Dianne Romain, a native Missourian, is back in Kansas City to promote her new book, “The Trumpet Lesson.”
At 4 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 13), the Carlston native will celebrate the launch of her book at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also got her philosophy degree, with jazz trumpet and piano duo Stanton Kessler and Roger Wilder. All event proceeds will go to Jazz Friends to support the arts.
“The Trumpet Lesson” tells the story of expatriate Callie Quinn who, fascinated by a young woman’s performance of “The Lost Child” in Guanajuato, Mexico’s central plaza, asks the woman for a trumpet lesson. This brings up feelings Callie does not want to confront.
“One of the things that people say about the book is that they really like the description of Guanajuato,” Romain said. “They often see the city of Guanajuato as another character in the novel.”
The book was recently announced as the winner in the women’s fiction category for the 2019 American Fiction Awards.
Romain has lived in Guanajuato for the past 15 years. It was in Mexico, during a class with novelist Maria Luisa Puga, that she got the inspiration to write her book.
“I’m very interested in how we change, the possibility for change and how we exhibit our emotions,” Romain said.
She used those concepts to help guide the plot of her book, which explores how societal attitudes about teen pregnancy, race, adoption, family and homosexuality affect personal integrity.
Romain took up the trumpet to write her book more accurately.
“I bought a trumpet to get a feel of the instrument – and then, I interviewed a trumpet player in the orchestra in Guanajuato … and he started teaching me a bit,” she said. “I ended up falling in love with the trumpet.”
Royalties from the book will go to the Laurie Frink Career Grant for young brass musicians and Mujeres Aliadas for women’s reproductive health.
“I guess I see writing a novel as more of a labor of love more than anything,” Romain said. “I have a retirement fund, so I don’t need the money, but it gives me an opportunity to talk about these organizations.”
Romain believes that writing is all about collaboration.
“Don’t be afraid to show your work to other people,” she advised. “Write your first draft and get feedback; you need a whole team to write.”
For more information on Romain and her book, visit dianneromain.com. Those interested in attending the event Sunday, which is free to the public, should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.