I’m sick. Like head-full-of-gross-mucus sick. Burgundy Hart 2 is plotted, so I’m being kind to myself and relaxing for a few days. That means I’m chilling with books and movies and music.
Music is kind of a big deal to me. It shapes our lives. Much like books, music leaves an impression that we don’t forget easily. I am one of those writers who listens to music while I work. It depends on the story, of course, but I find that music can help set the tone for what I’m writing. Sometimes I even make playlists for certain stories.
Much of the time, though, I hear something on the radio that I haven’t heard in a long time and it correlates with the story perfectly. It probably confuses my daughter a bit to see me bouncing around and yelling, “That’s my jam!” But that’s part of the beauty of music. A song I haven’t heard since 1990 comes on and, suddenly, I’m fifteen again.
My musical genres of choice are classic rock, 80s pop, 90s grunge and pop, and heavy metal, but I suppose I’ve mellowed in my middle age. Now, more often than not, I listen to whatever pop is on the radio. My husband cringes, but I can’t help but feel empowered by songs like this:
However, I still get pulled back in time by classic rock and music from the 80s and 90s. So many of those songs are about fighting and triumphing over adversity. And maybe that’s what I really love – not the genre or decade, but the theme that connects them.
One of the things I strive to create is a main character who can take care of herself. She doesn’t need a man and shouldn’t need a man. But she can have him if she wants him. That’s the fun thing about writing romance in a speculative world, whether it’s dystopian or paranormal, steampunk or sci-fi. You can still have the chemistry, tension, and HEA, but the woman gets there on her own terms. And I feel like the music I listen to helps me shape women who are strong and independent, and capable of choosing who they give their time, energy, and love to.