This is almost a cliché of a blog post. I think I’ve seen a half a dozen writer’s blogging about their relationship with music. What music means to them, their writing, and their connection with music. The subject is almost trite and that has kept me from writing a blog post on the subject. Thinking on it though, I have written my origin story of my writing and how I started writing my books. I have written the cost of producing my books and the amount of effort I put into it. There was a bug in my ear telling me I should write about one of the biggest influencers of not only the Women of the Grey, but the characters in my series, in my upcoming novel and new characters coming into play.
I had thought of the Women of the Grey for a while, contemplating the concept of these women. I could piece them together but my main character wasn’t appearing yet. My main character was out there wandering around my universe.. I just couldn’t grasp the essence of her. Then the day came where it all fell into place and for some young ones reading this I come from the generation of MTV when it actually played music videos. If you loved a band you watched their music videos over and over. It was a thing, I promise.
Being that music video watching was a habit and I am a fan of The Pretty Reckless I turned Youtube on and started to watch The Pretty Reckless videos. That is the afternoon that the world fell out from under my feet and placed me somewhere else. I ran into the Miss Nothing music video. The look to Taylor Momsen the lead singer in Miss Nothing caught my eye and captured my attention. She walked the way I wanted my main character to walk. She sang the lyrics I wanted my main character to think. The look of “I don’t care” in her eyes is what struck me the most. Lisa is after all an anti-hero she wants for nothing that is ever placed at her feet.
All that I wanted to say about Lisa’s attitude, appearance, her hates; everything was in this one music video. By the end of the video I knew exactly who Lisa was. I could see Lisa standing next to me in my living room, watching the video nodding with fake agreement. After all Lisa agrees with no one.
Without trying to sound overly grandiose when the video ended I sat down and wrote the intro to Lisa. I felt the burst of that “who is she” bubble. I couldn’t help myself. That is the origin of Lisa. She was born from a music video and a seed of an idea that I had passed around my thoughts for years.
I’m not plugging The Pretty Reckless believe me if the lead singer knew I am writing a whole Sci-Fi horror series based on one of her music videos I’d be ecstatic and happily stand next to Ms. Momsen holding up copies of The Women of the Grey series smiling like a fool full of Jagermeister for the world to see.
I’m sure, not positive but kinda sure that many characters in books are born similar to this. I want to think I invented the way Lisa came to be, but I am sure I didn’t. I am writing book 3 in my Women of the Grey series. I still go to the Miss Nothing music video to watch the swagger, the expression and then turn to my laptop and give Lisa her very Lisa perspective on life.
It didn’t stop with Lisa though, Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s broken heart” is the key inspiration for my character Gia in my current manuscript The Demon Dealer. I usually watch that music video when I feel that I am starting to lose who my character Gia is at her core. Also Warner another character in The Demon Dealer is based on the look Nathaniel Rateliff had on his face in his music videoS.O.B. Have you seen the look on his face, in that video? It’s begging for a character.
This “WOW” moment of inspiration happens a lot more than I think readers know. I had been thinking about a new character for book 3 in the Women of the Grey series when I watched Halestorm Apocalyptic. From that video I got the full taste of what that character needed to be. Disclosure I am a huge Lzzy Hale fan. I want to go grow up and be her. She is seriously one of the most badass women on the planet.
Perhaps books should come with a playlist. How awesome would an audio CD of songs that inspired the book as a companion be? It proves a fact that art inspires art.
I do fantasize of the reverse situation happening. A singer/songwriter would read my work feel inspired by it and write a killer song out of it. If that would happen I could then walk off into the sunset a happy broad.