The Big Wide Calm

Rich Marcello

Book Cover

GENRE

YOUNG ADULT DRAMA

    Core Theme

    SONGWRITING, COMING OF AGE

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    BEGIN AGAIN, ONCE, ALMOST FAMOUS

    CHARACTER LIST

    • PAIGE PLANT: 25. CONFIDENT ALMOST ARROGANT, SKEPTICAL OF SOMEONE AT FIRST BUT EVENTUALLY WARMS UP TO THEM. HEALTHY SEX DRIVE.

    • JOHN BUSTIN: 60. RECLUSE RECORD PRODUCER, AND PAIGE’S MENTOR. COMPLEX, SECRETIVE, SOPHISTICATED, LONE WOLF.

    Logline

    Paige Plant, an ambitious singer/songwriter spends a year making an album with the brilliant but deeply damaged John Bustin. A coming-of-age story, it is also very much a story of a woman who learns how to love and truly care for someone other than herself.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    A fictional town in Massachusetts

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Langdon Street Press

    Year Published: 2014

    Starting Description

    Paige Plant is a young, ambitious singer/songwriter who dreams of one day becoming a rock star. After auditioning for John Bustin, an enigmatic musician of a past generation, she finds herself given a chance to move to John's estate and work on her music for a year in his private recording studio.

    Ending Description

    But as Paige soon discovers, working with John will do much more than give her a shot at fame and fortune; it will also forever change her musically and emotionally as her mentor guides her into creating multi-generational songs and challenges her to grow as a person and learn how to truly love.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1626527959

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Paige Plant

    Age: 25

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Narcisstic,Sexy,Outspoken,Seductive,Unapologetic,Confident,Complex

    Additional Character Details

    Name: John Bustin

    Age: 60

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Skillful,Visionary,Secretive,Sophisticated,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    Paige Plant is an ambitious singer/songwriter who dreams of one day becoming a rock star. After auditioning for John Bustin, an enigmatic musician of a past generation, she finds herself given a chance to move to John's estate and work on her music for a year in his private recording studio. But as Paige soon discovers, working with John will do much more than give her a shot at fame and fortune; it will also forever change her musically and emotionally as he guides her into creating multi-generational songs and challenges her to grow as a person. A coming-of-age story, it is also very much a tale of a young woman who discovers how to truly love. In the beginning, Paige is hard to like. Narcissistic and hedonistic, she is the type of character that one almost wishes to see fail. For Paige, other people seem to exist either to further her career or temporarily satisfy her voracious sexual appetite. She is the stereotypical diva-in-the-making, a future superstar who refuses to allow anyone to even contemplate sharing in her glory. However, throughout the course of the book she gradually learns that the ideas and contributions of others may actually enhance her songs, and that the beauty and power of her music to impact lives may be of greater importance in the long run than her. As she interacts with the brilliant but deeply damaged John, she discovers what it means to really care for someone other than herself.

    Brief

    Paige Plant, an ambitious singer/songwriter, spends a year making an album with the brilliant but deeply damaged producer John Bustin. They set to create a worldly multigenerational album, but the road to get there has unexpected twists and turns.

    What We Liked

    - Great music;
    - A strong, confident, talented female lead;
    - An inside view at the record industry;
    - Sex sells;
    - The source material is so rich that many more seasons or sequels can be made;
    - An epic journey about a young woman finding what she is going to become through the
    songs she writes, the people she sleeps with, and the journey she has recording those songs.

    Synopsis

    Paige Plant is a singer/songwriter. She heads deep into the woods, far from any kind of civilization, to meet with recluse album producer John Bustin, who asks Paige to come live at the house for a year and record an album. The producer had lost his family in an accident years prior; after that, John destroyed all of his work, which was mostly about his family. This inspires Paige to write her next song, “John Fell From Grace” - the name of his wife.

    While Paige and John’s relationship starts platonic, a night of drinking after the passing of the studio’s pet leads to them sleeping together. The next morning, John says it was a one-time thing. Paige doesn’t like his stance on the matter but uses the frustration to write more music. They keep recording. She alsos lashes out by sleeping with strangers.

    John brings into the studio Ian, a manager/marketing promoter. Instantly Paige feels a “tingle” for him. Over the next week and some days, they hit it off. Ian helps Paige write a song that is more “commercial” to help sell albums. They hook up and Paige is head over heels for Ian - only to discover he was actually hired by John to keep her focused, or at least sleeping with only one guy. Frustrated, Paige finds a letter in John’s room. It’s from Grace. His wife and kids are actually alive and living in Italy. Angry, she grabs a flight to her home in New Mexico. A talk with her dad, however, makes her realize that she needs to finish what she has started.

    John comes clean about losing his family because he had gotten obsessed with work. Kindred spirits, John and Paige spend the following months working. Lots of walks, recording, cooking, swimming, and bonding. The album is nearly done and Paige couldn’t be happier with it. She starts playing gigs; fans start to gather. She is, however, attacked after a show - and ends up being shot. She survives, but the experience makes her write one more song for the album, the title track – “The Big Wide Calm”. Paige and John finish the song, knowing that they have completed what they had set out to do.

    With the album complete and a year in the books, Paige is about to set out on her tour. She says goodbye to John and has to do one thing first - she gets on a plane and lands in Italy. She sets up in a coffee shop to play. The first song she plays is “John Fell From Grace”. When she says the title of her song, the waitress (mid 50s) perks up and stares at Paige.

    About The Author

    Rich Marcello is a poet, a songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges' Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.