When you think of an author, you think of one who writes books. Which, of course, is true. But there are many other activities that go hand in hand with researching, writing and promoting a book. Writing is pretty self-explanatory: a writer, his/her writing device, a semi-coherent brain (most of the time).
Researching a novel takes many forms: books, videos, digging through old newspapers, road trips, interviewing persons with certain experiences, nagging experts for input. And then there are the less obvious, experiences that you must with share with your character. For instance, I once went out into the woods behind my house in the middle of the night (super dark) and walked around barefoot because I made my character do it. Truthfully, it was a lot scrapes and mosquito bites for a couple of paragraphs–and not all that surprising in what it revealed. But that’s the way of it; sometimes you get a truffle, sometimes just a dirty nose. I’ve flown in bi-planes, smelled horse barns, loaded myself down with the equipment a solder must carry into battle, eaten things I’d rather not, ridden motorcycles, and been beaten by the wind in the open door of a low-flying Huey. It’s the little things, you know?
And of course, there is music to put the mind in a particular mood (although I never, never listen while I’m writing–I require complete silence). So, when my publisher asked if I could assemble a “playlist” for THE MYTH OF PERPETUAL SUMMER (June 19, 2018), I was more than happy to oblige. Many of these songs had been going through my head already. But the real treat was spending a Sunday afternoon taking a melodic trip in time–1958 through 1972 to be more precise–and discovering so many that fit the book that hadn’t yet occurred to me.
I’m a believer in the power of words (obviously). And when you pair those words with the power and suggestion of a melody, well that’s real magic. Please share your music stories. What songs would you choose from this time period? Does music affect you deeply, or is it simply background noise?