Songcaster

I finished my book tour last week and just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all the awesome readers who came to hear about Deep Blue and to the wonderful bookstores who hosted me. One of the best things about touring is meeting people – living, breathing people, not the imaginary ones I hang out with all day! I met some young women who impressed me so much with their talent, drive, and spirit, I just have to talk them up. I’ll start with a very talented singer……Deep Blue Cover

Bea Miller doesn’t sit still.

I was in the courtesy suite before the Deep Blue event at the Barnes and Noble Americana. I was talking with my publicist when Bea bounced into the room. My first impression of her was one of light and motion – a blond solar flare. She has a wide, engaging grin and the boundless, happy energy of Tigger times ten.

I hugged her and thanked her for her beautiful rendition of Open Your Eyes, a song inspired by Deep Blue, and for her hard work on the audiobook. We chatted for a bit, and then we both had things to do. An interview and vocal warm-ups for Bea, reading practice for me.

At 7 pm, we were on. I went first, talking about the inspiration behind Deep Blue and reading a bit of the book. As I did, I could see Bea in the front row. Her foot was jiggling slightly. Nerves, I thought. And then I wondered: How can anyone, never mind a fifteen year old girl, stand up in front of a crowd and sing?

Jennifer Donnelly and Bea Miller

The thought alone terrifies me. It takes a lot for me to just stand up and talk about my work. I get the deer-in-a-headlight thing sometimes, and suddenly I can’t remember my own name, never mind what I’m supposed to be talking about.

I finished my reading and sat down. It was Bea’s turn. She was going to sing three songs, accompanied by only her guitarist. No band. No auto tuner. Nowhere to hide.

She started with Open Your Eyes (see below). As I listened to the first few notes, I had my answer. People stand up and sing for the same reason they write. Or paint. Or act. Because they can’t not do it.

Bea Miller was born to sing. To live inside songs and make them her own. She has a beautiful voice, for sure. But so do lots of people. What sets hers apart? Emotion. There’s an old soul inside that girl, and it makes itself heard when she sings. Her voice expresses such a huge range of feeling that it’s as if somehow, at the age of fifteen, she’s already packed a lot of living into her life.

Bea Miller is the real deal – super-talented, genuine, smart, and dedicated. That combo can take a girl far and my fingers are crossed for her.

Katy, Rihanna, Pink – putting you on notice, ladies. Better make room at the top.

With best wishes,
Jennifer Donnelly

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