SARATOGA SPRINGS – W.B. Belcher pieces together a story of music, folklore and reinvention in his debut novel, “Lay Down your Weary Tune,” which is set to be launched at Northshire Bookstore on Tuesday, January 26 at 6 p.m. Belcher will be discussing his new novel as well as signing copies. The book launch will be followed by a reception at Caffé Lena.
“Lay Down your Weary Tune” follows the story of up-and-coming writer Jack Wyeth and his experience uncovering the truth about Eli Page, an elusive musician that is more myth than man. Taking place in the fictional town of Galesville on the border of New York and Vermont, Jack tries to uncover the truth about the obscure musician, while at the same time learning about himself and his own past in the process. Matthew Quick, author of “The Silver Linings Playbook” called it, “a heartening, timeless, and stirring song for the perfectly broken. Beautifully thrownback. Open-handed. True. W.B. Belcher is my kind of writer.”
Belcher gleaned inspiration for the novel from rock legends, and the concept of who musicians truly are when they’re not on stage. “It was about the idea of a very public person having on layers of masks and personas,” said Belcher. “In the end, who is that person really, behind the mask? You can see it with someone like David Bowie. It’s this idea of reinvention, not just once, but over and over again until you get away from your core self, and that’s what I wanted to show.”
Belcher came up with the idea for the novel during his MFA program, as he was grappling with the choice of whether he wanted to get into playwriting or fiction, a time in his life where he was evolving and finding himself as a writer. “Lay Down your Weary Tune” took him eight years to write, going through many drafts and edits, fitting for a story so immersed in change and personal growth. Belcher calls “Lay Down your Weary Tune” a “late coming-of-age story,” one that is deeply engrained in the context of music.
“Once I dug in, I knew I had to have a main character as a folk music icon and a narrator that is connected to the music. I wanted to dig deeper into the folk music inspiration behind this. Music that tells a story, music that has had a great impact over the last 60 years or more,” said Belcher. “The narrator is enthralled and obsessed with this kind of music. It’s the lens in which he sees the world through.”
Belcher has his own distinct connection with music, including a connection with local music hotspot, Caffé Lena. Belcher is on their board of directors, and has helped with grant writing and developmental work. He’s fascinated with Lena’s history, and is passionate about its success. Belcher is also the Director of External Affairs at The Hyde Collection, the historic art museum in Glens Falls, where he is involved in communications, fundraising and marketing.
“Lay Down Your Weary Tune” will be released on January 26 at Northshire, and after that, can be purchased at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, IndieBound.org and at Battenkill Books in Cambridge.
For more information about the book launch celebration, visit northshire.com. To learn more about W.B Belcher, visit his website at wbbelcher.com.