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Inspirations – When music creates stories, characters

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Most authors agree on the power of music when writing a story. I’ve read several acknowledgements at the end of novels where authors directly credit songs with impacting part of their work, if not the whole piece. Some writers enjoy listening to inspirational music while they write (such as my friend Linda Fry, author of the Trinity Key Trilogy. Others, like me, may prefer silence while writing, but will then use music in our downtimes to inspire the favorite scenes in our novels, or even entire story concepts. Here are a few of my beloved inspirations, and maybe you’ll share some of your favorites as well!

Concept music

One of my best finds in the past year is Liquid Cinema. My discovery of this company is a good story all by itself. I was watching a trailer for the 75th anniversary release of Gone with the Wind, and most of the music was from the movie, except for one excerpt during a particularly dramatic part of the trailer. I searched far and wide to find out whose instrumental music this was, even making a deal with a girl in Japan for us to help each other locate it. Four months later, I discovered a board discussing that specific part of the trailer and its music, and was introduced to “Era” by Liquid Cinema. In that song, I pictured a whole movie trailer for my novel Fortune, and even changed some scenes to have more dramatic visuals because of the composition. Other “whole concept” music for me includes “Soldier of Fortune” and “Aeterna” by Liquid Cinema, as well as Le Reve’sOvertureby Benoit Jutras.

Scene music

The first time I really thought about “scene” music was when I was thinking about the final scene of my Teen Mobster Series, a wedding in Covert Criminal (because what Mafia series shouldn’t have an Italian wedding?). Strange as it was, I could see a montage of the wedding to Colbie Caillat’s “Brighter than the Sun”. It just made me happy, even if it didn’t scream Godfather-type wedding. Then there was Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up”  and The Script’s “Living in the Hall of Fame”  for my YA novel Fierce. Finally, “Hangin’ By A Thread” by Jann Arden and Labyrinth’s (with my favorite Emeli Sande!)Beneath Your Beautiful”, which I first heard on So You Think You Can Dance episodes, were perfect for my dramatic YA contemporary When The Monsters Come.

Anyway, the list goes on and on. On my way home from dropping my kids at school, I play music that inspires both the scenes and concepts of my work in progress, and often, by the time I sit down to write, the words just pour from me.

So how about you? Which artists/songs make you say, “I’m writing a book on that!”?

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