May Blog Chain | Absolute Write

On May 18, 2010 by Aimee

This month, in the Absolute Write Blog Chain, the topic is music. Last month, we discussed the characters we’d like to meet from our books and I told you a little bit about Charley and Wyatt, Morgan and Aaron. Well … now we’re discussing what music we ‘associate’ with these characters or the scenes or even the book as a whole.

Most people (and I encourage you to read back through and forward as more post) … most people have long lists of iTunes music — playlists in fact that set the tone for their work.

I did too, when I wrote my first novel. But then, I shut off the music one day and wrote two others completely devoid of any outside musical influence.


Yes. 100%. If there were sounds they were the sounds of my crazy children or one of my favorite TV shows (House or Bones) while I wrote. But I didn’t add music to my life to inspire me. I actually leaned more toward what my characters inspired me to play.

I don’t have a 12 person table with china cabinet and hutch in the middle of my dining room. I don’t even own china or any pretty plates to put into a cabinet like that. Instead, that room, with hardwood floors, painted a deep raspberry and accented with white trim has a 5’2″ black ‘patent leather look’ baby grand piano.

That’s it. Aside from my kids, that’s my baby.

When the mood strikes me, I choose not to listen to music played by others, but to play music written by others. My husband has often noted that he knows what I’m feeling by what I choose to play.

Perhaps it’s Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin, a fun, quirky, upbeat ragtime piece. That might fit in Morgan’s life when she’s in a good, playful mood, but I don’t really associate it with her.

Maybe it’s Bella’s Lullaby by Carter Burwell, (oh, you know the one) … moody but soft and sweet. That I would associate with Charley during the “teen years” with Wyatt.

Or Memory by Andrew Lloyd Weber from the Broadway play Cats. It’s got soft, boisterous, loud, intense all wrapped into one. This one I played a lot during the time I wrote The Gift of Sight (trunked). It was Sarah’s favorite too.

I’m a sucker for romantic piano music, so in the last few months, I’ve played more Jim Brickman than anything else. Why? Oh so many reasons. For one, it fits my mood. Very mellow, contemporary, very romantic. I only play the instrumentals and I don’t play them by memory … I must have the notes in front of me.

But, like reading a book, I can read the notes and they translate to my fingers and with the hammers against the strings of my piano out comes beautiful sound. Jim’s Rocket to the Moon is one of my favorites. So, in this area, when my MC, particular Morgan and Charley are thinking about love, contemplating, at a crossroads, that’s what I play.

And then there are the classics. How about this one? Solfeggietto by Carl Phillipe Emanuel Bach. I actually DO have that one memorized. 🙂 I played it in competition when I was 15. And I actually played it TOO fast. :rolleyes: Go figure, hunh? Anyway, when I need fast, short and get it done kind of music, that one hits the keyboard. When might I use that one? Oh, I’ll let your imagination pick up a few places for it. 😉

Now, read on to others as they have loads of great info to share!

Stefanie Gaither
Hayley E. Lavik
DavidZahir <-- Before me Aimée Laine <-- Me!! egoodlett <-- After me Semmie