Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rhythm of the Night: Creating a Playlist

by Nancy Gideon

I'm often asked if I write while listening to music. The answer, no. But that said, music is an integral part of my writing process. Each book has its own rhythm, its own beat that throbs like the heart of each character. The minute I start imagining scenes, a soundtrack starts to develop based on the backgrounds and emotions I intend to develop and refine. Those levels of conflict, of heat or social strata trickle down into a tempo that threads through the chapters, influencing what's playing in my 6-disk changer as I drive to work thinking up dialog or pull off iTunes.

My "House of Terriot" shape-shifter series has a rough and rocky backbeat driving my bad boy princes. Cale, their new king's is hard and heavy (Imagine drivers in the next car glancing over to see this old gal head banging to German metal and Rob Zombie!). Turow, the quiet, dutiful brother in PRINCE OF HONOR is a mellow 60's kind of guy, Colin, the heartbreaker in PRINCE OF POWER, my new release, is lost in the '70s and '80s of classic rock, and hot-headed Rico, in PRINCE OF FOOLS, my W-I-P is hip-hop. What's left for Kip, in PRINCE OF DREAMS? Show tunes?

Beyond the type of tunes, there's the message that resonates in the heart and soul of what the characters are dealing with, past, present and potential future, lyrics that speak of their personal journey, longings and fears. That "take a knife all edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul" The Boss sings about. These are universal melodies that bridge classifications from Pop to Soul.

Putting together a playlist is like laying out the plotline of the book, with arcs and dark valleys, sweet dreams and fierce dramas. Colin and Mia's journey in PRINCE OF POWER comes with a wealth of my old rock favorites that I used to spin on the stereo when I had big hair, mixed with modern hits plucked from Sirius Satellite that speak of his demons and desires, of the volatile love triangle between an enemy and two brothers, and the fragile nature of love. Take the playlist for a spin and feel the heartbeat of the story.





Obsessed with an enemy - the only female to ever walk away from him . . .

Colin . . . Prince in the House of Terriot

Brawny, cynical negotiator for his clan, Colin Terriot sees a move to New Orleans as an escape from a painful past and his reputation as a legendary lover. What he didn't expect was to fall hard for a rival spy, the female who tricked and betrayed him by leaving his bed for his brother's. Now, he now must work with her, up close and personal, as the envoy for her clan. Things are about to heat up.

Determined to have him - even if having him means losing all . . .

Mia . . . Strong-willed Guedry heir

Denied her rightful legacy, Mia Guedry plans to stake her claim over the bodies of those who killed her family. But best laid plans fall before her desire for the one male she can't resist, the one who will never trust her once burned by her necessary deceptions. Saving her Terriot prince from plans already in motion may cost more than her inheritance . . . the price could be her life.

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“Get ready for fifty shades of tall, dark and deliciously dangerous with Colin Terriot, the hottest shifter yet! Five Stars!” – Book Bling

“Hold onto your heart (& your panties, ladies!) . . . the Terriot princes are back! Things are heating up in New Orleans in this powerful story of obsession, betrayal and revenge. Intricately woven plot lines and complex characters carry PRINCE OF POWER to a block buster revelation in another Page Burning Must Read! Five Hearts!” – Cross My Heart Reviews

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What's on your current playlist?

Happy listening and happy reading!

Nancy Gideon on the Web



7 comments:

Diane Burton said...

When I read about authors having playlists for each story, I assumed they meant tunes they listened to while writing. I thought I must be weird (no comments, Nancy, LOL) because I can't write with music in the background. Music with lyrics are distracting. I might listen to New Age (like Enya) or light classical (no lyrics) or songs with foreign words (like Andrea Bocelli). So, I'm pleased to learn that you don't listen to music while writing. All that being said, I see what you mean about the rhythm of your books, each hero having a type of music. That is so cool. Best wishes on that new release. It's on my TBR list.

CJ Burright said...

I love how all your characters vibe toward a different type of music! And if I saw you headbanging in your car, it would make my day. :) There's an older local guy who drives a little convertible cooper around town blaring It's My Life by Bon Jovi and singing his heart out. Just hearing him lifts my mood. Metallica + the San Francisco Symphony = awesome. Great post, Nancy!

Victoria Craven said...

Nancy, you never fail to amaze me. Your processes are unique and compelling. I can't wait to read your book.

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks, ladies!! It's the quirky extras that make the job so much fun!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Music is such a powerful creative tool. I'm trying to write a book set in the late 40's early 50's and listening to songs of that era just move my brain to that time and feed the imagination. But I rarely listen to music when writing, unless there are no words.

J.L. Campbell said...

I agree that putting together a playlist makes for a richer experience in terms of writing a book. The music does evoke emotions that help me get right into my characters' heads.

Patsy said...

Interesting approach. The nearest I come to using music for writing is to use song titles as inspirationon for short stories.