A Thousand Perfect Notes, an interview with C.G. Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes
Written by C. G. Drews
Contemporary, Music, Realistic Fiction, #LoveOzYA
282 Pages
Publishing June 12th 2018
Thank you to Hachette Australia
Add to Goodreads
★★★★☆
Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music, because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?
She's an Instagram, blog and social media aficionado, her tweets achieving thousands of dedicated followers. Her lengthy list of achievements include the championing of her fellow bloggers and authors, reaching fifty thousand words in three days during National Novel Writing Month, reading hundreds of books per year and writing almost as many. 

C. G Drews debut novel A Thousand Perfect Notes, is a breathtaking and confronting narrative of family violence and gentle optimism, harmonised with delicate moments of sincerity and compassion.

She's a creator of terrible puns and cake advocate. Meet my friend, the incredibly fabulous and inspirational C. G. Drews, debut author of A Thousand Perfect Notes

The Interview


Your debut novel, A Thousand Perfect Notes is absolutely beautiful. Being an author and practically writing straight from the womb, can you share with us the day that you found out you were being published?

Aww thank you! You're making me blush! So I found out I had a book deal at about 4:00am because insomnia is a beast and I thought, 'Hey! Why not check my email and see if my agent has sent anything?' Well, wow, I only got the best email of my life. I also did not go back to sleep. And I want to take a moment to tell my family that they should be grateful I didn't wake them up screaming right then and there.

A Thousand Perfect Notes is quite emotional and explores social issues such as physical, emotional an mental abuse, child neglect and poverty. How difficult is it as an author to write confronting scenes where characters are the victims of abuse?

I definitely spent a lot of time on those scenes, with plenty of revisions to get the intensity and thought process right. I wanted to talk really candidly about these things, but also keep some hope and light in the room.

The Maestro is a horrible, infuriating woman. Personally I found the abuse not only confronting but also incredibly realistic. Isolating Beck, using Joey to threaten Beck and the barrage of abuse of being worthless. All symptoms of an abusive relationship. Is that something you needed to research to create the toxic and abusive environment?

I definitely did plenty of research and also lot of just thinking of what it'd be like to be in Beck's shoes. I think most people in the world have felt worthless at some point... Or unable to control their environment or worried about someone they loved. Obviously this is a more extreme circumstance than most would face, but writing it was about escalating those feelings.

Let's talk about darling Beck, such a well written and in depth character. He seems like a typical male character, grumpy and weary of anyone taking an interest in him but beneath the surface, he's such a complex young man. What was the inspiration behind his character?

My biggest inspiration for Beck is actually a bit of a spoiler, but you'll know it when you read the book! But his character has several nods to a famous classical composer of the past! Apart from that, he sort of tumbled around the page and then grew his personality the more I wrote and explored his story.

Beck's relationship with his little sister Joey was a delight and another of my favourite aspects. He sees her as a puddle splashing, glitter wearing free spirit and endures his mother's abuse to protect her. What angered me is how the adults in both their lives let them down, a harsh reality for so many kids isn't it.

It is... And not as uncommon as it should be. One thing Beck did his best to do was to shelter Joey as much as he could and make sure she didn't suffer alone. While Beck only had an abusive and manipulative mother, Joey at least also had Beck to look up to. Their relationship was one of my favourites to write!

The barefoot, animal loving, dog rescuing August, if ever there was a character most you like, August wins. Hands down. She's absolutely delightful. I loved how she was just there, never pushing Beck out of his comfort zone but to let him know he wasn't alone. Is that something you were mindful of, the friendship and support foremost rather than creating a romance between Beck and August?

Ha! August is the actual definition of puppies and rainbows, isn't she?! And yes I absolutely wanted their relationship to first focus on friendship, since Beck has literally never had a friend before August busts into his life. I also wanted August to show she wanted to be there for Beck. She wasn't about to force him to take action or pretend she knew what his life was like. She wasn't there to save him: she was there to tell him he was worth saving so he could take those steps himself.

Readers know you from your wildly successful blog, Paper Fury where you talk about books and cake with a fondness for stabby characters. Do you think readers will be surprised by the darker themes in A Thousand Perfect Notes?

My blog is definitely a collision of rainbows but also stabbiness, so I can see how some readers might be surprised that A Thousand Perfect Notes isn't a fluffy book! But knowing I always review and flail about the 'dark books' and have been warning people I'm writing books to make them cry... Hopefully it's not too much of a shock.

What do you hope readers take away from reading A Thousand Perfect Notes?

Just that little whisper that you are absolutely worthwhile, no matter what you do or don't achieve in life.

Where to find her


C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at paperfury.com, never sleeps, and believes in cake for breakfast.

20 comments

  1. Thank you for having me, Kelly!! 😍❤️❤️

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    1. Thank you for letting me have you.

      Wait, what?

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  2. This was such a brilliant interview and that last answer of Cait's really summed up my overall feelings of why I loved ATPN so much. It was honest, raw and so full of hope. Fabulous interview!

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    1. Didn't she just! I think readers will really be surprised of the depth of A Thousand perfect Notes and the dark themes of abuse. Her personality really shines through her characters when it comes to August and especially Joey. I loved that August was that free spirited side of her that we've all fallen in love with as friends and as a community.

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  3. This is a brilliant review Kelly. Now I can't wait to check out the story!

    xx
    Vanessa
    Blushing Geek

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    1. It's an incredible read Vanessa, I can't wait to see what you think of it!

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  4. EEEP THIS IS JUST LOVELY! I adored Beck, Joey, and August so much. I love the friendship-before-romance between Beck and August. I could actually see Cait a LOT in August's sunshine of a character. ♥

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. I could too Aimee. Just her positivity and supportive nature, two of her very best qualities among many. I could also see her in Joey as well, her drive and humour for world domination. Gosh it was all so lovely, I can't wait to read it again.

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  5. I loved this interview so much! And the book. And the characters. Gah, what a beautiful story.

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    1. Just amazing! There's is nothing this remarkable young woman can't do. She's made of magic.

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  6. I adored this interview Kelly, what thoughtful questions! I have read this book and I adore it as well and it's always great to hear Cait's thought process behind the book as well.

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    1. It's been absolutely amazing to see the outpouring of emotion and elation from readers and bloggers who've been touched by A Thousand Perfect Notes, a beautiful debut from a remarkable young woman.

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  7. I love how humble Cait is, and how dedicated she is to her craft. Thanks for this interview Kelly, it was great! I'm super curious about this book.

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    1. She is and such an amazing human of many talents. I've known her for quite a few years now and she's one of the loveliest people you're ever likely to come across, I'm already desperate for her next book!

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  8. CAKE - THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS. All hail Cait!!
    Such a fantastic young woman. I am oh so happy for her and wish her all the success in the world.

    I pre-ordered my copy on booktopia and am hanging out for it to arrive!!! any day now.

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think of it Sarah, it's been one of my favourite reads this year. Confronting but so gentle and lovely. She's truly remarkable.

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  9. The synopsis for this book makes me think of an anime movie called Your Lie in April. Have you heard of it? It's a movie that smashes your heart into tiny pieces. I cannot wait to read this one for myself!

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I've seen a few bloggers make similar comparisons too actually. I haven't heard of that one before but will be interested in tracking it down. This is just a beautiful read and cannot wait to see what you think of it!

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  10. omg omg ! you have her book! great review

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    1. Thanks Ailyn, I was so fortunate to have received a copy from Hachette Australia but are also purchasing the beautiful stained pages edition as well for my collection. Such a wonderful read.

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