January 31 2017

#Music and #Writing…Does it matter?

For this writer…YES!

Every book has a different feel, even when they are in the same world and have some of the same characters. The “feel” of the two main characters when I first start thinking about them and their story dictates the type of music I’ll be listening to when I write. If there was ever a muse for me…it would be music. I can certainly write without it, but the right music helps me dig deep into the character and story.

Once I know what music is going to drive the character, I pick a “station” on iTunes and then as I plot and develop characters in my spreadsheet, I weed out the songs that seem to scream to me they are the best fit for my people.

What is the most interesting to me is that each book has a couple “kick off” songs. Songs that always trigger (even years later) that story and every emotion I felt about the characters.

To Protect His OwnWhat shocks me sometimes is the drastic switch in types of music from one book to the next. When I was writing TO PROTECT HIS OWN, which comes out 20 March 2017 (you can pre-order your copy now, wink wink) the kick off songs were I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes, Redneck Paradise by Kid Rock, and Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich. Lots of other country songs on this list but those just scream to me Kenzie and Jake!

TO PROTECT HIS OWN is currently going through edits, so while I wait to get them back, I’ve dived into my next book in the NY STATE TROOPER SERIES, which is tentatively titled THE PAY BACK GAME. Josh and Delaney are both approximately 29. Josh is a State Trooper who just a year ago had five bullets pumped into his chest by the woman he’d been sleeping with. That sucks. But he was undercover and thought the wife of the man he was to bring down was terrified and going to help him…only she didn’t…but she died in the car bomb that was meant for Josh. This is all backstory, FYI. Anywho, Josh opts for a less exciting post and moves to Lake George. The man he was supposed to bring down only did a little time for a nothing crime and now is out, so when Delaney shows up and immediately flirts with him and she’s from the city where he’d been nearly killed…he’s a tad suspicious. And rightfully so since Delaney was sent there to destroy Josh…only Delaney is being forced to because if she doesn’t, the bad guy will kill her brother…The story begins where Josh and Delaney meet for the first time. I’m only 10k words into the story, but its fleshing out nicely.

The music for THE PAY BACK GAME is very different from the last book. Kick off songs are: Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé, Bye Bye Bye by NSYNC (yeah, I know must be a Timberlake thing) and then oddly, Gold Digger by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx. I found a great Apple Music station for this book, which is the Trolls Station. Sometimes I must hit the “skip this song” button, but I find myself listing songs like F.A.M.E by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, which is like WTF? That’s the kind of music I used to tell my boys to shut off or turn it way down because I can’t stand listening to it! My husband sent me a text the other day asking me to dial down the screaming. He’s not a fan of country, but he’s not a fan of this music either and wants to know when I’m going to write a book where my muse consists of Genesis, Styx, Eric Clapton, CCR and the like…

What kind of music do you listen to when you write and why?

January 16 2017

Where is your #happy place?

I’ve lived almost my entire life in Rochester, NY. I was actually born there. Moved to Wilton, CT when I was 1 until I was 3 where we moved to Albany, NY where I lived until I was 14. I spent every summer in Lake George, NY until I was 18ish, but lived in Rochester, NY from 14 to present…(almost 51).

I used to listen to people talk about season depression and I thought year right, winter is great. My husband and I were avid snow skiers by winter and water skiers by summer. We had a place on Owasco Lake for about 28 years and spent a good 10 winters skiing as much as we could at Bristol Mountain. I had my kids on skis/snowboards by the time they were 2 (on a harness…I had wicked strong legs snowplowing the whole way down). When number #2 kid decided he wanted to play hockey, it put a damper in our winter skiing. But in true Talty form, we switched gears and the ENTIRE family gook up hockey. Yep.

From there I spent a good 12 years or so in hockey rinks almost EVERY DAY! Weekends were nuts, traveling with 3 different hockey teams across two countries. Who needs sunshine? Who needs heat? I joked that at least I didn’t have to deal with the weather at like football, soccer, or lacrosse in Rochester. I just knew I was going to cold. Its why then invented UGG boots, just saying.

Then, one day, my kids grew up…WTF? Why!? We were having so much fun…

Now, you’re all asking what does this have to do with my happy place? Because being able to reach your happy place, wherever that is, helps changes in life go a little easier…a little smoother…

I’m so insanely thrilled and proud of my children. They are all succeeding in life. They are healthy, happy, and making their own ways.

That said, when you spend 25 years with your children as the center of your universe, the transition, though gradual as they left over the course of 6 years, kind of sucker punches you and you’re left with your spouse…har har.

img_2840Anyway, as a kid, whenever I was feeling sad, or blue, I always went for the water. If it was winter, I’d day dream about being at the lake. Perhaps this is why ALL my books are set near a lake, or have scenes at the lake. I’m obsessed with water. Its my happy place. I’ve always been able to give myself a few months enjoying the water. I’m lucky…very lucky…so for the next few months, this is the few from my office. The Ocean is just past this little stretch of water and I went there this morning to walk  and watch the sun rise. As I was walking, I realized just how much more upbeat I had become over night. I felt more positive. Happy.

Its odd, because during the summer, at home, I’m very happy. My husband and I have lived in the same house since 1992 and have intention of moving anytime soon…just visiting places that allow me to be near my happy place and hubby to be near his…(the golf course, a different kind of beach!).

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