Guest Post: Val Griswold-Ford
This week, we have a special guest post from author/editor/my friend Val Griswold-Ford. As her new novel releases, she’s here to chat about music and writing. Enjoy!
First, thanks, KT, for letting me hang out here today! Music is a big part of my writing, and in fact, Winter’s Secrets, the book that is coming out now, started as a musical advent calendar. It’s very hard for me to write without music. I have playlists for every novel/project I’m working on.
I’m also fairly musically eclectic. I’ll listen to almost anything. When I write Molly and Schrodinger (the main characters for Winter’s Secrets), I listen to Christmas carols. In fact, Winter’s Secrets was originally based on a musical Advent Calendar, and the only outline I had was a list of my favorite Christmas carols. Which is weird for me, because I’m very much a plotter, not a pantser. But I found that by allowing myself the freedom to simply allow the song of the day to dictate what was going to happen in the story, it really helped me to write each day. The original blog story was written daily, and there were some days that I honestly had NO idea what I was going to write. Schrodinger was a complete surprise (as was the fact that this story got the following it did), and so was the Gate stations.
When I posted the daily story, I attached a link for a YouTube video of the song that Molly received, so that my readers could enjoy the music along with Molly and Schrodinger. I didn’t want to lose that experience when I decided to publish the book, but I also couldn’t afford royalties on 25 songs. So I looked around and realized that while performances of songs are copyrighted, titles are not. And since I hate coming up with chapter titles anyways, what better way to keep the list there? So I titled each chapter with the song that Molly received each day.
If you follow me on Spotify (I’m there as vgford), you can follow the Winter’s Secrets playlist, which is the entire calendar that Molly received. I’ve made it available for anyone to follow. If you’re interested in any of my other playlists for my projects, you’ll want to follow me on Patreon.
What I’m Listening to This week:
I’ve gone back to the Dark Horseman universe for my current book, and so I’m listening to a combination of Billy Joel, Nightwish, Lyriel, Magica, Indica, and Tori Amos. Shanna is a lot darker character than Molly or Schrodinger, and the music that I use to channel her reflects that. Interestingly enough, I do have some Christmas music on the list, but it’s from the Nightmare before Christmas, which is one of my favorite musicals. Shanna’s personal preference is for Billy Joel and 80s music, but Jonathan, who is the other main character, is into electric violins and Finnish music. Yes, really.
This is one of the songs that is on repeat in my head at the moment: