Today on a special Inspiration Through Music, I’ll be focusing on the songs that helped to inspire my newest book, Night Time, Dotted Line released today on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. This is my foray into comedy, a book that I’ve worked on for the last two years, slowly piecing together different scenes until they formed a quirky and fun tale of two strangers that decide to take an impromptu trip across the country together. Need a little more? Here’s the official synopsis:
Following a realization that his life has become monotonous after his divorce, Spencer, a lawyer, joins a free-spirited conservationist, Calleigh, on a spur-of-the-moment 3000 mile car trip to an environmental conference in Oregon. Within moments of hitting the road, Spencer’s cynical views on life immediately clash with Calleigh’s upbeat personality. Add Calleigh’s perky Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a cast of eccentric characters including a “soul-serving” diner owner and the insufferable Count Stiltsula, and soon they are in for a journey that just might drive them all crazy.
Music was a huge part of developing this project. A lot of the songs I listened to once and saw the scenes happening before I’d even written them. Others were discovered along the way, songs that I don’t know what I would have done without had I not listened to them. The playlist for the book has a total of 31, count ’em 31 songs! We don’t be doing all of them. But if you want the whole list, hop on over to the website here and give it a gander. Along with each song, I’m going to include a small excerpt from the novel from each scene that corresponds to it. Note, there won’t be any spoilers, just a window for you to see what I was thinking when I listened to each song. Here are eight songs to whet your appetite for “Night Time, Dotted Line.” Enjoy!
Dog Days Are Over – Florence and The Machine: As he made his way down the hall, his thoughts fell back on the coffee shop that morning and the peculiar woman there, Calleigh. In a strange way, he’d actually enjoyed the argument between them. She’d been quick with an answer at every question. She’d been quirky, sure, but there was something about her that seemed oddly likeable. It had been a long time since he’d had a conversation much less a quarrel like that with anyone. He didn’t even realize that he was smiling when he pushed through the door into the conference room.
Be Here Now – Ray LaMontagne: Calleigh seemed to follow him as if he were a breathing coach, inhaling and exhaling after he did. For some reason, it made her seem more childlike, as if she really didn’t know what to do in this kind of situation. He began to wonder how she’d ever done a trip like this before.
Long-Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man – Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash: Patty’s Diner was barely big enough to fit the bar counter and a few tiny tables with plastic blue checkered cloths. Everyone huddled around the tables or perched over the counter was over two hundred pounds. It required some squeezing and stomach sucking to get to a table over in the corner. The moment Spencer sat down, claustrophobia smothered him like a blanket. A fuzzy song by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash hummed over the tinny speaker in the corner of the ceiling, just barely enough for him to hear it. Forks scraped against plates, coffee slurped through patrons’ lips, and grumbles of conversation buzzed all around them.
Streetwalker – Delta Spirit: Spencer could have argued. He felt the words leaping right up to his tongue, dozens of them just waiting to sling at her, vast vats of muddied insults that would have left her speechless, or would have at least diverted her cruel attacks on that cashier. But in the end, he shoved them down deep. She was right to a degree. And getting into a shooting match with her in the middle of a convenience store in Ohio wasn’t quite what he had planned for his afternoon itinerary.
Ms. Cold – Kings of Convenience: She opened her mouth but no sound came out. She closed it with a defiant grimace on her lips as she turned, went to the door, and opened it wide. “Where are you going?” She turned. “If I don’t get away from you for a few minutes, Spencer, I just might have to kill you.” She stormed out.
A Proper Story – Darren Korb: “Mister? I said, do you need a ride?” Walk until my shoes catch fire or endure an at most ten minute ride in Charon’s pickup? The decision was more difficult to make than it should have been. “Yeah, I do.” The man popped open the side door with a smile and said, “Climb on in!”
Difficulty – KT Tunstall: Once they got up to the room, Calleigh told Spencer she would take Newton for a walk and disappeared out the open door. He watched her walk down the sidewalk, the corgi waddling happily beside her although her own stride was less carefree and her shoulders stiff.
A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit): Spencer was aware of a hustle and bustle that was common for a place like this roadside diner in mid-afternoon, especially with all of the bikes parked outside. Except that the moment the bell chimed when they walked in, it had come to a dead halt. All the eyes in the diner, mostly from gritty bikers donned in leather and dark sunglasses, despite the dim atmosphere of the place, were centered right on them.
Like what you’ve read so far? Make sure to check out Night Time, Dotted Line on Amazon!