Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Behind The Music: Back To Me

Ok, so it may have taken me a while to get this blog together, but you know what they say.....Better late than never.

So I hope that everyone liked my playlist for Cutting Through. (BTW, I have figured out how to get the links to work so if you didn't get to listen to it before, go back and do it!)  As I said before most of the songs were obvious once you heard them and they were songs that were "given" to Janie from Jake.  The songs on this playlist are a little bit different.  Some of them were just songs that I liked that went with the 70's/80's theme of Maggie's Mom's love for that music.  Those songs lyrics aren't really what drew me to them, so I'm not going to add the links to them.  

Here is a list of those songs:

"Maggie May" by Rod Stewart  
Well this one was obvious as it is the main characters name.  She reveals to Drew that she was apparently conceived while this song was playing.  Drew tries to help her change her perception of the song by playing it on the jukebox and making her dance with him.

"Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard
"Nothin' But A Good Time" by Poison
You can't have 80's music without the hair bands.  They are essential!

"We Got The Beat" by The GoGo's
I love The GoGo's, so......

Some other songs that were mentioned but had no real affect on me were:

"So What" by Pink
This is a kick ass song.  It was mentioned when Maggie was remembering a time when she and her girlfriends had a night out.

"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
Being Red Sox fans, this song is a staple!

"The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel
This is an awesome song.  It is very somber and that was definitely the tone in the beginning of the book.

And now to the songs with the lyrics that got me.  These songs either helped inspire a train of thought or made me think about the characters when I heard them playing on the radio.

"Drive" by The Cars
One of the themes in the book was that Maggie's mom would send her messages, either through the songs that she listened to or through dreams.  This song popped up the night she stayed at Tommy's.  It was her mother's way of saying that she needed to figure out what she was doing.  Almost as if her mother was telling her that Tommy was not going to be the one that helped her and that she needed to stop pretending that she was ok.

"Signs" by Five Man Electrical Band
I was introduced to this song by Tesla (the band) and loved it.  But I wanted to stay with the 70's/80's theme and went with the original version.  The song is about actual signs within our surroundings, but I thought it was fitting for the scene.  It came on the radio after a visit to her mom's grave site.  It was her mom telling here that she needed to open her eyes to the not so obvious sign that she is given, for example, her mother playing songs or being in her dreams.

"Broken" by Lifehouse
This one is a double whammy for me.  When I hear this song I think about when Maggie visits her mother grave site.  She is "broken" from her mother's death and she may still be alive but she has a"broken heart that's still beating."  This song brought me to that grave site with her and made my heart hurt for her.  
The second verse brings me to Drew, after Maggie left.  Maggie was the only one that could get inside of his heart and after she left he was "broken."

"When I See You Smile" by Bad English
Another sign that Maggie's mother was still with her.  In a dream, Maggie's mother was letting her know that she wanted her to go to Maine and move on.  Before she was awoken from the dream, her mother smiled at her.  To help calm her down when she woke up, she hit play on her mother's playlist and this song came on.  This is technically a love song, but in this case I felt like it still worked as a love story between Maggie and her mom.  Well, to a certain point.  LOL!

"Won't Give In" by Scott Porter
Maggie is starting to feel optimistic about starting a new chapter in Maine.  I hear this song playing in the background when I play the movie version of my book in my head.  She has the windows down and she's driving on the highway, radio on with the wind blowing through her hair.

"Barely Breathing" by Scott Porter
This one is another song that makes me think of both of them.  The first verse is Drew talking to Maggie and the second verse is vice versa.

"Pain" by Three Days Grace
This is one of my favorite bands so of course I found a song that fit.  This was the song that was playing in my head when Maggie walked into the house and Drew's stereo was blarring.  It's a fitting song for both of them since they are both pretty numb from what they have both lost.  They both look for some kind of connection with someone without getting too close, just so they can still feel.  Case in point, Maggie allows Tommy to take the lead in bed with her because it's easier for her to follow his direction than to actual think for herself.  The same goes for Drew in a way, he sleeps with women but doesn't stick around long enough to find out their names.  And if that means a slap in the face, he'll take it.

"Save Me" by Elenowen
The first verse is definitely Drew to Maggie and the second vice versa.  They need each other more than they realize and don't see how they are saving each other from their grief.

"Cripple Me" by Elenowen
This is totally Drew's song.  He is so scared to let anyone else in to his heart, afraid that Maggie will lie to him like everyone else.  He fights with his feeling for her because of his fear.  Having her there for the summer has made him realize that maybe finding out the truth about his parents will be what heals him.

"Not A Bad Thing" by Justin Timberlake
At first I imagined them dancing in the bar to this song, but changed my mind as the story changed.  This was the night they both realized that there was something more between them and that they should see what happens.  And that maybe falling for each other wasn't a bad thing.

"Safe" by The Icarus Account
I picture Maggie and Drew holding each other in bed when I hear this song.  

"Say Something" by Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera
When Maggie goes to Drew in the church to talk to him, she is waiting for him to say something to her that will move them back to each other.  She is silently pleading with him to say something but he is hurt by her deception and grief stricken by his loss that instead he pushes her away.  She knows that the only thing she can do at that point is to let him go.

"Endless Summer Nights" by Richard Marx
First off, I LOVE RICHARD MARX AND THIS SONG!  Now, this is the song that plays in my head when Drew walks/runs along the beach towards the end of the book.  He's actually playing the Justin Timberlake song in his earbuds, but I'm hearing Richard.  Drew is thinking back to the when Maggie was there.

That is all folks.  I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Behind the Music: Cutting Through

As you all know, music has been a big part of my writing.  I either get inspired by a song or I hear a song and think, "This is totally a song for...."  Other authors have done the same where they have mentioned a song in a scene, and I have started going back and listening to some of those songs so that I can hear what inspired them to use it.  SO.... I am going to try my hardest to tell you why I chose certain songs for different scenes in the book Cutting Through. AND provide links to each song.  Once you hear them they really just become obvious as to why I used them.  OK, here is the list from the beginning.  (You may have to copy and paste the link in your browser if it doesn't automatically let you just hit the link.  Sorry, that is my lack of tech coming through.  Josh, where are you when I need you!!!?)

"Crazy Love" by Michael Bublé
First off, he has and amazingly sexy voice.  Second, I wanted a song that was not only romantic but also a little tongue in cheek.

"Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton
Again, I wanted a classic type of romantic song for them to dance to.  It's a song that reminds me of a couple slowly dancing, holding each other close.  To me, Jake was into all kinds of music and appreciated the classics.

"Shut Up" by Simple Plan
This is kind of Janie's way of saying fuck off to everyone that has been making her feel like shit.  At this point in the story, Jake had done something that pissed her off.  She felt as though he was treating her like a child, like someone who couldn't do things on her own.  She needed a bit of a release and this was the perfect song to help her.

These next few songs are the ones that Jake "gave" to Janie.  When they first met, she kind of gave him the brush off for her music.  Then she told him that she needed to listen to her music to run to.  He felt that the music would get through to her more than his words, so he would "give" her songs that expressed how he felt.

"Home" by Philip Philips
Jake knew that starting over for Janie was hard.  He wanted her to know that he was there for her.  Having her move into the cabin was helping her settle down and making sure she knew that she was home.

"Perfect" by Adam Cappa
Janie was slipping into her dark place and Jake wanted to help her, but had to leave for a few days.  Janie insisted that he go and that she would be fine.  When I heard this song I knew that it was the perfect song for him to give to her.  It says everything that he wanted her to know.

"Dark Side" by Kelly Clarkson
After Jake had his breakdown, he thought it was over with him and Janie.  He sent her this song to ask her if she could see past his dark side and love him for who he is.

"Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars
After Jake brought Janie back from Maryland and he knew things were going to be ok, he wanted to do something special for her that included the other people that meant so much to her.  This scene showed the more fun, light hearted side to Jake.  Again, the  words say everything that he wanted her to know.

"All That You Are" by The GooGoo Dolls
After I heard this song I knew this was the one Jake would give to Janie at the end.  It was their story to a T.  Janie was everything to him, beautifully broken and all. Makes me cry every time I hear it.

I will try to put one together for Maggie and Drew.  That one will be a little different as the songs I credited in the back were not all mentioned in the book, but were the songs going through my head for certain scenes.  I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.

Friday, September 18, 2015

I'm baaack!

Hello everyone!  Yes, I am in fact still alive.  I know it has been months since I've posted, and I apologize.  I have had some issues in my personal life that have derailed me from my writing.  I am hoping that with my upcoming changes I will be able to get back on track.
So, I have started writing my third book.  I have the epilogue done and part of chapter one.  I am however contemplating a serious overhaul, but that will come in time.  My next story is about Faith, one of the characters from Back To Me.  It is a "spin-off" or "companion" book and will be the second of a three books series.  The third book will be about Dan.
I will keep you all up to date on the progress, as I know your days are not complete without a little glimpse into my madness.  ;)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Getting personal

Trying to get inspired to write anything has been really hard.  I feel like I have too much on my plate right now and to be completely honest, I'm starting to get unmotivated.  I want people to read my books and tell me what they think.  Yes, I've had some of my friends write reviews but really, I only have 7 for Cutting Through and only 3 for Back To Me (all from the same people).  I poured my heart into Cutting Through.  Yes, the story was extremely personal to me.  I know I said it wasn't my story, because it isn't, but so much of it I went through myself.  With Back To Me, it was different.  I hadn't really experience any of it, maybe just one part, but I still poured myself into it.  It might not have been personal, but it was still emotional.  Having only a handful of people reading them has really bummed me out lately.  I've said it before and I've meant it every time, I don't care about the money.  I just want people to read my books and feel the things I did when I wrote them.  I want people to be responsive.  I want to thank the people who have reached out to me and told me what they thought and the people who have left reviews.  I want to know what people think.  Good and bad.  I know there are errors in my books, I don't have the best grammar and punctuation and all that shit.  I don't need to hear about that because I already know, trust me!  What I want to know is if you enjoyed the story?  Did you like the characters?  What was your favorite part?  What did you hate about it?  I would love to have more people write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!  Make them anonymous if you don't want me to know it's yours!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Too much time on my hands

So, as some of you know already, today was my last day at my job.  What does that mean for me?  Well, unfortunately, unemployment until I can find a new job.  That sounds great right?  Now I have all this extra time to write.  I can get my next book done in record time!!!  But there's a problem.  I've got nothin'!  Ok, maybe not nothing, but very little.  I know I want to do 2 spin off books from Back To Me.  One book will follow Faith and the other Dan, and I already have their love interests, but their full stories haven't come to me yet.  I have more of Dan and Christine's story in my head so I would probably start on that one first.  It's just annoying that now that I have all this free time I should be getting writing done.  This is just how my life goes I guess.  If anyone has read Back To Me and wants to share their thoughts on Dan and Christine or even Faith I would love to hear it!
Also, I know some of you really want a second book for Cutting Through.  I have thought about it but I'm still not feeling it.  If that changes I will let you all know!  But in the mean time, read Back To Me.  It's a bit different from Cutting Through but it's still worth the read.  It's a love story.  How can you go wrong!?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

who cares, right?

As the royalties pour in from the new book (LMFAO) I sit and think about how I can get more people to read my books.  Hell, I can't even get some of my friends/family to buy them, how the hell am I going to get strangers to buy them?  I've said before that I don't care how much money I make on my books and that's true, however I still want to make something!  I know if I put Back To Me on for a free promo a lot of people will scoop it up, but the problem with that is that they aren't necessarily reading it!  I had hundreds of people get Cutting Through during the free promo, but I only got 3 ratings and one very bad review out of it.  Yes I did get other reviews from friends and family but I can't be certain that those are not bias opinions.  I mean so many people said they loved the first book but yet they haven't bought the second one yet.  I've said this before too, I am not a patient person!  I over think everything and I'm hyper critical of myself so every time I check for sales it kills me a little each time.  Every time I ask for suggestions I usually don't get any responses so I won't ask.  BUT, I will make a desperate plea that if you have read one of my books and liked it please recommend it to a friend, co-worker, neighbor.  If you are on Goodreads please either rate the book or leave a review.  PLEASE!!!  Thank you!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Starry Nights for inspiration

As I read different books I see similarities in characters and story lines.  I have said before that music helps inspire me to write my stories or puts me in the right mood when I need to be in a certain frame of mind.  I think that a lot of artists use other people's creations to inspire them.  Is that a downfall?  Some may think so because it may appear there is a lack of independent creativity, but on the other hand, you are taking something that already exists and turning it into something new, something that has your unique twist to it.
When I was in college I took a creative writing-poetry class.  I loved it!  But I have to say, most of the assignments I just used poems that I had already written.  Until the professor said we needed to write a poem based off of a piece of art.  I of course chose to write a poem about one of my favorite paintings, Van Gogh 's Starry Night.  What came out of me was so much more than what I had anticipated.  I think by writing this poem it helped me understand why I connected with this particular piece.  I think that having these works of art to inspire you helps to push you to a level you didn't know existed.  They make you feel things deep down that help you discover who you are.  And being able to express yourself by using them as tools is a compliment to the artist.
Here is the poem (as you know it is very rare for me to share these)

Vincent's Starry Night

I view this painting and I see
a moon, a town, a tree and stars.
I feel the swirling wind on the
back of my neck with the
colors and shades you used;
blues, yellows, black and white.
At first glance I sense:
peace, warmth, tranquility.
You've shown me a
quiet, peaceful, sane
life that doesn't exist
for anyone, especially you.
With each revealing stroke:
blunt, rough, choppy,
I start to understand
what is really being slapped
onto the canvas:
deception, betrayal, hurt and lies.
The way you've conveyed
this night is as crazy as you.
And it is frightening that
I understand the hidden meaning,
because this too is
my town, my moon, my stars, my lies.