Music inspires me to write. It is such a large part of how I create that I nearly always have to wear my ear buds and listen to tunes when I’m serious about story. When I don’t, my creativity dries up and I’m left staring at an empty screen.
Ah, but I don’t listen to just any music. I have playlists that are created for each book I write, and sometimes for certain characters. In fact, music has such a great impact on me that, when I listen to the right song, I’ll immediately be drawn to a scene in my head much like watching a movie on a big screen. I can hear the characters, feel their feelings, smell the smells…sense all the things that I try and hope to get down on the page. And it all unfolds from there. Nothing else makes such a strong impression on me or my writing. In fact, music is such a big part of me that I can actually remember which songs match with which scenes, even years later.
So, I’m going to take you on a journey. My In This Life playlist. Well, some of it anyway. These are a handful of songs that make me think of certain characters and that inspired scenes within the book, from the suspense to the romance to the sands of ancient Egypt and the passion that drove my characters to near madness. As you read on, you’ll notice that Marcome (an indie Canadian musician, pronounced Mar-Ko-May) had a big influence on me. Her music is haunting and ethereal, and perfect.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope it inspires you to add to your own playlists. However, be forewarned — this list contains some spoilers.
- In This Life, by Delta Goodrem. When I started writing In This Life, I had the revised title and an idea of how I was going to completely rewrite the book. About halfway through, I heard this song. Call it fate, karma or kismet, the song title matched my book title and the lyrics fit in perfectly with Lottie. This song will now and forever always make me think of Lottie and my first published novel.
- Arabica, by Marcome. This song takes me back to ancient Egypt, when Pharaohs were gods, women and men indulged in perfumes and oils, every building and structure and wall was colored in brilliant hues of blue and green and yellow, and gold was as abundant as the hot sands of the deshret.
- Leather and Lace, Stevie Nicks and Don Henley. This is David and Lottie.
- Seven Seas, by Marcome. This is Bakari and Shemei.
- Hello It’s Me, by Todd Rundgren. This is, and always will be, Galen’s song. It perfectly exemplifies his feelings for Lottie.
- The Story in Your Eyes, by The Moody Blues. This is David and Lottie and Galen.
- Time to Follow, by Marcome. Perfectly suits the passion that Galen (and Kemnebi) invokes in Lottie (and Shemei). It is seductive and bewitching and beguiling.
- Memoria, by Marcome. Every time I hear this song, I can imagine Lottie being pulled back in time, to her past life, and reliving wonderful memories.
- Meteora, by Marcome. Bakari and Shemei, at their secluded place by the Nile, drinking stolen wine and watching the meteors – or, in their words, watching the gods toss themselves around the sky.
- Dawn Dancing, by Adiemus. The title is so fitting for this song, because you can truly imagine the majesty of the sun as it breaks the horizon, the birds flying and chirping with the new day, the broad strokes of yellow and gold and orange as they cut through darkness to renew brightness and life on Earth. This song wrote the scene when Shemei and Bakari stand by the Nile, watching Re ascend in the sky on his Immortal Barque, just before Bakari leaves for war.
- Chidananda, by Deva Premal. This song wrote the scene when Shemei hopes for Bakari’s forgiveness when she’s standing before Pharaoh, awaiting his decision and her fate.
- Forgiven, by Chris Botti. David’s and Lottie’s last scene together in the book. The title, and the lyrics, say it all.
- The Mummy Returns, ending credits. The first 1 minute 43 seconds of this soundtrack wrote the very last chapter. It’s the only chapter that, in the printed book, reads almost exactly the same as the first draft I penned.
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