I dislike listening to the radio. I don’t use an iPod while I run or work out. Sometimes I write for hours without remembering to turn on music. And yet I can’t imagine a world without lyrics and harmonies.
It’s funny – my entire family has a musical streak. A singer, a flautist, a pianist, and a drummer/guitarist. Then there’s me, the one who quit piano lessons because she hated not being perfect right away.
Music plays a huge part for other writers, too. It doesn't just create background noise to help us concentrate – it jump-starts our emotions, fuels our creativity, and sets the tone for the scenes we write. I don’t want to listen to Hans Zimmer’s Batman score while writing an adorable love scene. For a long time I wrote almost exclusively to Hayao Miyazaki’s score for Princess Mononoke because it was one of the few things that had a song for every feeling I wanted to write.
As I work on WE ARE MONSTERS, I hear music in my head. At first it was all film scores (what I generally listen to while writing). Then one of my awesome friends told me that she kept hearing Ms Mr’s Hurricane while she read my book.
I can’t lie: When she told me, I gave her a “Oh, that’s nice” response because I had no idea what she was talking about (see above statement about the radio). But then I got curious. So I opened up the first pages of the manuscript, found Hurricane online, and was blown away. That song fits so perfectly I almost feel like they were made for one another. Since then I have continually looked for songs that fit the feeling of the story. It's like building the soundtrack to a movie, but for a book. I can’t stop.
How do you fuel your creativity? Is it with music or something else?
Michelle fuels her creativity with Pandora internet radio, hard cider, and a headband made from tapestry scraps.