If you’ve been following the Monstrum Chronicles blog for some time now, you’ll know that I love discovering new music and writing alongside said music. Recently, my boyfriend introduced me to a musician whose style can only be described as part Ray LaMontagne, part phenomenal guitar, and part…sunshine and coffee. Have you ever listened to someone sing and been able to practically see them smile through their voice? Peter Mulvey is this musician.
I was lucky enough to meet him at a recent performance in Hallowell at the beginning of June. He’s one of those people with a charming personable presence, the kind who can entertain with word and song and that you can never grow tired of listening to. He’s become my go to for car rides, down time in the house, and yes, even for certain story ideas. As I’ve been thinking more and more about starting a sequel for Night Time, Dotted Line (my dramedy), I’ve found that Mulvey’s voice resonates with both of the main characters, Calleigh and Spencer, well; particularly with Calleigh though.
Today, I’m going to share a few of Peter Mulvey’s songs with you along with some of the images that his songs conjure in my mind. This is a fun little exercise that you can do in your own spare time. Just take a pencil and paper, play to the songs below, and see what comes to mind when you listen. Enjoy!
SHOUT-OUT SUNDAY is a blog post meant to highlight other authors/writers and/or their books. I’m all for getting the word out on fledgling writers, especially those that have written engaging and interesting work. These posts will range from book reviews, to Q&A sessions, to guest posts. I’m even happier to feature you if you specialize in horror/sci-fi/fantasy fiction. I will not feature erotica fiction on this blog. If you have an interest in being shown on Shout-Out Sunday, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As this is my blog, I do have the right to decide who gets featured and when they are featured. If you have a requested date to line up with a blog tour or for a book release, I will try to make it work but I won’t guarantee it. I’d like to start posting Shout-Out Sunday blogs as soon as February.
A little over two weeks ago, I decided to rest my eyes a little from working on Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles and write something fun just for me. These breaks are cathartic and I’ll tell you why. Because when you have been pushing yourself to the limit on one project for so long, something that is dark and can really take a lot out of you, it’s healthy to take a step back, to not look at it for a little bit. When I come back to it, I’ll have a different view point. I’ll have a better idea of where I want to go with it. And it does work. I did this while working on one of my first books back in high school (an unpublished one). I wrote a 100 page fan-fiction (I know, I know. Don’t even start…) and after that was all out of my system, I finished up the project I’d been previously married to. So while I’ve worked on this little indulgence of mine, I’ve been listening to a lot of indie music, lots of stuff that I have previously not known about, including this brilliant band from the U.K., Daughter.
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!
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.
There are many songs that have really inspired me while working on my situational comedy novella, Night Time, Dotted Line. Most of these pieces are indie, folk, and a couple pop songs. It amazes me though that almost everyday, I hear something new that just seems to jive with everything happening in the manuscript and with the two characters. Night Time, Dotted Line is a dramedy about two characters who’ve just met one another who have agreed to go on a 3000 mile road trip across the country together. Along the way they run into several strange situations and people, but also have to contend with one another. The journey allows them to find the faults in themselves and one another and ultimately, try to heal from experiences that have been haunting them. This is a huge change from most of my other works which are much, MUCH darker. But it also allows me to listen to much more upbeat music during the darkest time of the year in Maine; winter. While working my way toward the end of the second draft, I’ve come across a wonderful band with deep lyrics but also that feel good vibe that makes fantastic road music: Kings of Convenience.
I’m going to be open and honest with you. It is my belief that some video games are works of art, call them interactive works of art. I’m picky about them in that they must have some form of a story or progression and that it is unique, the atmosphere must be gripping (including visuals and music), and that the gameplay should really make one think, make one deal with psychological puzzles and decisions. When I find such a game that I’m excited about, I’ll watch a playthrough or walkthrough on it on the mighty Youtube. Recently, I’ve been swept up in the hype that is Tell-Tale’s The Walking Dead game. Having released its final episode of the first season, the conclusion blew everyone away, including me. I cried. Hard. I wasn’t the only one. Nearly every major Let’s Player that I’ve seen has also ended the game bawling their eyes out. Adding to the heart-breaking moment was an emotionally driven song from an artist I’d never heard of before, Alela Diane. I quickly searched her on Spotify and folks, I now have a new favorite singer.
Alela Diane is an American singer/songwriter from Oregon. Most of her songs are soft indie pieces that really drill you in the heart. Her style reminds me of a fusion of Dido and Patty Griffin. When she sings, she even sounds at times like Sarah McLachlan (which is saying allot!) I’ve found that while listening to her, it’s very easy to get into the heads of characters needing (but not necessarily wanting) to make a change for their own survival. You sense that quiet desperation in Diane’s voice when she sings the following six songs that I’ve selected. I’ve been inspired to work on not only my apocalyptic novel, but also my western/horror series, and even parts of a historical fiction that I abandoned long ago! Below are a selection of songs by Alela Diane and what I’ve imagined when I listen to them.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to participate in an online interview of myself and my WIP (works in progress) which I’m thrilled to do. As many of you know, I have several different items in the works right now but for this interview I’ll limit my focus to only three of them. First, though, I’d like to take a moment and thank Elizabeth Lawrence for the chance to be a part of this. You can find her blog here! Now, on with the interview!
First, I apologize again that this blog was not up for Monday. Two, today is my birthday. I really wanted to share with you my favorite musician on this day because her music really means a lot to me in terms of what I write and what feelings I try to evoke with my work. When I discovered Imogen Heap, I didn’t really get a clear taste of what her music was. I’d only heard the one song (Hide and Seek) and though I loved it, I wasn’t able to hunt down the rest of her music then. It was only when her later album Ellipse came out that I finally saw the light. Whilst rooting around on youtube (which I often do), I found the music video for the song “Canvas”. Intrigued by the thumbnail, I clicked on it. And folks, I was blown away. I’m a true Imogen Heap fan now.
For those of you who are not familiar with Heap, she is an English songwriter, singer, and composer who usually creates her music all by herself — literally. She’ll set up at a concert with a keyboard and several computers and pull out a gorgeous song by using copy and repeat tools to replay the sounds she’s made. It’s really pretty cool. If you follow the link here, you’ll be directed to a live version of “Just For Now” where she does this. I’ve listened to her works for a number of different projects and have always come away feeling closer to my project because of the connection her music has made. Today, I’ll be sharing 8 of her songs with you. Have a pen and paper ready. You may be inspired, too!