Combining her two loves of violin and literature, Launceston author and musician Alexandra Harris has released a new time-slip fantasy novel entitled Violetta and the Venetian Violin.
Described by Harris as a story of unusual friendships, a quest for courage and the transformative power of music, she said this was a book for people of all ages, and would appeal to musicians and non-musicians alike.
The book tells the story of 12-year-old Violetta, who is transported from Sydney in 2017 back to Venice in 1717, and must find her violin or risk being locked forever in the past.
Harris began her music training 30 years ago in Launceston before moving to Sydney to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Since returning to the Apple Isle in 2011, Harris has become a member of the Tasmanian Discovery Orchestra, the Camerata Obscura Ensemble and Launceston Youth and Community Orchestra.
She said music and writing have many similarities and her new compositions drew on her love of Antonio Vivaldi, one of the greatest Baroque composers.
"Both music and writing can transport us. When reading or writing a story, just like playing or listening to music, time can stand still while we are lost in our imaginations," she said.
"When exploring the expression of a piece of music, I often imagine myself living in Vivaldi's time, or wonder what Max Bruch felt as he wrote a particularly beautiful phrase.
"Combining my love of classical music and writing has been a lot of fun, and I hope others enjoy it as much as I have."
Harris said that writing the book has been a long process and the story has changed dramatically since its inception.
"I always enjoyed writing stories as a child, often with far too many ideas and even more random tangents, '' she said.
"Not much has changed, so when the initial idea for Violetta and the Venetian Violin popped into my mind about eight years ago; there were many permutations.
"It was even a murder-mystery at one point.
"It wasn't until last year that I took some courses through the Australian Writers' Centre, which helped tremendously."
Harris said the jump back in time also highlighted her love of history and the music of the Baroque period.
"In a similar way to music, writing constantly presents new challenges.
"Most of all, I think I have always enjoyed escaping into other worlds, not knowing what I might find.
"History has also intrigued me for many years, and I love the idea of stepping into the time of our favourite composers."
She said her novel also included accompanying Vivaldi arrangements for violin.
To purchase the book or find out more, visit alexandralouiseharris.com.
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