It's a story decades in the making, and recently, Baldwin native Susan Zeidler traveled from Los Angeles to Manhattan to tell it.
“The Practice Room,” Zeidler's first published novel aimed at teens takes more than a few pages from her Baldwin childhood. The love of music she cultivated growing-up is a main influence for her fictional story that follows the adventures of young Zoey Browne as she discovers she has the unusual ability to transport herself through time by playing the piano.
“It gave me this occasion to call up and talk to all these people I haven't spoken to in years,” Zeidler said at a recent book signing in Manhattan.
The Nov. 30 signing at Guitar Man in Greenwich Village felt like Zeidler's own journey back in time as old friends, many from Baldwin, crowded the entrance to the subterranean store that boasted musical instruments hanging from the walls and cultivated a warm feeling on the brisk afternoon.
“It was great to have so many dear friends and family members as well as colleagues, musicians, younger and older readers attending the event to support my book,” Zeidler said.
Rebecca Kaine, a former piano instructor of Zeidler's said she was shocked to hear from the author after losing touch for several years. She said she stopped by the shop to purchase “The Practice Room” for her own 12-yea-old step-daughter.
Zeidler, a long-time news reporter and talented piano player, described writing “The Practice Room” as the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
“I've always wanted to write a novel. To celebrate that milestone as an author in the greatest city in the world was really exciting,” she said.
The New York signing was one of several as Zeidler, who now lives in Los Angeles full time with her family, gears up to promote her book throughout the holiday season.
Proceeds from books sold at upcoming signings will be donated to CoachArt, a charitable organization that provides free lessons in the arts and athletics to underprivileged children and adolescents with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
“The Practice Room” can be purchased at www.Amazon.com, www.wastelandpress.com, and select bookstores. To learn more about “The Practice Room,” visit www.thepracticeroomthebook.com.