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Archive for November 16th, 2018

Fran Thomas: Calusa Town Tales & Chorale!
Friday, November 16th, 2018

Every Tuesday night from September through March or April, I escape from whatever is going on in my life to the world of classical music. I am a founding member of the Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida, now in our tenth year. During the weekly rehearsals, I am so focused on what I am singing that problems recede.

Fresh out of high school, I had entered college as a music major. Alas, my working-class background hadn’t allowed for private lessons, so I was at a disadvantage compared to other students. I might have overcome that drawback if I hadn’t also been homesick in the extreme. I quickly dropped out. When I made my second attempt at college, I became an English major. That made a lot more sense. Music as a profession didn’t work out, but since then I have taken every opportunity to make music with one group or another as a volunteer.

Each year, the Chorale self-produces three concerts and sings twice with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. It was during one of the joint concerts that the idea for my latest book came to me. I was sitting on stage, waiting to begin Mozart’s Requiem. Out of the wings strode the symphony’s conductor, an exceedingly charismatic man of Italian heritage. Presto! Lorenzo Moretti, the hero of my book was born.

This particular concert took place during the height of the #MeToo movement, and my book Making Time with the Maestro begins with Lorenzo being unjustly accused. My heroine, the young woman who has just been hired to do PR by his opera company, quickly clears his name. To avoid any reprises of this situation, they enter into a fake engagement. I submitted Maestro to two publishers and am eagerly awaiting replies.

In the meantime, I am working on the fourth book in my self-published Calusa Town Tales series. It is set in my fictionalized version of the island where I actually live.

You can find more information about the Calusa books at and find out when the Maestro will be published at