For Writers, Writing

Music as Inspiration

I can’t stress enough how much I love music. It’s always playing in my life because it’s my addiction and my vice. My entire world has a soundtrack. I have thousands of songs and hundreds of playlists of every genre, many of which would be politely considered eclectic but my friends call them downright freaking insane. There are playlists in my life that mix Fetty Wap and Dean Martin, Johnny Cash and Vivaldi, Zepplin and Empire of the Sun. You get the idea. They work for me because music inspires me so my ideas often progress in a way that justifies these transitions.

My characters, plots, scenes and themes are all inspired by songs and the feelings those songs bring out in me. When writing a serial killer, I’m playing more punk rock and Mongolian black metal than when I’m working through a romance scene and every other song is one of Chris Cornell’s acoustic covers. Long ago, before I learned to channel my ideas into stories, I was going to be a songwriter and my brain was bursting with ideas, just overflowing with fantastic lyrics. That was great except that I couldn’t write a chorus to save my life and eventually realized I was writing poetry, not lyrics. A lot of them are quite dark, although that was never my intention but there are lighter ones too, mainly about love.

Looking back now, I can match most of those poems to old character sketches. Most will never see the light of day because the characters don’t fit into my current work but a few stand out. Back then they were rough character sketches made for a series of short stories I never completed, but I was so taken with some that they evolved to become important pieces in the Cady Blackwell series, most notably Cady herself, but also her crush, her best friends and more than one of the villains.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression because Go For Broke is heavy on romance and pretty steamy, so while the bad guys may have inspired some of the darker poems (or vice versa, I’m still not really sure), the book isn’t heavy at all. I’ll only say that this one captures the wonder that Cady sees in the world around her and the lovesick ones are obviously about her crush. I’ll post the rest without comment because I’m curious to see if readers make any connections between the poems and characters once they read the books.

My Life

Though I need not wander here
I walk this path today 

This may not be the right place for me
But I'm here just the same

I carry onward high and low
Searching all the while

Mesmerized by all I see
And all that I do find

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