Inspiration Through Music: City and Colour

So, this man is one of my favorite musicians. Ever. Ever since I discovered City and Colour a couple years ago, I’ve been playing his music non-stop. City and Colour is the recording name for ultra-talented musician Dallas Green who has had his hand in a few other projects as a singer-songwriter and guitarist. One of his more recent ventures is with singer-songwriter (and badass) P!nk with their duo, You + Me. City and Colour is a blend of soft pastel acoustic romance (“The Girl”), bright electric pop (“Thirst”), intense and fiery passion (“Woman”), and cool and dark folk (“Nowhere, Texas”). I’ve been listening to him a lot while working on the sequel to “Night Time, Dotted Line” as well as working on “The Wild Dark”. Both books, though vastly different, have been inspired in parts by City and Colour’s very diverse styling. I’m always a fan of someone who can and does branch out uniquely and successfully in their genre, someone who really tries not to write the same song over and over again. It’s the reason why City and Colour is one of my absolute favorites to listen to no matter what project I’m working on. Today, I’m going to share a few of City and Colour’s songs with you and write what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy!

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Inspiration Through Music: Broken Age Soundtrack

Summer is coming up mighty fast here in Maine (although it did just snow in Presque Isle a few days ago. True story.). The thing of it is…as we start to have warmer and warmer weather, I find myself craving the need to work on my Night Time, Dotted Line sequel. Night Time, Dotted Line was a comedic novel I wrote a couple years ago involving two very different and complete strangers who embarked on a cross-country road trip together. It’s a novel of friendship and through the strange situations that these characters find themselves in, they ultimately learn that dealing with their own issues alone is causing more pain and that they need to open up and trust others. Wow. That doesn’t sound very comedic at all. But believe me, it is. When I finished the book, I knew that their story hadn’t been told completely; there needed to be one more book. And so, over the last couple years, I’ve been developing the story or how I’d like the story to go. Music is a HUGE inspiration for this. Recently, I played a wonderful game by Tim Schafer called “Broken Age”. Not only was I blown away by the art direction and story, but the music, composed by Peter McConnell, especially called to me. It reminded me of my characters and of the journey they still need to take.

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Inspiration Through Music: Amarante

As of late, I’ve been busy with thoughts about my comedy, “Night Time, Dotted Line” and the potential sequel for it that has been rolling around in my noggin. When I wrote this book, it was because these characters had been speaking to me since I’d started a book with them close to ten years ago. I knew that I had to write a book with them and that was this book. But, I’d expected them to stop talking to me once I’d finished the book. No such luck. If anything, they are more persistent than ever… I realize that this makes me sound a little like a schizophrenic. Writing does that. Dozens upon dozens of characters begging for attention and wanting to be voiced through you… To make a long story short (too late!), I’ve started brainstorming for the sequel to “Night Time, Dotted Line” and one of the bands I’ve been listening to pretty much non-stop to help with that inspiration is Amarante.

Amarante is a husband and wife indie duo from California that I was introduced to only a few weeks ago by one of the Youtube LPer’s that I follow. He used one of Amarante’s songs at the end of the video and since then, I’ve had their songs playing on repeat on my way to work, when I’m home writing, and even in my head while I’m at my day job. They really know how to get a tune into your head and make it stick. Catchy tunes with intelligent lyrics and a unique pairing of voices. They’ve really pushed thoughts of this sequel into the foreground and made me want to work on it (despite being committed to another project at the moment). They help to take me away from the cold and dark of Midcoast Maine’s winter and put me back in late summer, across the country, in the lives of two very different people who are more alike than they care to admit.Today, I’ll be sharing four of their songs with you and what it is that I see when I hear them. Enjoy!

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Inspiration Through Music: Night Time, Dotted Line

Night Time, Dotted Line

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.

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Surfacing for Air

So… it’s been a while since I posted anything. Fall always unleashes a creative surge in me that I find it hard to quell. Last year, that creative urge was all about cooking and writing blog posts. This year, I’ve been channeling it into my writing, which has been excellent, but…it leaves you guys wanting. I apologize for that. September has been a month of thought, trying to work out what I’d like to change in order to help benefit my career as an author. Several positive things have happened this year, things that I’m grateful for. I’ve had several book-signings, met some talented and wonderful writers, got a pretty fancy literary nomination, and, in less than two months, I’ll be self-publishing my third book, Night Time, Dotted Line.

But, I haven’t been able to focus on the actual marketing of any of my books and that, as we all know, is kind of important. I’m not going to lie; it’s been tough this year keeping up my self-esteem when it comes to my writing. I’ve constantly felt as though I haven’t had enough time on my hands to get things done and when I do, I am exhausted. I know I’m not the only one who has ever dealt with this feeling; it plagues many other writers or really anyone creative. We want to be able to come home from a long day and relax before we go absolutely bonkers. And, in allowing myself some time to relax, I’ve neglected this blog, for which I feel sorry for.

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Photo Contest, Anyone?

Good morning!

I’m here to announce yet another photo contest for this summer. It will run all the way until August 31st at 11:59 pm. This time, I’m in need of a photo for my novel, “Night Time, Dotted Line”. As always there are specific guidelines for the photos. And like last year, there will be some nifty prizes for the winner. Interested? Click on the link below. It will take you to my website where you can check out the photo contest guidelines.

http://voxthebook.com/Photo_Contest.html

Good luck to all those who enter!

~KSilva

Inspiration Through Music: KT Tunstall

Every once in a while, a story and a musical artist will be so perfect for one another that it almost seems as though they were destined to be together. That is the story with KT Tunstall’s music and my upcoming novella Night Time, Dotted Line. I consider Tunstall’s music to be some of the best road music I’ve ever listened to. I discovered KT Tunstall on an after-highschool graduation trip to New York at a Starbucks in New Paltz. From then on, I’ve thought of an open window, blue skies, and green forests, and coffee… of course, every time I’ve listened to her music. Her songs have intelligent lyrics and catchy beats and are refreshing in the midst of allot of traditionally obnoxious pop. (Okay, okay. I like some of that stuff, too, I admit. But I like Tunstall better.)

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Uppity Updates!

Good morning, readers!

I wanted to take a brief moment this morning to update you on a few of my projects!

1st: I am over 1/3 of the way through editing and revising “Aequitas.” There’s allot of rewriting going on but I’m pleased to say it’s shaping itself into the book I want. Give me at least another month with it and we’ll be ready to publish!

2nd: I’ve chosen the official book cover for “Aequitas.” However, I won’t unveil it until just before the book’s release. It needs a bit of tweaking before then.

3rd: I’ve been asked to do another wonderful reading in Portland in March! Details will soon emerge about that event.

4th: I’m making progress on “Night Time, Dotted Line.” For those of you unfamiliar with this work, it is my indie-travel novella that I’ve been working on for nine months. People who went to Slainte Wine Bar and Lounge in November last year got a chance to hear me read a piece of it. I spent a couple days last week writing crazily on it.

And that is all I have for you so far! Stay tuned for more information about my progress on “Aequitas.”

Tomorrow will be my weekly Inspiration Through Music blog post. I’ll be focusing on Javier Navarrette’s score of “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

Until then,

KSilva

July! So much to do!

Ah, we’ve reached the month of July. This summer in Maine has been quite interesting. We’ve had our fair share of thunderstorms, heatwaves, and temperature plummets.

This month, I’ve got quite a bit going on. Next week on Thursday the 14th is the Maine Literary Awards hosted by Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Though my book was not awarded for anything, it will be an exciting event to go to. Fellow Maine Authors Publishing author, Carol Willette Bachofner has been nominated for the Short Works Poetry award. Congratulations!!! She is the author of “Breakfast at the Brass Compass” and “I Write In The Greenhouse”, two books available from Maine Authors Publishing. I’ll be going to the awards to cheer her on and support her as well as to meet and greet several other authors from around Maine. I’m very excited!

The next two nights are my dad’s and my nephew’s birthdays! I’ll be very busy next weekend!

That Sunday is my second book-signing at Borders in South Portland. I’ll be joined by fellow MAP authors, Carolyn Locke, Kevin C. Mills, and Carol Glover. After the signing, Jane Karker, the president of Maine Authors Publishing, will be holding a talk about self-publishing with MAP as well as the cooperative.

In other news, I’ve been working hard to rewrite a good portion of Book 2 of the Monstrum Chronicles, tentatively titled, “Aequitas”. This will be the fourth rewrite of the first ten chapters. This time, I think I’ve finally got it in the place where I want it. I have a goal to get all of the content written by this fall. Then I’ll spend the next few months going through and revising, editing, and putting the final touches on it before getting it ready for publication by spring of 2012. This summer is flying by much faster than I’d expected though. I only hope I’ll be able to keep on target.

I’ve also started writing a novella that will round out at around 100 pages or so. It will be in the vain of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and will hopefully be finished by winter. I got the idea for this from listening to one of Norah Jones’s songs off of her latest album, The Fall. The song is called “It’s Gonna Be”. I took old characters from a story I’d begun writing several years ago and integrated them into this new plot. This will be a general fiction book, not a science-fiction or fantasy. It will also partially take place in Maine.

Well, that is the scoop for this week. Stay tuned for a post about my adventures in Portland!

Until then, good morning and happy writing!

KSilva