Today we have author of Wedding Date for Hire, Jennifer Shirk, on EverAfter to discuss the importance of having a book soundtrack, as well as sharing her playlist for the book. Take it away Jennifer!
Early on in my writing career, I never did anything “outside the box” of just plotting a book and then writing it. I would even look at other writers strangely when they told me how they would create playlists for their books.
Really? I thought, as they described the process. Is all that truly necessary?
Then. Eventually. I tried it. And now I’m hooked and a firm believer that every one of my books have their own soundtrack. And here’s why: writing is a creative process. Everything we see, hear, smell, and taste can affect that. Maybe even without us realizing it!
Some authors, like Jennifer Crusie, use images and make collages to help cultivate their writing process. Crusie explains it this way: “…the best of what we do comes from the subconscious soup that’s bubbling away beneath our logic.”
I totally agree!! The difference is I use music.
When I first even THINK about plotting a new book, I pick some random music (old and new) on Rhapsody. Then I close my eyes and really listen to the lyrics and melody. Certain songs inspire a mood or image, and if I think it fits with the story I eventually want to tell, I add it to my playlist. Titles of the songs are important too. Everything contributes to the theme and overall impression.
Once I have a playlist created of about ten or more songs, I can begin to outline and plot. In that process, songs get added and songs get deleted because the book will start to take on a life of its own. But all the music choices help me figure that out. By the time I’m done plotting, I can almost see the book in my mind like a person sees a movie playing out with the soundtrack adding to the emotional feel of it.
I don’t listen to my playlist when I actually begin writing, but I find it does help me stay in the right mood when I’m in the editing process.
For my latest release, Wedding Date for Hire, the overall mood was fun and lighthearted but there are also some songs based on my character’s internal issues as well.
I hope you all get a chance to read Wedding Date for Hire and see for yourself if those songs fit the story!
Diana Krall: “Alone Again” (for my heroine Maddie)
ABBA: “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do…”
The Swell Season: “Falling Slowly”
Johnny Marr: “Easy Money”
Nat King Cole: “Pretend”
Brandon Heath: “I’m Not Who I Was” (for my hero Trent)
Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in no way at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.
She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Amazon/Montlake Romance, and now Entangled Publishing.
Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.