I cannot write in silence!
A quiet work environment causes my brain to send out little stimuli-seeking tentacles that grasp at any, and every, other noise in the world. Once I’m distracted by the guy with the leaf blower, the birds, the plane flying overhead, the lady walking the corgi and my own dogs shifting their position (noisily, I might add!) on the hardwood floor I’m far too distracted to write.
I’ve found that a well planned playlist keeps me in the “zone”. I set up a playlist for each of my projects and listen to them while writing. Each of the songs I add to my playlist helps me set a tone, be absorbed by my character’s world, or dwell on an emotion that’s crucial for the story I’m trying to write. Sometimes my novels, or some aspect of them, are actually inspired by a song.
For my novel A SHINE THAT DEFIES THE DARK my musical inspiration & playlist go back several years to a trip my husband and I took to New Orleans. After dinner one night we asked the waitress for a recommendation on one thing we should do while in the French Quarter. She told us about Preservation Hall, a small venue on a cross street. “You probably won’t even see the sign. You’ll just see people standing against a building. Get in line behind them.” And so we did. And it was one of the most amazing live shows I’ve ever seen. It was a small place, standing room only, hot and humid and amazing! After the show (we stayed for all three sets) I bought a CD and set it aside, knowing I’d want that someday. I used several of the songs on that disc for my playlist.
I also discovered a band called The Civil Wars. Several of their songs are very raw and gritty and had the perfect emotion for a character I was creating: one who was making very wrong decisions, but for the right reasons. Here is the link to Devil’s Backbone by The Civil Wars, which ended up being my “theme song” as I wrote.
A SHINE THAT DEFIES THE DARK is set in 1930 in southern Louisiana. If you’d like to listen to the playlist I shared it to spotify: https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/22gnz77drieouoye7mjr6hzci/playlist/011GFzuXFwlNBLwxxTUFrQ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>My playlist for A SHINE THAT DEFIES THE DARK (releasing Winter 2017 from Changing Tides Publishing).