To explain what music means to me, I need to tell you a bit about my family. My mother sang for The Metropolitan Opera and my brother played in The United States Navy Band. My husband is a crazy-talented musician, playing five instruments. He also sings and has perfect pitch. My children all play a musical instrument.
And then there's me. I have no personal musical talent or calling. I neither play an instrument nor sing with any particular skill. My mother gave up teaching me piano when she realized I was memorizing the fingering rather than reading the music notes. Not to brag, but I can still play Für Elise, Chariots of Fire, and the theme to Hill Street Blues. Still can't read a note of them, though.
I am, however, quite expert at listening to music. I enjoy just about every style, from classical to punk, opera to hip-hop, and everything in between. It doesn't hurt that my childhood occurred during the best decade for music, in my opinion - the 80s. Music is always playing in my house, my car, and even my backyard.
My latest release, A Marquis For All Seasons, tells the story of Lady Miranda, who balks at the expectation she marry sooner rather than later, and Lord Stafford, who chafes at his (sometimes) overwhelming responsibilities to title and family. Together they decide to fool their families into thinking they are in love in the hopes of staving off the inevitable for just a little while longer. Shenanigans ensue.
It seems perfectly natural to me that the characters I dream up are accompanied by their own soundtracks. Sometimes I hear a song that inspires a scene or reaction in a character, and other times I write a scene that reminds me of a song. It works both ways. As my genre is historical romance, I naturally hear symphonies and orchestras while penning party and dance scenes. I especially love Beethoven - Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale) and Mozart - Piano Sonata 9. But that's about as “old fashioned” as the music gets. My characters are as independent as the time period allows, intelligent and fun-loving. Cue the back beat, baby.
My heroine, Lady Miranda, is strong yet feminine. She occasionally goes too far but always reels herself back, and when she fell in love, she was completely blindsided. Kelly Clarkson's song Miss Independent really epitomized her character. I also played songs like Pink - Don't Let Me Get Me and Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire when writing her scenes.
Lord Stafford made me channel my 80s roots a bit more. He's tough on the outside, marshmallow on the inside. Some songs he made me listen to: The Jesus and Mary Chain - Head On, Eagles - The Long Run, and Nelly - Just a Dream.
This couple smooths out each other's rough edges. He reins in her impulsiveness while she helps him loosen up and enjoy life. Their story drew me to blast songs such as Coldplay - Us Against the World, Christina Perri - A Thousand Years, and Colbie Caillat - Bubbly.
When I write, the words and characters play out like scenes from a movie in my mind. And like any well-rounded movie, those scenes have a little something extra in the background that sets the tone, amps up the feelings, and conveys the mood: music.
About A Marquis For All Seasons -
Book Title: A Marquis For All Seasons
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Heat Level: Sensual
Sexual Orientation: M/F
Content Warnings: Mild expletives
Lady Miranda Leighton and the Marquis of Stafford, Roman de Courtenay, have a similar problem: their families want them to find a spouse. Together they hatch the perfect scheme: in Society, he will play escort to Lady Miranda and his sister, but for their families, they will pretend an attachment, all in pursuit of one last season of unencumbered entertainment. Yet, in each other's constant company, they find their ruse giving rise to some surprisingly very real feelings. What happens when you set out to fool Society, but only end up fooling yourselves?
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