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Daytona Beach author to sign books and play jazz at Wine Me

Time:2017-08-24 03:09wine - Red wine life health Click:

Wine Play Books Beach author

Austin Fuller @austinfullernj

Sometimes one of Lea Macquarrie's characters will do something he wasn't expecting.

"I don't know in advance everything that's going to happen," he said. "It's kind of like playing a solo, you're going to kind of play on these changes, but you don't really know exactly."

The musical comparison is an appropriate one for the 75-year-old musician and author, whose beachside Daytona Beach home includes both a bookshelf full of literary works and a basement music room.

Macquarrie is set to have a book signing for his novel "A Holy Ghost in Mexico City" from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Wine Me, 204 N. Beach St. Daytona Beach. The event will also include live jazz from his group Dialz Mavus, whose name is a play on Miles Davis. When not signing, Macquarrie will perform on saxophone and flute with the group.

His book tells the story of 19-year-old Raymond Watson, who is suffering from extreme shame after an incident that injured the object of his unrequited love.

"He wraps a love letter around a stone and he throws it through her bedroom window, which is usually open, but in this case it was closed and the glass shattered and cut her face up," Macquarrie said.

Watson, who does not speak Spanish, ends up traveling to Mexico City to remake himself. 

The book questions what is most important: a commitment to the idea of social justice, obedience to God, or loyalty to a specific person.

"This book is dense," Macquarrie said. "It’s pretty descriptive and it can be pretty dense and it’s pretty ideological and spiritual.”

The novel was published earlier this year by New Smyrna Beach's CHB Media and is available on Amazon.

“He is a wonderfully gifted, descriptive writer," said Gary Broughman, president of CHB Media. “You can see and hear and smell the scenes that he’s describing as his character moves through his travails. That’s really his strength.”

The novel is the second book Macquarrie has completed but the first to be published.

“People ask me if it’s autobiographical, and it is only to the extent that I went to Mexico City at 19 and only knew about 10 words of Spanish and spent about a year there," he said.

His time in Mexico was just one of the experiences in Macquarrie's life, which he said has been "a lot different from most people's."

"I spent almost all my life just bumming around or traveling around," he said. "I always felt that as a writer ... your biggest asset was experience. So I just sought as many experiences as I could get."

Writing was always Macquarrie's focus, while playing music was more of a hobby.

"I goofed around, and it turned out that I ended up making more money playing than I did writing," he said.

After arriving in Daytona Beach in the 1980s, he would work full time for a few years performing in a house band.

"The music scene was different then," he said. "The hotels had house bands."

Now Macquarrie plays with both his jazz group, Dialz Mavus, as well as the group Whirl, which recently started monthly shows at downtown DeLand's Abbey Bar. Whirl also includes sitar and hand drum players.

"He is an extremely attentive and inspired player who has an exceptional ability to stay in the pocket during improvisational play," said Wolf Murphy, who plays hand drums for the group. "He is mindful of where there is space in the rhythm and puts the right notes there."

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