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Brendan Slocumb on how fact inspired fiction in 'The Violin Conspiracy'

Brendan Slocumb is then author of "The Violin Conspiracy"
Brendan Slocumb is then author of "The Violin Conspiracy"

Brendan Slocumb is a musician, teacher, podcast host and author and his February 2022 release The Violin Conspiracy instantly hit bestseller lists. People are still raving about this one, so I lept at the opportunity to speak with Brendan about his first novel, which was recently released in paperback.

The book follows a young Black musician, Ray, who discovers his instrument, a family heirloom, is worth a fortune and is stolen just before an international classical music competition. Brendan’s own experiences with racism as a Black classical musician inspired some of the events in the book.

I recently spoke with Brendan Slocumb about the impact of racism, his writing process, and how his rigorous musical training prepared him for publishing. Here's our conversation.


The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb was published by Vintage.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita and is part of the NPR Podcast Network.

  • Mark Statzer and Torin Andersen - engineers
  • Lu Anne Stephens & Haley Crowson - editors
  • Haley Crowson - producer
  • Karlee Cooper - marketing coordinator
  • Beth Golay - host

Follow Beth Golay on Twitter @BethGolay.

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.