scoring a book

I was talking to somebody the other day about music. Not in a general, “Don’t you like music” kind of way, but in a “What music do you play while you write a book?” kind of way. Each author finds a different source of inspiration. Some need absolute silence. Some tv’s. Some only music without words, or only baroque(my critique partner Elizabeth Grayson-Karyn Witmer).When I’m writing my books–especially the character-driven books– I use all kinds of music. The interesting thing is, I usually find one CD and then play it non-stop throughout the whole book. My children have been known to run screaming from the house the minute “Last of the Mohicans” hits the sound system.
For my Kathleen Korbel “Some Men’s Dreams”, it was Nickel Creek. Over and over and over again. For my Eileen Dreyer “Sinner’s and Saints”, which is set in New Orleans, you’d think it should have been jazz, blues. Maybe a little Winton Marsalis or Harry Connick. Nope. Evanescence. For six solid months. If you haven’t heard Evanescence, it’s a dead cross between Puccini and Linkin Park. Brilliant stuff. Evocative. Rawly emotional. The soundtrack for Sinners. I tried using Braveheart once, because the music is beautiful. But I coudln’t concentrate on the book, because I got so depressed. “Oh, there’s where his wife dies” I think, then, ‘Oh, there’s where he’s betrayed by the Bruce”. It really interferes with the writing.
Right now I’m working on two different, but very similar projects. Both involve paranormal, and both are fairy erotic. I find that I’m using similar music, although changing a bit. For the fairy book, which right now is entitled Daughers of the Myth: Dangerous Temptation, I have a selection on the 5 disc CD changer. Two Loreena McKennitt. Nobody puts me in a celtic mood like Loreena.( And on Elemental, I get to play along on my bodhran, the Irish drum that is a very nice stress reducer) . Those are slotted between Evanescence(Never assume that you wear yourself out on only 6 months of the same CD. Especially if it’s good stuff), Dave Matthews Some Devil(SO evocative for me) and Melissa Ethridge’s first album(raw sexuality). It’s the perfect mix for what I’m doing there.
Now for The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, I just skip the Loreena. That’s because Loreena brings a softer, dreamier edge to my work, which just doesn’t work in the Miss Fortunes. So it’s Evanescence (raw emotion) Dave Matthews (I have no idea, but it makes me write better) and Melissa Ethridge(raw sexuality). I also on occasion throw on a little Chris Isaacs(I did mention that I was using a lot of sensuality stuff) or Fiona Apple(read previous parenthesis).
I never know what the music is going to be until I get a ways into the book. I try a lot out, like the Braveheart. But once I’m settled, it never changes. For up to six months.
Well, it’s back to work. Well, actually, the bodhran song has come up. So I’m going to whack at a goat skin for a while, and THEN get back to work.

eileen/kathleen the evil twins

2 thoughts on “scoring a book”

  1. Bibi says:

    That’s quite a lineup: Evanescence, Dave M., Fiona and Chris. All very sexy and sensuous, all with a lot of hips in their music – that being the part of my body that wants to move with it. I like a lot of gothy stuff for the same reasons.

    What do you listen to when you’re just listening for enjoyment?

  2. Bibi,Did I just meet you in Topeka? Rock on. AS for what I listen to, pretty much everything except hard core country and hip hop–although with a DJ for a son, I hear it anyway. Favorites? Loreena McKennitt, Evanescence, NickleCreek, Nickleback(I see a theme), Dave Matthews(what concerts!), and all my oldies like The Beatles, especially Revolver and Rubber Soul, CSN and sometimes Y, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin…etc, etc.

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