Sunday, October 2, 2011


Music is a huge part of my life. Which is ironic, since I can't carry a tune in a bucket. But that doesn't stop me from singing in church or belting out a tune in the car along with the radio.

I listen to music all the time. It's the best pick-me-up there is. If I'm feeling tired or down or sad, I pop in a CD and it helps me to feel better. My genre of choice is country, and the artist of choice these days around our house is Eric Church. We don't go anywhere without one of his CDs or his songs loaded on the iPhone.

I'm not necessarily a morning person, but if I turn on music while I'm getting ready for school, it helps get me going. Yesterday while cleaning the house, we had music playing upstairs and down. Music is a must for working out. This is one place where country works, but something a little edgier is motivating, too.

I was a hair band addict in high school: Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Motley Crue. My sister and I spent more money on concert tickets than anything else during our teen years. (Jon Bon Jovi still does it for me even though he's shorn his locks.)

Now, when I write, I generally don't listen to music, unless it's classical...something without words. Scores from movies work well, too. (Pirates, Star Wars, Twilight) Something to have in the background to drown out noise from other parts of the house. Music with words is too distracting when I'm trying to come up with my own words to tell a story.

But even though I don't listen to music with lyrics while I write, music inspires me to write. The idea for my free read from Wild Rose, Mistletoe and Folly came to me while I was listening to a Toby Keith Christmas song. A crooning by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton inspired my upcoming A Christmas to Remember. I even did a blog post about my music muse at Morgan Mandel's site a while back.

I try to include music in my writing. Not necessarily making my characters singers (Although I do have a few ideas floating around for that, too!), but to give them depth and personality. My hero may whistle a favorite Conway Twitty song. Or my heroine might sing along with George Jones on the radio. Or she may scope the hero's CD collection to see what he likes.

I can't imagine life without music.

How about you?

Until next time,



  1. Music's definitely a must for me. Every story has to have a song to go with it, even if it doesn't get mentioned anywhere but in my "how I came up with this story" anecdotes. Revising's different. I've found I need quiet to focus.

    (And, oh yeah, Debra. I was a Bon Jovi fan too. Dragged the DH to quite a few of his concerts when we were younger! ;)) Good luck with your stories. :)

  2. I'm completely the opposite. I like a lot of music and have loads of CDs (and tapes and even the old vinyl) but these days, the only place I seem to listen to any music is when I'm driving.
    But I did have a Nile boatman who sang Elvis songs in my just-submitted latest novel!

  3. Hi Julianne,

    It's always nice to meet a fellow Bon Jovi fan!

    I also like 'theme' songs for my stories, even if the initial inspiration wasn't a song.

  4. Paula, An Elvis-singing-Nile-boatman?...I love it!

  5. LOL, he invented himself, Debra - I even thought 'Where on earth did HE come from?' when he first appeared! I loved him too, and decided I needed to give him a bigger part to play in the story - so he ended up with quite a pivotal role!
    It's at times like that when I wonder just who is in charge of the story - in this case, obviously not me!

  6. I love it when the characters take charge of the story and tell it on their makes my job so much easier!

  7. Hi Debra,

    Lovely write-up and, we all learn a little more about each other as writers.

    Oh, classical music is the thing when writing highly emotional scenes within a novel. In particular the music from the ballet Romeo & Juliet can pull forth tears, and Sleeping Beauty inspires superb emotional pull for male characters. That said, specific songs from opera are so beautiful and so heart wrenching they're perfect: the duet from Lakme or Cosy fan Tutte, the female duet from Figaro, Mimi's song in La Boheme, and the Harakiri (suicide) scene from Madame Butterfly. This song haunts the mind, the music alone depicting the image of imminent death and of undying love!

    That said, modern music has played a part in inspiration of specific pieces of writing: Sting's Fields of Gold, Ella Fitzgerald singing Blue Moon, Dean Martin's Three Coins in a Fountain. But all only contributing in part to something already inspired by an image!

    Mimi's song from La Boheme features in my novel, which is due release next July with WCP. It's a pivotal moment when the reader knows the hero and heroine have eyes only for each other, yet the heroine cannot reveal a truth that would ruin something that must end without her. ;)



  8. Hi Francine,

    It is fun learning about each other as we go, isn't it?

    Classical music does tend to lead to strong emotions. (I also use it in my classroom - certain pieces - to calm the kids while they brings a feeling of peace. I use Bach a lot for that.)

  9. Hi all. I tend to get distracted easily, so I don't listen to music as I write. But I am inspired by it and when listening in the car or elsewhere recognize certain songs as being appropriate to certain stories I write. On my website, I've started listing songs that go with my books, and found a free "thing" that enables visitors to listen to the music when they visit my book pages. I think it helps flesh out the story experience.

  10. Hi Jennifer,

    I love songs that go with certain books. Many popular authors have 'soundtracks' for their you're definitely on the right page!

    Would you mind sharing the free 'thing' you found?

  11. Debra, I have no problem sharing it, but I don't do my website myself because I have no clue when it comes to technology. I don't remember where I found it, but I passed it along to my web designer and she puts it up there. If you go to my website (, to the Books tab and then click on the individual book title (either A Heart of Little Faith or Skin Deep), you should see it there. If you need more info, I can ask my web designer and get you the specific info.