Here we go…


I have a shocking announcement to make: I am pregnant. With book. There’s a ten-month gestation period. I have cravings for hummus and m&m’s. It’s going to be a long year.

Welcome to my new official Charles River Press website. My book, “867-5309/Jenny: the song that saved me” is on its way. The first draft cover is up, along with photos and bits on info. My manuscript is in the hands of the editor as I write this.

Tom Petty says, “the waiting is the hardest part”; that is true. The book won’t be released until the fall. meanwhile, I’ll be writing about what it’s like to bring an idea to book form. I’ll be doing a series of video blogs that will be linked here as well.

Five years ago I saw the writing on the wall, as it were, about the future  for songwriters. It’s getting too hard out there. There are fewer and fewer commercially viable records made now and there are so many good songwriters.

I moved to Nashville in 1998 to try my hand at being a staff writer for a couple of music publishers. I met a lot of great, talented people and wrote scads of songs. I learned some new stuff about the craft of songwriting from my co-writers and grew as a writer. But the Country market is not for me. In fact, as you’ll see when you read my book, I am guilty of ‘not playing well with others’ when it comes to songwriting. If I were a bluesman, I’d be “Lone Cat” Call. I grew so tired of writing songs that Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw wouldn’t record, that I threw down my guitar five years ago and quit writing songs. For a while. That, as they say, is another story.

I have been writing stories for about twenty years. It started with a silly adventure that I scribbled on my son’s lunchbag very morning when he was in fourth grade. The bag and story went off to school, got passed around and read, turned into a tunafish- oiled greasy mess, wadded up, and thrown away. Shortly afterwards I got my first computer, one of those boxes with 60 mb’s of memory. It had a tiny black screen with amber-colored letters that magically appeared. I thought I would type what I remembered of the lunchbag story. I thought it would take up thirty pages or so. I’d never written anything longer than a couple of verses and chorus before.

Three hundred and fifty pages later I emerged from the end of the first book of a fantasy trilogy which I dubbed the Lunchbag Chronicles. Book two followed. I had found a new joy in my life: writing stories. I was still a songwriter first. I didn’t really try to shop my manuscripts. Then I  moved to Nashville.

When I had to quit writing songs for the sake of my sanity, I received a piece of advice from a good friend, who said, “I’m going to be your Jewish uncle (he is Jewish) : write a book with 867-5309 as the title”. Robbie Long. Thanks, Robbie.

I spent about a year writing down my story. It took a lot of research and long hours of pecking and repecking. I don’t type properly, which hurts. I know, take the Mavis Beacon course. I tired to learn, but my desire to be telling stories took up my writing time. I now have seven novel-length pieces of fiction and “867-5309/Jenny”done. I’m in the process of writing three more novels.

I have rewritten 867-5309 several times. there’s always something to improve. My editor will be telling me within a few days just how much my writing needs improving! Pass the hummus. I have a hummus problem.

Meanwhile, Ill be here hoding forth on whatever crosses my mind, or yours. Please write me a note away from the hub-bub of Facebook and we’ll chat. What’s the old saying, “he has many knives, none of them sharp”? Well, I have number of vaguely sharpened knives, swords, and tomahawks. I’m always ready to play.

More soon…

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4 Responses to Here we go…

  1. Ellen says:

    Congratulations, Alex – we’ve been waiting a long time for this! Can hardly wait – be creative!

  2. Mike Pasqua says:

    This is a story that is long overdue! It covers a different side of the San Francisco sound and I am waiting to pick this book up. I became aware of Clover through a story in the late-lamented BAM magazine and bought the records. I know that Alex is tired my pleading to have the first solo album issued on cd (Damn Arista Records!) but I enjoy these music bios by those who were there (Joe Vitale and Bobby Whitlock’s books are killer). Don’t want to wait until the fall but I will. Can I buy direct from you so I can get it autographed?

    • alexcall says:

      Mike… it can only come out when it can. Charles River Press has other books scheduled before it and it’s not edited yet and all that. When it does come out, of course I’ll sign one for you.

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