Monday, January 21, 2008

Inspiration: Music

It should come as no surprise that writers often turn to music for inspiration. After all, musicians and writers both struggle to connect to their audiences--only the medium is different.

For me, the quintessential artist whom I draw on for inspiration is Van Morrison. It never fails to tickle this home-grown Jersey girl that she turns to a modern Irish bard instead of a blue collar Bruce Springsteen when she needs to crystalize her vision.

For me, Van's music is integral to my MS. I originally had some of his lyrics begin my paranormal romance because they summed up my hero so perfectly. I'm not alone in loving songs since many romance authors post a list of songs that make up their book's "soundtrack." You can bet that Van will be featured prominently when I post my own list.

His songs touch on the same themes that my stories do. They explore a spiritual connection, expound a sense of wonder, articulate human failings and glorify love. His melodies sweep me off my feet and deposit me in a different place and often a different time.

I saw him in concert once--many years ago as a callow youth. And I didn't understand half of what I was listening to. I wanted the obvious hits, not the musical journey he offered at that time. Now I am both older now and wiser and his songs have become the good friends that I turn to when the blank page stares back at me and the white noise in my mind refuses to quiet.

My thanks,Van, for the gift of inspiration.

So what singer/songwriters inspire you?


(special thanks to Lichtdesigner on Flickr for the photo)


  1. It completely depends on what I'm writing. Sometimes I create playlists and burn CD's of my characters' music tastes, which I then play while I write.

    One thing I CAN'T play when I write is soundtracks. That's someone else's vision, and it interferes with mine.

    Most of the time, unless I'm writing something specific to a character in first person, while I'm writing, I have to have on music without lyrics, or the lyrics interfere.

    I use a lot of jazz or Celtic music when I write.

    If it's a period piece, I play music from the era.

    Ink in My Coffee

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  3. Does out taste in musical inspiration reflect our age? I love Judy Garland and Julie Andrews....

  4. I need quiet when I am actually writing. I put together a whole soundtrack after the fact. Still, individual songs spark story ideas and I love that.



  5. When I wrote the first meeting of my hero, a werewolf, and my heroine, I played "Broken," over and over. It seemed to be the perfect song for the rainy night woods they encountered one another.

  6. I am one of those weird writers who has to have it quiet! Music distracts me instead of inspires me, or it inspires me to listen to it or dance instead of write....

    Jody W.

  7. Van's my man, too! There isn't anything he's done that I don't just love.