Dianne Romain grew up in Missouri and studied philosophy at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. After completing her PhD in Philosophy at UC Berkeley, she taught feminist ethics and philosophy of emotion at Sonoma State University and published Thinking Things Through, a critical thinking textbook. While in California, she practiced fiction writing techniques in a women’s writing group. In Guanajuato, where she lives with novelist Sterling Bennett, she took up the trumpet as research for her debut novel, The Trumpet Lesson. Her current writing projects set in Guanajuato include short stories and a second novel.
Topics of Conversation:
About “The Trumpet Lesson” and the Inspiration Behind the Story
Living in Guanajuato, Mexico
Learning to play the trumpet as research for her Novel
Bringing diverse characters together
Differences between writing fiction and non-fiction
New projects from Dianne Romain
THE TRUMPET LESSON
Fascinated by a young woman’s performance of “The Lost Child” in Guanajuato’s central plaza, painfully shy expatriate Callie Quinn asks the woman for a trumpet lesson ― and ends up confronting her longing to know her own lost child.
When Callie became pregnant in 1960s rural Missouri over thirty years ago, her outraged father, with her mother’s acquiescence, insisted that no one know―and Callie complied. She went away, and she gave up her baby. She did it to protect the baby’s father―a black teen―from the era’s racist violence.
When Pamela, the trumpeter whose music flows from her heart, enters Callie’s life, Callie begins to dream of opening her own heart. But instead she remains silent, hiding her longing and risking giving up everyone she dares to love in order to safeguard her secret. Callie tells herself she does so to protect her daughter, but ultimately, in order to speak, she must confront the deepest reasons for her silence―the ones she’s been concealing even from herself.