Writer-Talk Tuesday: The Soundtracks of Our Stories
In my years of experience hanging out with both published authors and unpublished writers, it’s not unusual to hear writers talking about the “soundtracks” of their stories—the music they listen to to help them get into the world of their stories.
After all . . . there’s a reason TV shows and movies have music.
Music helps set a mood, evoke emotion, and recall imagery.
It’s no secret that when I was writing Stand-In Groom, I had a very specific soundtrack that I listened to to get “in the mood” to write—and very specific songs I listened to over and over as I crafted certain scenes (most especially Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” and “Return to Me”—and if you’ve read the book, you know which scenes I’m talking about!) In fact, for my 500th blog post contest, in addition to giving away copies of my very first book, I gave away copies of a CD I burned with the songs mentioned in the book.
- Ain’t That a Kick in the Head—Dean Martin
Mona Lisa—Nat “King” Cole
The Coffee Song—Frank Sinatra
Memories Are Made of This—Dean Martin
Come Fly with Me—Frank Sinatra
Unforgettable—Nat “King” Cole
I’ve Got You Under My Skin—Frank Sinatra
I Can’t Give You Anything but Love—Dean Martin
It Had to Be You—Harry Connick Jr.
I Get a Kick out of You—Frank Sinatra
That’s Amore—Dean Martin
Someone to Watch Over Me—Frank Sinatra
Return to Me—Dean Martin
For Menu for Romance, it was less about specific music and more about specific movies—and one specific song from one specific John Wayne movie.
With A Case for Love, it was all about the Waltz—it’s one-two-three, one-two-three, Forbes.
While I was almost always listening to music while writing the Matchmakers series, it was more just to have something in the background that matched the mood of the scenes I was writing—predominantly instrumental, usually movie soundtracks.
When it comes to the Ransome Trilogy, I have very specific movie soundtracks I went to . . . Captain Blood, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, The Sea Hawk, The Pirates of Penzance, Master and Commander, and more. Music that evokes both a certain era and a certain imagery.
For the Great Exhibition series, it’s been a little harder to find soundtrack music that fits. The tracks from the Austen film adaptations are okay—though they do call to mind the empire-waisted white gowns of the early 19th century and not the bell-shaped skirts and long, pointed waistlines of 1851. So these been my go-to soundtracks (click the cover to hear my favorite piece from each album):
What is your favorite music to write by? Do you have a soundtrack for each of your stories—specific music you turn on when you need to get into the world of your story or the heads of your characters?