So…The Sound of Music
I don’t know when the world for me became a thing that was “felt” so much through music. But at some point, in my early teens, I became obsessed by it. That’s also, I realize now, the same time I began to write seriously. There was a synergy between lyrics and prose. Now, it’s nearly impossible for me to write without it. Often, it even influences the mood of a scene or chapter.
For example, when I needed a song in One In A Million, Book 1 of the Millionth Trilogy that told me exactly how Kyle was feeling about his old high school crush when he finally found her? I took a time capsule called “Scarborough Fair”, a haunting, ethereal, disconcerting little English ballad, centuries old, and asked it to speak to me. It did. And it spoke to Kyle too. Of what was and will never be again.
In the Prologue of A Million to One, Book 2, I wanted a song that conveyed the moment between a husband and a wife on the precipice of a divorce that neither of them really wants. Along came Bruce Springsteen and these lyrics from “Thunder Road”: The door's open but the ride ain’t free. And that’s love in a nutshell, isn’t it? The exhilaration of wide open possibilities accompanied by the costs of how it will change you. Because it will change you. It has to. Or it isn't real love.
In One Plus One, Book 3, I stumbled across Noel Gallagher’s “The Dying of the Light”. Man. That song? Nearly word for word, it fit Kyle’s run to the finish line and the ultimate choice: heaven above or the wife in his heart? Which way would he decide? And what of this Napoleon Villa guy, who had spent an entire life trying to find his way? Where would he end up?
And when it was time to conclude my most recent novel, The Snow Globe? I happened upon a song I’d never heard of before. Nat King Cole’s “Stardust”. In my mind, it was time to pull the camera back, up and away, slowly. Scene…CUT! I was leaving the story, but it was also time to leave Maggie. She was such a rich, deep character, and it hurt. And those violins that open that song? They spoke to that hurt.
I can’t possibly cover all the songs that influenced the books. But for those of you who are interested, I've put them together as public playlists on Spotify, one for The Millionth Trilogy and the other for The Snow Globe (just click the links). I firmly believe that they heighten the experience of reading the books. They certainly heightened the experience of writing them.
Anyway, as always, thanks for reading.
OVERDRIVE: I found out last week that my distributor, Pronoun, has made The Snow Globe available to over 20,000 libraries nationwide. Very cool. Individual libraries still have to decide to carry it (and that often requires individual’s like you to ask them to, hint, hint lol). But it’s a new frontier for discovery by readers and that’s exciting.
THE NEXT BOOK: I’m pleased to announce that last week I finished “Another One”, Book 4 of The Millionth Series!!! Today, it was sent to my editor in the U.K. for a full manuscript critique. July will be edits and revision time and I expect that the release date will be sometime in August. Stay tuned.