I get asked this a lot. As I write some fairly bizarre stuff, the answer of, “MY MOM ATE TOO MUCH SPICY FOOD WHEN I WAS IN UTERO” is probably appropriate but also somewhat lacking on the drama front. I’ve talked before about how music influences me. I love music. I have an enormous collection and when I say I have a little bit of everything? It’s no exaggeration. From rap to folk to rock to jazz to hip hop, it sits on my hard drive. And because I love music, I use it to spur me into creative action.
So a happy little post with some music links for y’all in case you’re into that music thing as much as I am. Or in case you want to see how my mind skips from Point A to Point Z (which is a terrifying trajectory to follow, but whatever.)
GUNSMOKE & GLAMOUR
GUNSMOKE is a cowboy fantasy with lots of weird elements like witches and swamp bogies and fairies. It’s also a love story. A dysfunctional love story (because I think dysfunction is fascinating) but a love story all the same. The idea for the book actually came from hearing a single song. This un right here:
“Wear my scars, pink and proud. Still can’t say her name out loud. I guess I lost my head. Let’s put this thing to bed.” I kept thinking about those lines, how tragic they really were, and Clay and Cora’s colossal fuck-ups came to life for me.
Another song that helped me with Clay? Keane’s “A Bad Dream.” Clay gets cursed by a witch in the first chapter of the book and — as he gets sicker — this song became more and more relevant to his story.
THE AWESOME is about a non-conventional girl with non-conventional challenges. Maggie’s my spunky li’l asskicker. She’s an apprentice monster hunter under her mother Janice and after four years of kicking monster butt, she thinks she’s ready to graduate to journeyman. There’s only one problem – vampires like to eat virgins and Maggie’s still the big V. So Maggie sets out to bond with her fellow man, and by bond, I mean make a connection of the crotch kind.
I was a few chapters into this book when Dragonette’s “Pick Up the Phone” got stuck in my head and listening to the lyrics? Yeah. All Maggie, on rotation.
Right along with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll” because, like I said, Maggie’s an asskicker and this is an asskicker anthem:
(Also, apropos of nothing, Maggie the character was inspiration for Maggie the cat. I thought Maggie the cat was super brave and bad-ass when I first brought her home. Come to find out, Maggie’s just really dumb and probably inbred. I love her anyway.)
Horror is a bit of a different beast. As I’m trying to craft something terrible and mind-bending, I want thick, creepy mood. And thick creepy mood comes more from scores than something with lyrics. Words can seomtimes take me OUT of the scene. As such, it should be no surprise that some of MARY’S worst scenes were thanks to some Hans Zimmer from The Ring:
Or Interview With the Vampire’s “Libera Me”:
(Aside number two, Maggie’s predecessor was named Samara after the creepy kid from The Ring because half her face was black, like Samara’s hair covered half of her face.)
WAGON WITCH’S APPRENTICE
WAGON WITCH is a revenge novel. I could gussy it up, but it’s about traveller witches righting a great wrong. It’s bloody and moody and dark, and while I listened to a lot of scores with it (see: Eyes Wide Shut) I found a lot of inspiration in rock opera. Namely? Nightwish.
It kicked ass because Elisabeta and Gran kicked ass in their own gruesome, icky-witch sort of way.
QUINN & DANTE
The new project! An adult fantasy with a fucked-up love story because SURPRISE, HILLARY’S INVOLVED AND I ABHOR NORMAL. While I don’t have a title yet, I have an outline and some words and as of a little while ago, a theme song for Quinn, my little priestess, which means I’ll be listening to this song A LOT in the near future:
There’s also a bit of shame in admitting the next one. So I may have been crafting the first chapter of this book with Taylor Swift playing, BUT IN MY DEFENSE, IT’S NOT HER TYPICAL “I HATE BOYS” FARE, OKAY?
Now that I’ve admitted that, I’m sure you’re all judging me. That’s fine. Judge away.