Those of you who have read Stephanie Meyer's brilliant "Twilight" series probably noted something interesting in her acknowledgements: She thanks certain bands for inspirational songs.
Okay, Stephanie might be better known than I am (just a little bit...) but I've been writing with a soundtrack since I was 14. (Which is when I started writing "Shara's Chance/A Chance to Walk.") In fact, the ending to "Dream in Color" was greatly influenced by an obscure Rick Springfield song, "Dream in Colour." I don't want to give away the ending, but let's just say that our friend Ramona was going to have a completely different sort of romance until I sat down and really listened to that song.
Music influences a lot of things and we don't even realize it. Why do you think so much advertising involves music? Hey, Barry Manilow had a great career writing jingles. "You deserve a break today..." "And like a good neighbor..." (I can hear you singing the rest of the jingle...) I think my favorite jingle story of Barry's comes from a Dodge commercial he was asked to score. He says he wrote a massive, heavily orchestrated piece. Dodge didn't like it. Desparate to keep the job, Barry sat down on at a keyboard there in the meeting and pounded out four chords. BAM! A commercial was born.
So maybe you're trying to work out a scene for your story. Nothing seems to work. Relax. Listen to some music. Listen to music you don't normally listen to. Believe it or not, not everything I write is based on Rick Springfield songs. In fact, for "Shara's Chance" the whole plot changed the day I listened to "Hold on" by Kansas. Several scenes wrote themselves based on that song alone. I can't listen to Rob Thomas singing without thinking about Bryan, my hero in "Shara's Chance."
I would love to put out a companion CD with my books. I think that would really enhance the reading experience. Hmmmm, guess I'll have to run that by and agent. Now if only I could find an agent!
Have a groovy one, my friends!