Songwriters, Timeless Storytellers

o4cZKFu[2]I love songwriters. I envy their ability to create a lyric that tells a complete story from beginning to end, in roughly three minutes, set to music. If the same person wrote the music too…oh man, am I hooked. There is something about that connection between the lyrics and music I find incredibly sexy and inspiring…as in GENIUS inspiring.

Songs, sometimes complete albums by a specific artist, have been the inspiration behind a story or an idea of a story that goes into the idea file. In today’s digital age, it’s easy to purchase and download only the current hits. I’m still of the old school of buying the complete album, listening to every track and reading every word in the liner notes. I love to glimpse inside the songwriter’s world and try to understand a bit of their mindset while creating a complete volume of work.

Most songs are relatively clear and don’t require much in the way of translation or interpretation. However there are times when a song really moves me, captures my attention with a gripping melody and lyrics that keep me guessing. When this happens I study the lyrics and then search the true inspiration behind the song.  
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Making the Laughs LAST

Photo credit: jugbo / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: jugbo / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

My father passed away 8 years ago today, one day before his birthday.  Not so funny.  So why is this post about infusing humor into writing?  A few years later, I started writing the first book in my soon to be released BROTHERS OF AUDUBON SPRINGS series, RETURN TO AUDBUON SPRINGS.  This book was meant to be a sweeping epic family drama exploring grief, forgiveness and rebirth for a family at odds over one summer at their Jersey Shore home.  Before I knew it, the house had been bequeathed to the heroine and her hot carpentry-former lover, a ridiculously steamy battle for ownership between the two followed, enter a secret baby and…holy cow….I’m writing a romantic comedy.  I fought it for months.  NO! I’m writing an epic family drama, but instead, laughter, love and tears flowed onto the page.  Finally I took a step back and realized it all made sense.  Laughter lingers in our hearts and humor will always resonate across time and distance.  My father had a warped sense of humor, more signature catch phrases than you could imagine, along with a penchant for quoting Shakespeare.  Now, eight years later, I find myself using those same catch phrases (“You can’t ever be sure of what you’re going to get” – this was a favorite he used on my husband when it came to me!) and quoting those same lines from Shakespeare.  I do NOT, however, ask my daughter to pull my finger! 
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The Role of Fathers in Romantic Fiction

In honor of Father’s Day, I decided to take a look at the different types of fathers and how they are utilized (or not) in fiction with a few glimpses into how I have used the role in my own work. 

There are many famous fathers either applauded or ridiculed in literature.  Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird is often hailed as the best father in fiction for his moral strength, compassion, and his love for his children. On the opposite spectrum, Shakespeare’s King Lear in King Lear wins no props for father of the year for playing favorites with his daughters, not to mention promoting the practice of false vanity. 

In the world of Romance, the role of father is usually found somewhere between the two.  A father in romance can take on a variety of roles. 

Photo credit: 'J' / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

King Lear wins the award for Daddy Dearest
Photo credit: ‘J’ / Foter.com / CC BY-NC


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What’s Your Theme?

There’s No Place Like Home

A short while ago, with an eye roll and long suffering sigh, my ten year old daughter asked why do I love reading and writing romance? More than anything I love watching the complications towards happily ever after unfold and being “present” during that exciting time when a couple comes together and starts to form a family. To this end, I believe that is one of the things that inspired me to write a series. As a reader and writer, I like catching glimpses of a couple after their happily ever after in future installments of the work.

I have written in two genres now and the same overarching theme in each manuscript is Home and Family. Regardless of age, gender and conflict, all of my characters are looking not just for their happily ever after, but for a place to call home.
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