Interview with Author Aoede (Lisa Sniderman)

My guest today is Aoede, or Lisa Sniderman.  Hello!  Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s a pleasure to have you here. And it truly is. Readers, this is the first time we're getting a musical author on the blog! :)

 

So, can you tell us a little bit about your book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

 

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B013YMIIYA

My latest is a full-length 1 hour 47 minute fantasy musical audiobook, Do You Believe In Magic?” (DYBIM Aug 2015). It is my third award-winning inventive alternative musical/rock opera for tweens and all “kids at heart” who resonate with the fantasy genre (think Harry Potter and Percy Jackson meet Into The Woods!). In the story, the magical Kingdom of Wonderhaven is under a malicious memory curse and rapidly losing it’s magic. Aoede, the Muse of Song, believes she has no use or magic; yet she is plagued with a big secret and is the only one who can save magic and the Kingdom. Listeners will embrace the colorful characters, the compelling story, the infectious songs, danceable duets, narration & full musical score. It is more than mere fantasy; it is about believing in yourself!

DYBIM has received five Children’s awards, an endorsement from KIDS FIRST! and has been adapted into a musical stage play and had a staged reading May 2015 in San Francisco. DYBIM was considered for Best Musical Theater Album in the 58th Grammy Awards. You can get physical copies from CD Baby and direct from my website. Digital copies are available through iTunes and Amazon.

Wow, that's great!

So, tell us...
 
Is there anything that prompted Do You Believe In Magic? Something that inspired you?
 
I began creating fantasy musicals in 2012, inspired by positive audience reactions to my childlike performance at my CD release party for my album “Skeletons of the Muse” (April 2012) and my enchanting music video “Fairy Tale Love” (at which I dressed up like a fairy princess and wore a tiara), as well as my producer’s encouragement to create a Children’s Album. I wanted to keep my quirky folk pop style and childlike Aoede brand and decided to create a compelling fairy tale story for tweens centering on my protagonist Aoede, the Muse of Song. I wrote a script focused on songs from “Skeletons” and their theme of “Love” and created an entire world for Aoede: the magical Kingdom of Wonderhaven, which culminated in my first musical story Is Love A Fairy Tale? (Sep 2012). In the story, Aoede searches for Love in Wonderhaven and meets curious characters along the way, each of whom tell her something about Love. I enjoyed the challenges, collaborations, industry accolades and artistic growth so much that I wanted to continue Aoede’s adventures in Wonderhaven. For my next musical audiobook, I centered on the theme of dreams and created a much darker story: “What Are Dreams Made Of?” (WADMO Sep 2013), in which Aoede the Muse has a reoccurring nightmare and must explore overland and underworld and confront goblins, dream gods and fairies to get to the heart of her dream. For WADMO, I wrote the music and script together from the ground up, each informing the other. Once I developed and refined the script and songs, I worked with my producer and chief collaborator to bring over 30 amazing musicians and voiceover actors to the project, including casting kids from all over the world who voiced the fairies and Goblin Kings. I brought WADMO to life on the stage in May 2014.

I was again inspired to continue Aoede’s adventures in Wonderhaven. I have always been fascinated by both Greek mythology and by magic. In December of 2013, I started researching everything I could about the history, definitions, and views of magic and ties to mythology through the ages. (Characters Aoede, Hecate, Zoroaster, Mormo, Empusa, and Lamia in the story start from a basis in Greek mythology). At the same time, I wrote a song called 'Chameleon' about an outsider who always feels like he has to change colors to fit in. These two pieces provided the creative spark for Aoede’s next musical: “Do You Believe In Magic?”  (Aug 2015). 
 

That's wonderful! Isn't it beautiful how the muse works?

 

By the way, I love that 'Fairy Tale Love' song.

 

 

So, when did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

 

Writing, just like creating, has always been an integral part of me. I have always written in some form as far back as I can remember: from taking journalism classes in high school, writing prose and poetry, journal writing, writing essays in elementary, junior high, high school and college, to writing plans, policy and regulatory documents as an Environmental Scientist as an adult for 10 years. I became a singer-songwriter back in 2002, and started writing my original songs and learned to play guitar in 2004. In 2006, I started singing and playing as Aoede (the muse of song) and have been writing, recording and performing since under that artist identity. I also have been battling a rare auto-immune progressive muscle weakness disease: Dermatomyositis since 2008, and was hospitalized in 2010 for 24 days due to a flare of the disease. 

I had an obsessive compulsion to get my music out into the world from the time I left the hospital. During months (and years) of rehabilitation, therapies and treatments, I have used music and art as a healing path. I was unable to do live shows for several years due to energy, stamina, treatments and muscle weakness, so I began focusing on writing, recording at home and licensing my music for film and TV. I began writing musicals that I recorded on audiobooks in 2012 as a way to keep my songwriter’s dream alive and to connect my brand of bright quirky folk pop with young adults. 

Since 2012, I have really have found my voice in musical theater. I also create for young adults-primarily teens and tweens, an audience on which few artists and playwrights are focusing. I am drawn to young adult stories and adolescent struggles, as well as Greek mythology, and my musical stories reflect them, inspiring, entertaining and connecting with young adult audiences, who are underserved musically; encouraging creativity and imaginative play. I’ve come to believe that everything I do is art, whether I am making a music video or writing a script for a children’s album. It isn’t so much the medium but the expression and desire to connect with new audiences that drives me. Music and art are my lifeline...I just can’t stop creating.
 

Well, I can certainly relate with that! 

 

So, are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

 

Follow your muse! Don’t worry about being polished or perfect; just keep writing and creating. Make your own path. Find what compels you and makes you come alive, and keep dwelling in that place of joy, creativity, wonder… Challenge yourself! Don’t be afraid to try things outside your comfort zone. Don’t go it alone; build and nurture relationships and a supportive team. Keep learning and improving your craft. Dream big, and don’t give up on your dreams despite rejection, fear, self-doubt, life's unexpected hurdles, or other’s opinions.  

 

Such great advice! Thank you for offering those words of wisdom. 
 
And thank you so much for stopping by to visit us here today at Writing in the Modern Age.  It was so wonderful having you here!  :)
 
Readers, here is the blurb for Do You Believe In Magic.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B013YMIIYA



Written By: Lisa Sniderman
Narrated By: Kevin Ponthier
Publisher: Authors Republic
Date: September 2015

Duration: 1 hours 47 minutes

"Do You Believe In Magic?" is a brilliant, inventive Fantasy Musical audiobook from award-winning Artist and Playwright Aoede, for tweens & all kids at heart who resonate with the fantasy genre (Percy Jackson meets Into The Woods). Go on a spellbinding journey to the cursed kingdom of Wonderhaven where a muse (Aoede) has a secret & enchanted books & witches break into song! The magical Kingdom of Wonderhaven is under a malicious memory curse and rapidly losing it's magic. Aoede, the Muse of Song, believes she has no use or magic; yet she is plagued with a big secret and is the only one who can save magic and the Kingdom. Listeners will embrace the colorful characters, the compelling story, the infectious songs, danceable duets, narration & full musical score. doyoubelieveinmagic.info

Genres:
 

Here is an excerpt, where you can play a sample on the site.

 

Or check out some highlights from the book below:

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B013YMIIYA

Aoede's site:  http://aoedemuse.com/muse/buy/

CDBaby:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aoede4

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/do-you-believe-in-magic/id1030885180?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Audiobooks:  http://www.audiobooks.com/audiobook/do-you-believe-in-magic/245715

 

Fascinating! 

 

 

Author Bio

 

Lisa Sniderman-Composer, Playwright, Lyricist, Librettist, Singer-Songwriter, Recording Artist, Performing Artist

Lisa Sniderman, an award-winning San Francisco-based Playwright and quirky folk pop Artist (Aoede), creates unique full-length fantasy musicals, records them on audiobooks and adapts them to musical theater. Aoede has won over 35 awards for songwriting, audiobooks and stage plays since 2012. Highlights include: Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Winner 2014; International Songwriting Competition 2013, 2012 Winner; John Lennon Songwriting Contest 2013, 2012 Finalist.

“Do You Believe In Magic?” (DYBIM Aug 2015) is Aoede's third award-winning inventive alternative musical/rock opera for tweens and all "kids at heart" who resonate with the fantasy genre (think Harry Potter and Percy Jackson meet Into The Woods!). DYBIM has received five Children’s awards, an endorsement from KidsFirst, and has been adapted into a musical stage play and had a staged reading May 2015 in San Francisco. DYBIM was considered for Best Musical Theater Album in the 58th Grammy Awards.

"What Are Dreams Made Of?" (WADMO) (Sep 2013), Aoede’s second fantasy musical, an inventive meld of magic, mythology and music, received six Children's Awards, an endorsement from KidsFirst, six stage play awards, and was considered for Best Children's Album in 56th Grammy Awards. WADMO was one of three finalists in Ronald Ruble Play Festival and was staged by Carol Crane Youth Theatre in Ohio, May 2, 2015. WADMO had its first successful staged reading May 2014 in San Carlos, California.
"Is Love A Fairy Tale?" (Sep 2012), Aoede’s first fantasy musical, is recipient of four Children's Awards and was considered for Best Children's Album in 55th Grammy Awards. "Fairy Tale Love" music video is a Winner and Official Selection in The Indie Gathering and The Indie Fest film festivals. 

 

Author Links:
Amazon Author page:  amzn.to/1Q172zE
Reverbnation:  www.reverbnation.com/aoede

 
Books/Music: 

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B013YMIIYA

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FN5IN9W?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref_=dm_ws_ap_tlw_alb43

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FLRMAFU?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref_=dm_ws_ap_tlw_alb13

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CEBK8OQ?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref_=dm_ws_ap_tlw_alb6

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009632F82?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref_=dm_ws_ap_tlw_alb11

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007U22S6K?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref_=dm_ws_ap_tlw_alb5

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005XB4B1U?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref_=dm_ws_ap_tlw_alb2

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SARSL2?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref_=dm_ws_ap_tlw_alb4

http://www.amazon.com/Push-Pull-Aoede/dp/B001GPXYUQ/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_1

 

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