Saturday, August 31, 2013

Not Exactly Playlists

When I first started writing, a long time ago, I did listen to music. It wasn't anything as sophisticated as a playlist created for each writing project but more of a compilation of my personal favorites. I have wildly eclectic tastes so there might be a drum-heavy 1950's track followed by a showtune following by Lady GaGa or Ne-Yo. But very shortly after I'd sit down to write, the music would fade from my consciousness and I really didn't pay any attention to it.

In the last few years, I don't play music at all when I write. As others have said this week, now it would be too much of a distraction, instead of a way to guide my mind into focussing on the creative task at hand.

My favorite thing to do is go for long drives on the California freeways, just blasting tunes from my iPod and think over plot ideas. The driving and the music seem to really get the creative juices flowing. The catch here is that now I live only three miles away from work, instead of the hour plus commute I used to have, so I don't get that daily plotting session. On the upside, neither am I subject to the vagaries of the freeways! All in all, I think I prefer the current situation and I'll do my plotting sessions in a different fashion.

Even if I did do playlists, I'd be reticent to share them because what might set my Muse (there she is - I knew you were waiting!) to happily writing a certain scene or character probably has no resemblance to the story I'm working on. It isn't a soundtrack! For example, I wrote one entire science fiction novel basically to the "Riverdance" soundtrack and key portions of the book to the Russian dervish dance music set on endless repeat. Why? I don't know, something about that combination of sounds was just amping up my creativity at that moment in time. Here's the youtube clip and I have to say I really love these dancers, who were amazing athletes and performers.

Occasionally I'll get inspiration for a character from a song though, which brings me to my newly released science fiction romance ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE. There's a supporting character, a Sectors Special Forces sergeant who at one point had quite a backstory, as far as wanting to sing in bars when he was on leave, and not quite having the sheer musicality to carry it off, shall we say. Well he still has all that backstory of course, but now it's been edited from the novel. I left a few tiny references to his singing here and there to please myself LOL. But in this case, years ago I happened to hear "Nothin But the Tail Lights" by Clint Black and there was Mitch, full blown in my head. (To be clear, I love the song and I've always enjoyed Clint Black's singing - Mitch is not meant to BE him! A wanna-be maybe...) Andi and Tom, the main characters, couldn't make their perilous way across Zulaire without Mitch, trust me. (Or don't trust me and read the book for yourself - shameless pitch now inserted.) Here's the best version of the song I could find. Apparently Mr. Black never made a formal video so I certainly apologize for the quality of the sound.)

 And the book's blurb is below!

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.
Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.
That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.
Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.
(Trust me, Mitch is in the book! See you next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment