Music, the silent partner of Haley Jenner
I often wonder what life would be like without music. A dark and awful place, I have no doubt. Maybe not for everyone. I know my husband prefers silence a lot of the time, something I struggle to reconcile in my mind. But for me, as someone who likes listening to my music at a deafening decibel, helping to drown out all other background noise, the thought of a world without music, is horrifying. Thankfully my two boys seem to have inherited my love of music. Insert proud Mumma moment when my five year old requests Bruno, Justin Timberlake or Tracy Chapman as soon as we pile into the car. Or even more so, my three year old demanding Beastie Boys.
I rely on music so heavily. In every aspect of my life. It gives me energy when I need the motivation or can change my mood, instantaneously. It's amazing how much easier squat reps are when the bass in Skrillex's Purple Lamborghini echoes in my eardrums or how Eminem's Rap God can slice away my anger as his lyrics filter through my car stereo. My music taste is, at the very least, diverse. Country songs warm my heart, the honesty and realness in the message always hitting me right in the heart. Pop music makes me happy, causes me to involuntarily start bopping with their catchy tunes and addictive hooks. I could go on, but I'm sure you get it. Music is King and Queen, like breathing. A necessity in my life and I appreciate most styles. My preference is definitely dependent on my mood and I think that's why it gives me so much in life. No matter how I'm feeling, where I'm at in life, it's there. Always. To soothe or build me up. To mellow my mood, it lets me feel exactly how I want to (as long as I can find the right track).
Since J and I started writing, music motivates and drives our writing heavily. Friends who have read ARCHER often ask how we formulate a scene. How do we create that in our minds? While we stand by our belief that our characters definitely create themselves and drive their own stories, music pushes it along. Writers block or trying to get into the inner psyche of a character in a particular moment; we turn to music. We send one another song links or certain lyrics; directing one another to read a chapter with a particular song in mind. It transforms a moment so significantly. It can reconstruct a scene from an awwww moment, to one so impactful, it closes your throat with emotion, it brings tears to your eyes. You may temporarily forget a story, but you'll hear that song and those few stolen minutes of music, will bring it back to life. Again and again.
I envy musicians. How freeing it must feel to put pen to paper and create something that can mean so much for someone within a few short minutes. How their lyrics, their words, so carefully crafted can mean something so important to them, then something so personally different to another. How special is that? That your art can can affect an array of different people, in different stages of their lives, across countries, nationalities, genders, age groups, so specifically and so meaningfully, to them, individually.
We write with music as a motivation, as a key contributor to our stories, to our characters. So, when you read our novels, be sure to check out the playlist at the end of the book. Find the playlist on Spotify, if you wish, it's there and will let the story hit you more forcibly. The way it was meant to. I guarantee, you won't regret it.
Side note: this blog post was brought on by Sugarland's Shine the Light. A key song in the creation of ARCHER. It's so perfectly, them. It's heartbreaking in the same way it's beautiful.