Thursday, February 07, 2008

Just Sing (La, la, la, la)


I popped over to Julia Quinn's website the other day to check out what's on her agenda (new series drops in 'o8, woohoo!) and found this tempting nugget: soundtracks for each of her novels. I loved reading her insightful and entertaining reasons for picking each of these songs--songs she listened to while writing the books, songs that remind her of her own plots and characters, and even songs that inspired the writing of certain of her novels. To quote Carrie Bradshaw, I couldn't help but wonder what a soundtrack for my own works in progress would look like. JQ gets all high tech (and famous writer-y) and actually has iTunes lists to match her books. I am not so gifted. Nor do I even listen to music while writing (I prefer the sounds of the Second Avenue bus stopping outside my window, thank you very much). But in an effort at seeking inspiration wherever it may come, I decided to play dj for the night. The results follow.

Then Comes Marriage:

"Chapel of Love" My first (and...um...only) completed novel begins and opens with weddings, so I have to pick this old chestnut. I think it fits Calla at the beginning of the novel really well: simplistic, totally confident and optimistic, ready for a fall.

"Dancing in the Dark" The old jazz standard not the Bruce Springsteen song. Calla and Peter do dance in the dark, and I've thought about titling the book after the song. The line "Looking for a new love to brighten up the night" fits the book well.

"Heart of Life" (John Mayer) This song fits Calla's situation so well-- beaten down by losing her husband and the life she always thought she'd live, but restored by the "circle of her friends" and her new love for Peter. It's such a sweet, beautiful song with a touch of sadness. I think it fits the mood of the book.

"Something to Talk About" I like to think of Calla and Peter being down with this song by the novel's end. They're both ready to stop letting other people's opinions dictate their lives and just live already (and make a little mischief, too).

O, Mistress Mine:

I'm only 1/3 into the writing of this book, but I already have a few ideas:

"The Song is Ended" This is one of my very favorite songs (I'm a huge cabaret/Great American Songbook geek) and fits this story of a love affair cut short perfectly. Gregory and Aimee's memories of their affair are like a lingering melody for both of them, despite their different reasons for entering into it.

"No Matter What" (Badfinger) This is totally Gregory's song. He's ready to take on the world to be with Aimee at the beginning. I think once I reach the end its resonance will have changed-- more that he's ready to accept all the different parts of her, as different and confusing as they may be.

"Maxine" (John Legend). The song's about a cheating lady, but the refrain "She may not be you...but she looks just like you" exemplifies Gregory's confusion over Aimee/Genevieve's identity (which doesn't really go away, even when he figures out the truth behind her past). John Legend has such a great voice.

Finally: I'm absolutely determined to write a book based on the ridiculous, very entertaining song "Rhode Island is Famous for You" (as sung by the glorious Nancy LaMott). Any song with the lines "They know mink where they grow mink in Wyomin(k)" and "A camp chair in New Hamp(chair)" is a well-spring of inspiration. I can see it now...a driven doctor/knitter...a dashing naval pilot...a date with punny destiny!

6 comments:

Kate Diamond said...

Gee, "a driven doctor/knitter"? Who could that be?

Anneliese Kelly said...

Okay, I could substitute a "zany teacher/novelist." It could be a series. The Rhode Island twins! With lots of frozen lemonade.

Ladytink_534 said...

Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison do this for their books too.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun with this. I don't write to music either, but hearing about other people's novel soundtracks has made me want to come up with one for my WIP.

Eileen said...

oooh I love writing to music. I use a lot of movie soundtracks- they are written to evoke emotion and it works.

Tara Gelsomino said...

Rhode Island! It must be about me then!! (Just kidding.) How are you doing Coll? I haven't popped in here in a long while. Congratulations on your marriage and the doctorate (in the works)!
Drop me a line, you can consider it research for your next book. I'll tell you all about coffee milk and grinders and clam cakes and all the other weird Ocean State food things. TaraGel@aol.com