A Songwriter's Memoir
by Dayna Manning
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 27 Oct 2019 | Archive Date 01 Feb 2020
In engaging prose as smooth and colourful as her Juno-nominated melodies, Dayna Manning’s memoir provides a window into the world of her songwriting. In Many Moons, Manning depicts her collaborations with Canadian legends such as Burton Cummings, Chris Hadfield, and William Lishman, providing readers with an intimate view of a musician's life and up-close encounters with some of Canada’s greatest personalities. Manning’s charming debut memoir is a fascinating read, spanning Canada itself as well as a three-decade career in an ever-changing music business.
"Many Moons (Blue Moon Publishers) dives into Manning's musical collaborations (including working with Burton Cummings, Chris Hadfield, and many others), the unique joys and challenges of the songwriter's life, and the changes to the music industry that she's seen and weathered through her career." -Open Book
•Book tour in Ontario of bookstores and related outlets
•Print, television, radio, and online media campaign for major regional and national media
•Digital marketing including Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
•Literary award and literary festival submissions across Canada
•ARC mailing to targeted outlets and digital reader copies available through NetGalley
Average rating from 1 member
Thank you to NetGalley, DigiWriting, and Blue Moon Publishers for the digital advanced readers copy of this book! All my thoughts are my own. "Many Moons" is Canadian signer-songwriter Dayna Manning's first memoir, dividing up her stories by the songs she has written, and the experiences and memories she associates them with. From her first song written in 1994 at sixteen years old ("A Walk On The Moon"), up until the summer of 2018 ("The Same Way"), "Many Moons" is packed with Manning's highlights and lower times, from her early career playing in bars as a teen, to becoming an independent musician, and everything in between. This memoir was so interesting! Dayna's voice as an author reads like a diary, or as if you're having a conversation with her as you read along. Chapters are spread over almost twenty-five years, and even though this book does not go over her career and life chronologically, it's pretty close to it, making reading along feel like you are living out Dayna's stories with her. Her stories are jam packed with details, from her cold walks to work when she was a waitress, to how the studios she worked in looked and felt, and mentioning the process of Skyping with Astronaut Chris Hadfield (who writes a brief foreword in the book) in concert with her Trent Severn bandmates. At times I did find some details mentioned to be a little unnecessary, sometimes cluttering the stories a little too much, but overall, Dayna writes to make the reader feel completely immersed into her memories, and I found this to be a highlight of the book. Since "Many Moons" covers almost twenty-five years of Dayna working in the music business, there are mentions throughout the book of how the industry has changed from the 1990s until now, from how music is distributed, consumed, and the technology needed to make it has changed, and how she has adapted and navigated her way from becoming a successful EMI Music Canada artist to an independent band and solo act. I was born in 1998, so I found the recounting of Dayna recording parts of her album on tape to be something I had heard of before but wasn't entirely familiar with, as well as her reasons behind her opinions about how streaming has taken over the music business. Something about this memoir that I appreciated was that Dayna never sugarcoated the struggles she faced to get her foot in the industry, or the struggles she faced to keep herself in it. She shows the reader inside looks at how the business works, her hardships financially and while attempting to start over with no record label, and none of it was glamourized. Whether you're reading this as a fan, or if you're reading this book as a piece of advice on how to be successful in the industry, these honest and hidden-away parts of the life of an entertainer teach the reader a little something about how it all works (or how it worked for Dayna, at least), and I found it to be very refreshing. My favourite stories in this memoir were about her early steps toward her career and the success she faced in the beginning, as well as the sweet romance she mentions and her continuing to be a songwriter in her hometown of Stratford, Ontario (not too far from me!) at the end of the book. For me personally, this book had a bit of a sagging middle for these reasons, but even then, all of her stories were memorable even after I finished the book several days later. Another highlight about this book: I don't think I've ever read anything so Canadian in my life. Most of my typical reading has characters set in American cities, so whenever I read something that's set in my home country, it stands out for me, and I loved it! Dayna mentions her travels all over Canada, from her hometown of Stratford, Ontario, to Toronto, to her time in Fort St. John, and mentioning her friends and work partners that came from all over the country. Overall, this memoir was packed with exciting, detailed, and honest stories about Dayna Manning's career, travels to support it, and a bunch of other moments that form an interesting career and memoir that have stuck in my mind after I've finished it. You can visit Dayna's website here: https://www.daynamanning.com/home if you want to learn more about her.
I thought this was such an interesting book. I really enjoyed reading it. I never really heard of Dayna Manning before this book, but now I am going to listen to as much of her music as I can. I love how the different chapters were based on different songs from her music career and how each song had a special meaning in her life and why she wrote it. Can not wait to hear more from her.