MONROE – For Carol Selick, growing up in the late 1960s, early 1970s, and trying to make it into the music business was often challenging.
Big music women influencers of the time included Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, to name a few.
“The women of that time period were caught between wanting to fulfill their parents’ expectations of getting married and having children, but yet there was an entire revolution happening and women were gaining their independence,” Selick said. “There was the [birth control] pill. It was just a very exciting time and a lot of very unique experiences have reflected my experiences.”
Selick, who grew up in East Brunswick, spent time in South Brunswick and now lives in Monroe, describes the time in her new coming of age novel “Beyond the Song,” which she self-published through BookBaby in 2021.
“This is a book I really wanted to write my entire life,” she said, noting 80% of the book is loosely based on her life and her experiences during when she described as a “tumultuous time.” “I started working on it in my late 20s and then put it down many times. I started to work again with it about seven years ago.”
Each chapter of the book begins with original lyrics, lyrics of women singer/songwriters, who had big influences on Selick, as well as successful songwriter Rose Marie McCoy, who Selick has been fortunate to work with and become friends with.
“She [McCoy] wrote for a lot of famous people like [singers] Nat King Cole, Tina Turner, and Elvis,” Selick said.
In “Beyond the Song,” Selick takes readers into the time of the late 1960s, early 1970s and into the mind of a young woman, trying to be creative, trying to make it into the music business and trying to figure out life lessons.
“One song that I wrote ‘Grown Up Children Can’t Survive’ is the most important [life] lesson for me,” Selick said. “That lesson has been believing in yourself, not listening to your parents, not having peer pressure … really figuring out who you are.”
And it may have taken her 50 years or so, but Selick said that important life lesson has been fulfilled.
Selick went on to also teach piano lessons for 30 years and early childhood music.
In the book, Selick also touches upon people who have guided her through her life, including the grandmother she never met. Her father’s family was killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust with only one uncle surviving.
“My grandmother who I never met, she was like a guardian angel to me,” she said.
Selick, who describes her music as through a “woman’s blues perspective,” put together a musical presentation for the book, which she presented last month at the Long Branch Free Public Library for Women’s History Month.
She is participating in an author event at MarketFair in Princeton on April 23. On April 26 at 2 p.m., she will discuss and sing some selections with musical accompaniment Dave Schlossberg, at the Monroe Township Public Library. Registration is required.
And on May 7, Selick will present at Local Authors Day at the Princeton Public Library.
For more information, visit www.carolselickmusic.com.