Local author puts Alabama on the map


By Jeffrey Abbott

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Local author and Madison resident, Christopher Fuqua, recently announced the publication of his new book, “Alabama Musicians: Musical Heritage from the Heart of Dixie.” This latest non-fiction work, published by The History Press, increases Fuqua’s already impressive list of both fiction and non-fiction printed works.

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“Alabama Musicians” dives into the rich and lengthy local history of musicians born in Alabama who helped shape the modern music industry of today.
The book covers the influential careers of native Alabamians from the late 19th century to the present. Local readers interested in music, history, or both will certainly enjoy Fuqua’s latest addition that reveals insights of numerous famous musicians. Some of the musicians include household names such as Hank Williams, Nat “King” Cole, Hugh Martin, and The Tempatations.

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The book initially works through the general history of Alabama’s gifted contributors, and later spends a good deal of time and effort biographing over 70 individual musicians.

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“Alabama has done some really good stuff,” says Fuqua. The book does a fantastic job of displaying Alabama to a national audience of music-lovers and history buffs. Accompanying the biographies are rare, high-quality photographs of the artists.

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This is not Fuqua’s first introduction to the musical history of Alabama, however. Twenty years ago, he was commissioned to write a non-fiction book on the Muscle Shoals music industry when they were viewed as a “hot commodity for recording,” as Fuqua relates. He churned this book out on a tight publisher deadline of only two months and moved forward with his early career.

Twenty years later, The History Press approached Fuqua in regards to writing a more in-depth account of Alabama’s musical history. This time, he was given a full year to complete it, which allowed him to develop the stories and conduct the necessary research for the book. “There’s enough information to fill several books,” said Fuqua about the amount of information available on Alabama’s music history.

“It’s amazing how many people from Alabama have had a profound effect on the modern music industry,” says Fuqua. The process of collecting information, researching, and interviewing different people was very enjoyable for the author, also noting that the most enjoyable musicians to interview were the artists that were true “innovators in their field.”

Christopher Fuqua is a freelance author who enjoys writing fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. He moved to Madison several years ago after living in Hawaii. He is passionate about what he does, and finds inspiration for his passions through everyday life. Before he was passionate about writing, he was passionate about reading.

His professional writing career started after graduating from the University of West Florida, and has been fruitful and inspired through the years.
The freedom and flexibility of being a freelance writer is exciting and enjoyable, but also “challenging.”

“Being a freelancer also means you can’t write 100% of the time,” explains Fuqua. Apart from the writing, he has to manage the business aspects of his career. Bookkeeping, advertising, marketing, editing, and many other responsibilities keep him from writing as much as he would like, but the benefits of being independent outweigh the drawbacks.

Fiction is Fuqua’s favorite type of writing, but he also works frequently in poetry and non-fiction. “I love poetry for its brevity,” says Fuqua. “It’s more of a reward for the long hours put into fiction.” The unavoidable truth that keeps him from writing more poetry is that it simply doesn’t pay well.

When asked if he had any advice for aspiring students and writers, Fuqua said, “Persistence. Talent is a big part of it, but persistence is the most important aspect to getting published. Read and develop yourself.” Fuqua is a living example that shows just how persistence and hard work pay off.

“Alabama Musicians: Musical Heritage from the Heart of Dixie” is available through Amazon.com and The History Press website (www.historypress.net). For more information, you can visit Christopher Fuqua’s website at http://www.fluteflights.com/CSFUQUA/