Writing and Music

As I work on my third Blu Carraway mystery, I find the music on the radio influencing my writing, and my mood chooses the station. I listen to a variety of music: Country, 80’s, Classic Rock, Alternative, Pop, Punk, Jazz, Blues, Classical, Christian.

The songs that end up on my pages are what goes through my head as I write, similar to the dialogue a particular character might use. It’s got to fit the personality and the scene and how they are reacting to the moment. Music sets the tone and can reveal the emotion of the character.

Upbeat scenes with Tess Ray and Harmony Childs, the two young news correspondents, get modern pop songs—Katy Perry or Halsey.

Put them in the scene with Blu Carraway, my main protagonist, and something like the Chainsmokers makes sense.

Mick Crome rides a Harley and listens to Classic Rock—Foreigner specifically.

Blu, by himself, likes Alternative and Punk. He prefers the vintage cassette tapes of the Misfits and Black Flag and the Clash.

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In Blu’s second book, coming out this July, Mick Crome finds out his girlfriend has been abducted; Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” closes out the scene and shows the reader exactly where Mick is and how he’s dealing with the news.

Music influences me even when I’m not writing. If I can, I have background music playing while I’m in my office. And in my car, it’s either an audiobook or the radio. If I self-analyzed, I’d think maybe it was because I’m an only child and I never got used to how quiet that could be. Whatever the reason, music has been a part of my life since as far back as I can remember and I’m glad I can incorporate it into my writing.

What do you like to do while listening to music? For me it’s just about everything.

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