Ruby Parker: Musical Star

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9780007244348: Ruby Parker: Musical Star

Multii-talented teen starlet Ruby Parker makes her debut in the theatre – but how will she cope with the demands of being in a musical?

Fresh from her success in the production of Spotlight! The Musical, Ruby and her closest friends are heading off to Hollywood to audition for parts in the film version of the show.

After Ruby's last experience in Tinseltown, she's scared inside but totally ready to take on the biz and all that entails. What she doesn't anticipate are the dramas that begin to unfold closer to home…

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Review:

Praise for Ruby Parker Soap Star

"The right mix of sympathy and enjoyment." Financial Times

"…a witty and thoughtful novel. It provides a refreshing perspective on the pitfalls of celebrity." Withkids

"A fast-reading, fresh take on the trials of teendom." Birmingham Sunday Mercury

From the Author:

Rowan Coleman talks about the recording of the songs from Musical Star.

Crisps, Tango and Rock 'n Roll
I knew it was going to be a good day when at seven a.m on a dark cold Sunday morning the dummer of the band climbed into the back of my car in a white cowboy hat, white rimmed sunglasses and bright green chelsea boots and grumbled. 'Blimey its early - I barely had time to straighten my hair!'
The drummer's name was Henry and he is twelve years old.
We were on our way to a recording studio to record three songs from the fictional muscial 'Spotlight!' A show I created to feature in the latest Ruby Parker book RUBY PARKER MUSICAL STAR. Whenever I write a Ruby book I put in non linear bits of text. Sometimes its part of a script, a magazine or news paper article and often a fan letter. This time though I wrote three songs for 'Spotlight.' I had a lot of fun with them, let's say my lyric writing style leans somewhat heavily towards the ironic and intentionally cheesey. What I am trying to say is that the lyric's aren't up to Bob Dylan standards or indeed anywhere near them. But as I wrote the book, and heard the songs in my head, I thought it would be fun to be able to include sheet music in the book so that reader could, if they wanted, find out what they sounded like.
There was a problem though, my musical talents are limited to about ten flute lessons I had in the eighties that came to an abrupt end when I whacked my flute teacher with my instrument (In my defense he was pulling my pigtails, and I do not condone the use of a wind instument as a leathal weapon). However I know a lot of talented young people, two of whom are the twelve and thirteen year old children of one of my good friends. Tom is the composer and lead singer his own rock band. Polly plays the harp and has classical training.
'Would they mind trying to write some music for these lyric's?' I asked their mother. 'And translating them into sheet music to go into the book?'
They said they would and after giving them some direction for each song (ROCK, BIG SHOW TUNE, BALLAD)I left them two it. I don't know if I expected them to actually do it, but they did and about six weeks later they presented me with three hand written sheets of music.
I was delighted, but also curious to know what the songs sounded like so Tom sat down and played them for me on his guitar. They were really good! I asked him to record one of them, which he duely did in his bedroom with one of his mates and I sent it off to my publishers.
'Can we record these songs?' I asked them, 'it will be a way for readers to get more of an insight into the book, really give it a fourth dimension, we can put them on the website and myspace!' My publishers liked 'Love Gets it Wrong' so much that they agreed to fund the cost of recording. And so at the end of January on a cold dark morning, me, Tom's mum, Tom and his band (Tom, Jake and Henry) heading off to a recording studio.
Never underestimate how seriously a teen rock band takes themselves. They all turned up in rock band attire, they all turned up with rock band attitude, and they all turned up with rock band talent. The only difference was that instead of the usual vices rock bands indulge in, they over did it on the hula-hoops and mini-mars bars and after one too many cans of tango hit a bit of a sugar high. Hyper-teenage-rock-stars-to-be are not my area of expertise and there were a few tense moments while I wondered if I could calm them all down enough to do the ballad.
They ran about outside for a bit, turned tomato ketchup into fake blood whilst re-enacting their favourite scenes from 'Hot Fuzz' and then finally settled down. Andy, the poor sound engineer, nearly had a nervous breakdown, but in the end we got three songs on the can. And I think they are pretty good. I'm really proud of them.

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