Although I’m not a big music lover, there are songs that transport me back to different times in my life, both good and bad. I’m sure this is true for most everyone.
Many authors listen to music to inspire them as they write. My muse needs silence. The only time I’ve needed music for inspiration was when I hit a roadblock as I was writing my Italy-set story, Murder, Mi Amore. I put in a CD of Italian opera music that my Australian cousin’s partner, an international tenor, burned for me. And that music did inspire me and help me over my block.
There are tunes I call “theme songs of my life.” Depending on your age, you’ll have certain songs that take you on a nostalgia-fueled journey. My favorite ones reflect my generation—the fights for women’s rights and civil rights. The anti-war marches, the riots that tore cities apart. And the sexual revolution.
When I was in high school I dated a guy who had no desire to travel anywhere outside of the immediate area where we lived. I always wanted to travel. I haven’t done as much as I’d dreamed of, but I’ve done a fair amount. There was a song popular at the time called “You Belong to Me” by the Duprees. The first line was “See the Pyramids along the
Nile.” Every time I heard
it, I knew I’d be the one traveling and I figured my boyfriend would have to
wait at home for me. Kind of selfish, huh? We broke up so it didn’t matter.
Yet, the rare times I hear the song now, I think of that boyfriend.
I love classic rock and it’s mostly what I listen to, on the radio, and on my iPOD. The rock tunes from the late Sixties, early Seventies take me back to the best time of my life, when I met my husband and when the world was changing drastically. Not everything in that era was good. There was a lot of turmoil, but it was a heady time to be young.
Two songs that have permanent spots in the playlist of my life are from my personal “summer of love” in
. Whenever I hear “Light My Fire” and
“Love Her Madly” by Jim Morrison and the Doers, I can’t help but smile with
warm memories. That was a great summer for me. Margate, NJ
And then there are Christmas carols. I love them. Some may find this music corny, but I sure don’t. Local radio stations begin playing Christmas songs in November, and that’s when I tune in. Listening to holiday music takes me to all the wonderful Christmases I’ve shared with friends and family.
There are many other songs that bring back important times in my life. Some I don’t remember until I hear them on my classic rock station. Then I take a short trip down memory lane.
I know authors who have used songs as inspiration for story plots. Boroughs Publishing Group recently held a novella contest where authors were asked to write stories based on song titles. I didn’t enter the contest, but coincidentally I’d written a short story called Love Potion, based on the rock ditty, “Love Potion Number Nine.” Boroughs bought my story, and it was released August 5, 2013.
What about you authors? Do you listen to music when you write? What music inspires you? For the readers—what music do you like? Does music transport you back to important times in your lives?