the album covers. The front has the Handel’s Messiah logo, and the back has a list of cities the band hit on their 2017 North American tour for Messiah Complex, the album they’re working on throughout the book.

Front of the t-shirt
Back of the t-shirt

All proceeds from the shirts will go to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) in support of #SaveOurStages, an initiative to help small music venues stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. So you can rock the t-shirt of your new favorite (fictional) band, and support a good cause at the same time!

T-shirts are available in two styles here!

Welcome to the world, Ava and Handel’s Messiah. You’ve got this. Rock on.

Signed copy via Talking Leaves Books

Paperback

Kindle

Nook