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Interview:
Book was a big achievement for Shawn Colvin
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Shawn Colvin is certainly proud of her latest album, "All Fall Down," which she released in June.

But her real pride and joy this year is a memoir, "Diamond in the Rough" -- partly, she says, because it wasn't something she ever expected to be doing.

"The impetus to do it was a suggestion, or a dare you could even call it, by someone who said, 'Well, you have a story to tell, you should write a book," recalls the 56-year-old singer songwriter. "My concern was that I didn't know how to write a book. I can write songs, but that doesn't mean I can do something in another art form or whatever you call it.

"And my other concern was I'm not exactly this iconic figure, so who's going to want to read this book of my story? But I wrote three chapters and I had an agent and I got a book deal, and then I had to decide whether I had it in me to actually write is book. So I decided to try."

Colvin calls writing prose "a whole other animal than doing a record," and she acknowledges the help of "a book doctor" in bringing the project to completion. "Diamond in the Rough" is both frank and forthright, and Colvin says she really didn't mind exposing her wild times living in New York City, including substance abuse issues and some turbulent personal relationships.

"That was not hard," she maintains. "I really don't have a lot of trouble talking about the difficulties I've had, probably because the most helpful things to me when I've been struggling with serious issues were the people that had also been through the same things I was going through who have come out the other side and were willing to tell their stories to me.

"I got so much out of that -- especially feeling like I'm not alone, which is the most comforting thing to me about any recovery. So it's part of staying in recovery to not forget where you come from and passing along the lessons you've learned. That makes it easy to put this stuff out there."

Shawn Colvin performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $42.50. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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