Thursday, April 1, 2010
Local author Mary Ann Hutchison has written her first novel. She will be signing copies of her book during the Mariachi Conference on Saturday, April 24, at Reid Park.
Open Books Press
194 pages, $15
Their teen friendship is tight. It’s forged by their love of music and their dream. It seemed so easy to Moochi, Chico, Ladybug and Turo — work hard and save the money needed for the trip from their small Arizona town to Tucson, to take part in the Annual International Mariachi Conference.
No worries, until the strength of their friendship is tested and then shaken by unforeseen problems, including self-esteem issues that threaten to break up their band. Soon after the arrival of JJ, a teen with attitude, their savings are stolen which almost destroys their dream, casts suspicion that shatters their security and trust, and forces them to deal with an intolerance they’ve never felt before. The answers they need may lie in the desert that surrounds their world and has always offered them peace, as well as danger.
How is a woman of a certain age, with a middle-European heritage, able to write about a culture and music so different than what she was born into? Easy. When Mary Ann was 18, a turn of the car radio dial accidentally carried the music to her heart, where it remained; she was hooked. Its sound and beat stayed with her. Ten years later Hutchison moved to Tucson, Arizona, and over the years, as her love of the culture and its people grew, she realized that one word — mariachi — defined the music, and the musician, and a culture.
Mariachi is heard and played in every US state and in every country in the world. The music mirrors a person’s highs and lows, sorrows and happiness, and all stages of love. For Mary Ann, the trumpet is king, as it soars, making her heart race and bringing tears to her eyes or broad smiles to her face.
Hutchison’s writing family includes: the Arizona Mystery Writers where she is currently presiding chair, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Society of Southwestern Authors where she is a past Executive Board member, past coordinator of its annual writing contest, and a 2009 Conference Committee member.
After retiring, she began to seriously put words on paper and now writes short stories, memoirs, middle-grade children’s stories, and suspense stories.
Mary Ann’s published work includes: "The Mystery of Murray the K," The Arizona Mystery Writers anthology entitled "A Way With Murder," 2004; "A St. Nicholas Christmas" included in "Thanksgiving to Christmas - A Patchwork of Stories" an anthology of Holiday stories, 2009; memoir "From Reel to Reality" published in Good Old Days Magazine, October 2008; memoir "Baked Apples Sometimes Grow on Trees" published in Good Old Days Magazine, May 2006
Hailing from the Midwest, this transplanted Wisconsinite spent over 40 years in the legal field as a legal secretary, administrative assistant for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, courtroom clerk and judicial administrative assistant for the Pima County Superior Court.
One husband, two spoiled felines, two children, four stepchildren, two grandchildren, 16 step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren constitute her immediate family.