Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Guest Post: Julie Shackman

Music To My Ears

By Julie Shackman
I’ve read recently about the growing trend for authors to come up with a “soundtrack” to their novel – songs which are suited to the story or characters in some way, or which help inspire the writer.

Seeing as music is one of my great passions (apart from reading, writing, handbags and pretty stationery) I think this is a great idea. Anything to help get those creative juices flowing, eh?

Music plays a large part in my debut contemp romance (with a paranormal twist) “Rock My World” and it must be about a year ago now, when I first heard the wonderful Thea Gilmore song, “Love Came Looking For Me.”

I was up to my elbows writing my novel but as soon as I heard the lyrics, I immediately realised this would be THE song for my protagonist, Ruby Cameron. The message of being cynical and virtually closed off over the affairs of the heart, to suddenly have someone special appear as if out of nowhere and knock you sideways, was exactly what I envisaged Ruby going through.

On the occasions I felt like I needed inspiration, I’d play this song and it definitely helped me re-connect with Ruby all over again.

As for my hero, Matt Jardine, it was a song from the late 1980s, “The World Is Lit By Lightning” by Deacon Blue, which I imagined him really relating to. Matt is handsome, a talented journalist and undeniably sexy. He also comes from a privileged background and at the beginning, gives the impression that he truly believes he’s a “cut above.”

The lyrics to this fantastic song, summed up the turmoil Matt was going through after meeting Ruby –he has never met anyone like her before and he doesn’t feel in control. To him, it really is as if his very comfortable, well-connected world has been hit by a lightning bolt.

Stevie Vee, my ghostly local rock singer, reached out to me whenever I played “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi. Stevie is an individual; creative and a bit of a rebel. He’s determined to squeeze every last minute out of life, but when that life is snatched from him at the age of 29, he understandably feels cheated.

Whenever and wherever I’m writing, I have to have the warm, comforting waves of music in the background. It certainly seems to help me focus on what I’m doing and give my imagination a kick-start whenever I’m struggling to get the “writing motor” into first gear!

Whatever you write and whatever inspires you – please keep reading, please keep writing and never give up.

Julie Shackman.

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