Answering the author questions I get asked the most. I am in no way indicating that I speak for the community as a whole. As authors are diverse, so are their answers. This/these is/are simply mine.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you have a writing playlist?
This is probably one of the top 5 questions I get asked. Almost every questionnaire I receive has it, many readers ask it, and I always want to know about my favorite books/authors too.
For me, I don’t have a set writing playlist, rather each couple/book has their/its own unique playlist. More often than not, music is my first introduction to them, the first thing they share with me. I get to know them through their music before they let me in on their story. Music is, for me, an intimate way to get to know people in real life, so why not my characters? They don’t always give me their entire library, but a song here or there, and once I have enough to get a feel for them, I immerse myself in that music, even when it is totally not my personal taste. Not only when I am actively writing, but when I’m in the car, riding Lemmy, or working out. That playlist is on a loop, and at some point, I mesh with them on a different level, and then their story begins to take on new layers. I continue listening to the playlist until the book is finished.
FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS
Do you always connect through music?
Yes and no.
Yes, because I always need to connect through music for my character to have depth. For me to even understand them and tell their story, I have to feel their music.
No, because sometimes I can’t. When I find myself skipping songs repeatedly, I suffer character block. I can’t get a real feel for them. Currently, I find myself skipping songs on my WiP playlist or just turning it off, causing me to not be able to connect to one of my main characters. I can’t write them when I can’t connect and sadly, music is my main bridge.
Why isn’t it in the back of your book? Can (do) you share it?
I have read books with a playlist in the back matter, and while I personally love the idea, I am not sure of all the legalities about doing it myself. I would rather put my money in editing, covers, and marketing than to pay a lawyer to find out or to handle it if I do so without full knowledge and have to pay. (Yes, there is always Google, but I prefer not to rely on an internet search for legal advise.) Besides, I do share the playlists. I have them on Spotify, I also share them on my Facebook page and Pinterest. However, I am going to start sharing them here. (I’ll get my back-lists up this week.)
Do your characters only listen to your favorite music?
No, sometimes they listen to songs that make me want to drive rusty railroad spikes through my eardrums, but it’s not about what I like, it’s all about getting in touch with them.