Best innocent look. “And your point is?”
Yeah, my husband doesn’t buy my innocent look either. I can’t help it. I have to try. He just doesn’t quite get it, though. I neeeeeeeeeed my same three songs over and over. Why?
Because I’m imprinting.
See, I’m one of those folks who is really susceptible to mood suggestions. My moods can be changed by the color of the day, the temperature of the air, and okay, I’m ridiculously susceptible to food commercials. I have no self-control with those things. But above all things, I can literally program my feelings and thoughts to match the theme of a story by giving it a soundtrack. Then, once I have the music in my mind, set to the book I’m working on, it serves as a shortcut to the story. Like mainlining characters. With five kids and a husband who all need something throughout the day, trust me, I neeeeeed a shortcut.
Writing time, or as I think of it, “The thirty seconds between ‘Mom!’s”, is a rare commodity for me. I get as much done in the morning and late at night as I can. Sometimes, the music serves a secondary purpose of waking me up. (If you ever need help with that, you may want to add Nico Vega’s “Beast” to your late night playlist. But, uh, brace yourself. Awesome anthem song but you might blow out your eardrums listening to it.)
I find that every story has a feel. A mood. More than that, each character has a tone, an attitude, a heartache that needs to come across in every thing they do. This was never more true than with my upcoming novel, “Trust In Me”.
This book is intensely emotional, and while it has its generous spots of humor and passion—this is me, so that’s kind of a given—there is also the unveiling of two characters who spend a lot of time holding back their true selves. Getting a shortcut into them was more than convenient. It was imperative.
My hero, Locke Jackman, is a modern day Viking. Quiet to the point of making most people uncomfortable, he’s devoted to his family, the siblings he gave up his dreams to raise. Only now, they’ve all grown up and they’re ready to start their own lives. So he’s a strong, commanding type, but he’s got a heart that’s as strong and dependable as the mountains that surround his Southern California hometown. Interestingly, all of this screamed “Country” to me. And not the bouncy pop country. No, Locke is all Deep South, deep river to me. Songs like Zachary Brown’s “Where The River Goes”. But he’s also a man longing so hard it’s a constant, burning ache. That led me to two John Mayer songs—”Gravity” and “Dreaming With A Broken Heart”. But the one that really cracked me into the man was a song called “This Time”, by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. A song about a man who lost his love and no matter what he did, he held the hope to find her or forget her.
Susie Packard, the woman who struggles not to love him, had to have a soundtrack of her own too. She has a sassiness, a downright crankiness that I loved, but it also covered a vulnerability and a need for Locke’s love she didn’t know how to handle. A good friend, reading my chapters, found this version for me—”Holding Out For A Hero” by Ella Mae Bowen. Broke the book wide open. It still makes me tear up.
And for those sensual times? Totally listened to “Skyfall” by Adele. Nothing like mental imagery of Daniel Craig to make a gal feel frisky, right?
So that’s my “Trust In Me” soundtrack. What about all of you? Do you set your life to music? What songs change your mood and which ones changed your life? Post in the comments and be entered to win an ecopy of your choice from my backlist titles! Giveaway open until 7-24-13 at 11:59pm EST with winner announced shortly after.