Wednesday, January 24, 2018

#Music, My Muse: part 3 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

From Pinterest via Tone Deaf Comics

Today, in part 3 of the Music My Muse series, I’ll be sharing more on mood music and the use of a playlist. (see part 1 and part 2 here).

In my first contribution to this blog, I talked a bit about my stories playing like movies in my head. As much as I love books, I also love movies. Most of my reading life, until recent years, has been filled with science fiction, fantasy, and tales of the paranormal. When I decided to take on the challenge of writing a romantic comedy, it was my love of movies and music that helped me develop the right mindset and my story.

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Over at The ToiBox of Words, I’ve blogged about the movies that influence my book, It’s Like the Full Moon, but I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about the music. It might be difficult to imagine that there are certain songs that make me think of laughter, family gatherings, sickness, death, a good meal, and so much more, but there are. Stretching myself with a genre that was practically foreign to me was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but at least I had mood music with me the whole way to help it all come together.

When I needed help writing about Rebecca’s, my main character, feelings for a lover she’d lost, there were so many songs that came to mind; some sad and some empowering. Since Rebecca’s lover died suddenly and it’s years later that she’s reflecting on the loss, I didn’t want there to be too much sadness. It was important for me to show that she would always love this person even if she moved on a learned to love someone else. Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” really helped me get through that part of the story.

One would think that if you were going to write a party scene that some kind of upbeat happy tune would help get the juices flowing. But, what if you had to write an awkward party scene where none of the guests are really having fun and there’s a secret lingering in the air for two of the attendees, one of which is the guest of honor? Amy Winehouse’s version of “It’s My Party” really helped me get into the awkward party mood. On another note, when you’re writing about a smashing-good-time of a party being hosted by a self-absorbed pretty boy, Little Richard’s “I Feel Pretty” might be just what’s needed to inspire that kind of fantastic chaos.

When you’re trying to come up with a happy ending and you’re just not sure if that’s what you’re going to have, finding the right song might help you see if your characters are really meant to be together. Considering that, It’s Like the Full Moon, is a bit of a love triangle story, you must consider that even one person’s happy ending may not be so happy for someone else. That’s why it has to be true love, real love, a love worth fighting for and the triumphant couple must think, “It had to be You.” (Harry Connick Jr.)

If you’d like to experience more of the songs that helped shape the mood and atmosphere of It’s Like the Full Moon, please check out the "A side" playlist of the dream soundtrack I posted to YouTube. (B side is also available on my channel.)
Now for something a little different. In this section, I’ll be sharing quotes from other authors and bloggers, I’ve collected in over 200 interviews, when asked, ‘When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

“Can't stand heavy metal. Love lyrical songs, such as "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen.” ~ Randy Attwood

“The song that sums up my entire married life is “Remember When” by Alan Jackson.  The one that makes me cry the most at this point of my life is “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Atkins. The music I like least is rap, unless I happen to be in a roller skating rink at the time.” ~ Paula Hrbacek

“JoshGroban calms me and makes me travel in my mind outside myself. He eases the stress that comes when the music (if you can call it music) is doing its cattle-call outside. No, not country music, that stuff that pounds and screams and makes you think of the movie, Psycho. There are some things a writer can control, other things she can't.” ~ Kathryn E Jones
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Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.

#moodmusic, #music, #romance, #party, #authorquotes, #Pinterest