Music Monday with Author Shana Norris

I’m thrilled to have Shana Norris, author of  Something to Blog About, Troy High, The Boyfriend Thief and the soon-to-be- released Surfacing here for Music Monday.  Like me, Shana links her writing with music and I’m curious to see what song she’s going to pick for our listening pleasure. Take it away, Shana:

I’m one of those writers who can’t actually listen to music while writing. I need quiet so I can focus, yet music is still an important part of my writing. When I’m working on a new idea, one of the first things I do is create a playlist for the book that I use during brainstorming. The playlist may change over time as I get to know the characters better, but I always have a group of songs that help me get into the mood of the story.

My newest ebook release Surfacing, a YA paranormal which will be available on November 15, takes place on an isolated island along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The book has a very quiet, lonely feel and I wanted that to be reflected in the playlist. Most of the songs are soft and quiet, except one: “Santa Monica” by Everclear. It was the first song I added to the playlist and I knew it had to be there. It was one of the original inspirations for Surfacing, the song that helped put images in my head before I ever started writing the story. I can still see my main character Mara whenever I listen to it. It may seem a bit odd next to the quiet songs in the rest of the playlist, but “Santa Monica” is the perfect depiction of Mara’s feelings in the book.

The video for this song looks like it would make an awesome story!  Here, everyone, check it out:

Yep, that definitely makes me want to read the book!  If you’d like more info about Shana or her books, here ya go:

Shana Norris lives in North Carolina and likes to imagine all the secret things living in the ocean. You can visit her online at


October 31, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . guest post, music, YouTube stuff. 1 comment.

Is your muse like my muse?

What is your muse like?  Do they show up when you least expect it? Unannounced, like a relative or friend that barges in when you’ve got a ton of other things to do?

Or do they sometimes whisper so softly that it’s hard to hear them?

Have they ever take a vacation and forget to tell you they’re going?

Mine–and I love him or her–does all of the above.  But the thing that really blows me away is that sometimes mine can be a bit show-off-y. You might wonder what I’m talking about here. So I’ve got to tell you this one story.

I mentioned in an earlier post, right here,  about two times my muse has shown me something through music.  This story is about the second time.  I’ll save the first time for later.

So, a few months back, I was working on  my novel, Dolphin Girl, and I was thinking about how a theme in the book dealt with her being tugged on by an undertow or pulled along by a current beyond her control.  While I was thinking, a song came on the radio, an old song that I hadn’t heard in a long time.  “Numb” by Linkin’ Park.  Do you know the song?

Anyway, the lyrics “under the surface” and “caught in the undertow” along with some others really hooked my imagination.  This song completely summed up exactly how Jane, the main character, was feeling! I couldn’t remember ever seeing the video, so I wrote Numb on a slip of paper and set it aside to look up the video later.

Fast forward a couple of days, maybe a week, and I find the paper–LOL, yeah, that’s how I roll with my muse–and decide to watch the video.  Can you say creeped out?  I’m embedding the video below so you can watch it, but I’ll just mention that in the book Jane is an artist who has always her sketch pad with her.  The relationship with her mother is stifling and she’s got some issues with cliques at school. Beyond that, there are a few other doozies that are eerily, eerily similar. I literally shivered when I watched this video.  ‘Cause my muse was showing off, that’s why.   So, if you’re maybe a little curious about the book or about the song, here it is.  Oh, one more thing, if you know my writing, pay attention to her first sketch.  No, it’s not a dolphin, but you’ll see. Shiver.  See?  Show off.

October 6, 2011. Tags: , , , . dolphin girl, music, YouTube stuff. 3 comments.

Music Monday with U2

Jane, the main character in Dolphin Girl, definitely gets herself stuck in a moment.  Don’t we all?  So, this song has always felt like it’s a good fit for the book .  It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful message.  Hope you enjoy it.

September 19, 2011. Tags: , , , . dolphin girl, music, YouTube stuff. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — the first

For me, music and writing are inextricably interwoven.  Music inspires my writing and on rare occasions my muse has played practical jokes on me, giving me a storyline that parallels an existing  song and video so closely that it’s eerie.  It’s happened to me twice.  I (and some of my friends) have  ended up with goose bumps, or rather ostrich bumps.  It’s been that creepy.

I’ll save those stories (and videos) for another day, but with this post I’m introducing Music Monday.  I’m not sure what Music Monday will become.  But I’d like other writers to guest blog about the song that inspired them to write their book.  Or a song that matches their book.  I’d also like to put up music that makes me feel like there is a story embedded in the song.  Sometimes there are songs that feel like they existed before the first time we heard them and for me, Drive by Incubus is one of those songs.  So, I hope you’ll kick back and listen.  Maybe this song will inspire you.  Maybe your muse will show you the story inside.

Oh!  And BTW, I’d love to host any guest bloggers who would like to talk about a song and how it inspired their writing, so if this interests you, give me a holler.   And now I hope you enjoy this song.

August 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , . music, YouTube stuff. 5 comments.

Got the Time

Any fans of Joe Jackson out there?  This is an old song I think about all the time.   Back in the early eighties (boy, does that date me!) when I first heard this, it struck me as pretty funny.  Who would ever worry about time like this?  I mean, just listen to this guy for a minute.  He’s a little obsessive, right?

But then I got older—no,  I won’t tell you how much older!—and started to worry about time too.  I hear the tick, tick, ticking in my head like ole Joe.  It’s not so much that there are days where I hear it incessantly, like the song, but there are moments where I look at my children and say Whoa!  Where did it go?   And unfortunately, there isn’t always a good answer.

Time, like life, is a precious gift.  It shouldn’t be wasted or taken lightly.  And while I can appreciate living in the moment, when I hear the tick I worry that there may not be enough for everything I want to do before my time is up.  It’s enough to make me want to make changes and take risks.  It’s enough to make me feel like Steppin’Out, which is another Joe Jackson song I’ve always liked.  In fact, IMO it’s better than the first!  Here…check Joe out!  Isn’t he a dorkus majorcus?  But in a completely lovable way, right?  So until next time…I’m Steppin’ Out

July 13, 2011. Tags: , . music, YouTube stuff. 1 comment.

%d bloggers like this: