Thursday, May 8, 2014

Goodbye Tchaikovsky by Michael Thal

Goodbye Tchaikovsky Goodbye Tchaikovsky by Michael Thal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The day after his thirteenth birthday David Rothman a violin virtuoso learns that not only is he blessed with his family's musical talent, he is also destined to be stricken with the family's curse. He suddenly finds himself stuck in a world of total silence. Can he ever learn new ways to communicate or will his depression drag him to the bottom? This is a wonderful heartfelt book about self-discovery and recovery, and I enjoyed it very much. I can not even begin to imagine never being able to hear the violin again. I would recommend this book to any adolescent who is struggling to find balance in their lives.

View all my reviews

I would like to thank Michael Thal for joining us today.
1) What genre do you like to write?
 Two of my novels, Goodbye Tchaikovsky and the soon to be released The Abduction of Joshua Bloom are YA novels. I also have a series of middle school novels, The Legend of Koolura and Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback.

2) How long have you been writing? What prompted you to start writing?
 I’ve been writing full time since 2001. In my previous life I was a tenured middle school teacher. After a severe hearing loss leaving my deafened, I took disability and taught myself how to write.

3) What inspires you to write?
The Koolura series, books about a pre-teen girl with psychic ability, was inspired by my oldest daughter, Channie. Goodbye Tchaikovsky, a novel about a teen violinist losing his hearing was inspired by my personal experience with hearing loss. My newest novel, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, was drawn from a dream I had many years ago.

4) When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?
 The idea for The Abduction of Joshua Bloom came to me when I was around 27 years old. The book will finally see the light of day this summer taking 38 years. Goodbye Tchaikovsky took about eight years to be written and published, while The Legend of Koolura took about 17 years. Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback was easy. Since it’s a second in a series book, it went from being written to published in 4 years.

5) What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?  Easiest? 
Motivating myself to sit down and write is the toughest part of the process. Once I get started, it’s tough to break away. I also find marketing my work tedious. The easiest part of the process is self-editing.

6) Of all your characters whom do you most relate to?
That’s easy…David Rothman. David’s the main character in Goodbye Tchaikovsky. Though David is a fictional character, the emotions and torment he went through after he lost his hearing was what I went through with my hearing loss. When you can’t understand what people are saying to you, you feel lost and isolated. That is why I took control of my deafness and learned American Sign Language. So did David. That’s why, on many levels, Goodbye Tchaikovsky is an emotional autobiography.

7) What is your least favorite part about writing? The Most?
I don’t enjoy marketing. I tried to find an agent, but to no avail, and maintaining a website is tiresome work. I really enjoy writing articles for my Examiner column about education and parenting, and I’m having fun writing the third Koolura book I’ve titled, Koolura and the Mayans. I share my work with my writer’s group, the San Fernando Valley Critique Group.

8) When you are not writing or editing what do you do for relaxation?
I enjoy working out at the gym or jogging around Lake Balboa. I get a lot of writing ideas while running.

9) What genre of books do you like to read?
I like science fiction and adventure novels.

10) What author(s) do you enjoy reading?  Why?
I like James Patterson because of the quick pace of his novels and the cliff hangers he always develops at the end of each chapter.

11) Tell us about your books where can people find them?
(All my books are available in print and as e-books.)
Goodbye Tchaikovsky: A violin virtuoso is plunged into a deaf world, necessitating him to adapt to a new culture and language in order to survive.
David Rothman is an overnight success. He performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with rave reviews attracting the attention of the Queen of England. His future is laid out for him like a well-lit freeway. Then, on his twelfth birthday, David suffers from an irreparable hearing loss, plunging him into a silent world.

How will David communicate with his friends? What about school? Where does his future lie? The novel shows how an adolescent boy copes with deafness.

Royal Fireworks Press:

     The Legend of Koolura: The Legend of Koolura tells the story of the metamorphosis of a pre-teen girl with extraordinary psychic powers overcoming a stalker bent on her destruction.
It’s a middle grade novel about a sixth grade Armenian girl and how she obtained the cool powers.  She has the ability to dematerialize at will and reappear where she chooses. She can move objects with her mind and she can even defy gravity! But will these powers be of any use in stopping a stalker intent on her destruction? This degenerate is determined to retrieve Koolura’s unrealized cool powers and hurt any of her friends who get into his way.
As the hour approaches for Koolura’s final confrontation with her nemesis, she may finally find vengeance to the man who killed her mother
Barnes & Noble:
Solstice Publishing:
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback.: Koolura has the ability to teleport, levitate, heal, and even fly. But at Camp Saddleback Koolura wakes up drained and powerless. Who or what has stolen her psychic powers?
As Koolura searches for the truth about her power loss, she and the Chumash Girls have to deal with pranksters ruining their cabin and destroying their summer. Campers plan revenge but problems escalate as lives are threatened. Will Koolura and the Chumash Girls solve the mystery at Camp Saddleback?

Barnes & Noble:
Solstice Publishing:

The Abduction of Joshua Bloom: A high school track star is abducted by aliens, explores strange worlds, uncovers genocide on a planetary scale, and is thrust into extraterrestrial politics that decides the fate of an Earth on the brink of war or unification.
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom tells the story of a teen abduction by an alien race who justifies their act in an attempt to save their people. Joshua finds himself in a world dominated by women, and men are subjugated to their whims. He travels to a dinosaur world, visits a water planet, and a world doomed by a star about to nova.
Will be published summer of 2014 and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Solstice Publishing website.