Kenny Rogers and the Writer in Me

I grew up around music. I’d been singing most of my life. As you can see from this picture, my piano lessons (which didn’t quite take…too impatient) started early, too.

But music was the first art I was introduced to, and it’s what soothes my soul.

My passion, however, belongs to the written word. There’s something about telling a story whether by poetry or by prose that has always captivated my attention. It’s a world in which I have the patience and perseverance to study, to practice, to re-write (you know, the dread word–edit) until you have something of worth and beauty.

Although the first album I ever purchased was Michael Jackson’s Thriller (a classic, to be sure), it was Kenny Rogers who left an indelible mark on my life through his amazing voice and incredible skill at story telling.

The first song of Kenny’s that I recall hearing was The Gambler. The tale had intriguing characters, real life lessons, and a story you could actually see come alive if you closed your eyes. I. Was. In. Love.

Kenny spoke to the writer in me. He fired my imagination. He even made me look at music a bit differently. In fact, music actually features prominently in my writing style. While I can’t listen to it while I’m actually writing (I have a tendency to type whatever words I’m hearing), finding the right music before I start to write helps me effectively convey the correct mindset or emotion for my scene or characters.

For example, if I want to portray a heartless villainess? A song like this one (I’m a military brat, so you do a vet dirty, I’m gonna have issues) will put me in the right mindset to create a real bitch.

Or if I want to convey someone who’s had rough breaks in life, but has always done the right thing, but in his current crossroads, he has to play dirty to be the hero, I’d play something like this one, a personal favorite.

Or maybe the lovers are both dumbasses (because let’s be honest, that happens) and we need them to realize they’re about to lose everything, or maybe that they were never right for each other and it’s time to let go… This one fits the bill.

Or when I need to capture the heart of the relentless soul who dreams big and will find a way to make it happen…

And when my hero is headed the wrong direction and about to eff things up with the heroine because he’s so busy with the wrong things he takes her for granted? This song does it for me…

At the end of the day, it’s his poetry and lyricism that engaged the writer in me so strongly. He made you feel his songs, and they were so relatable.

In fact, in my latest release, A Way With Words, I shared several song lyrics I’d created exclusively for this release and can’t help but feel maybe his energy influenced me. Here’s a taste of one of them…

“Did you see me
Through the haze of desire
The passion and fire
That you shared with someone else,
Did you see me?

Was I stupid?
To believe in promises made,
The foundation we laid
When I gave you my ring.
Was I stupid?

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?
I deserve more than this.

Will you realize
That my heart can be broken
I deserve more than token
Lies to make me stay, I won’t look away.
Will you realize?

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?

I deserve more than this.
Did you lose me
Or did I find my rebirth?
Discover my self-worth
In walking away, not looking back
Yeah, I found me.

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?
I deserve more than this.
Yeah, I found me.”

So I owe a huge debt of gratitude for all the joy and inspiration Kenny’s music has brought me “Through the Years.” (See what I did there?) LOL!

Who inspires you? Is it music? Movies? I’d love to know…

And to close out, I think it’s only fitting I share a song he did with one of his oldest, dearest friends… It’s like they knew. And besides, he felt like an old friend to me, too. Rest in Heaven, Kenny.

When Ireland Meets #BeneathManhattanSkies

My friend, the beautiful and sweet Emma Meade, has stopped by for a quick chat and to share with us her newest release, Beneath Manhattan Skies.

For those of you who don’t know Emma, she was one of the first friends to welcome me on my blog. Despite our different time zones (Emma’s in Ireland), we’ve forged a wonderful friendship based on our mutual love of hunky heroes from some of our favorite Supernatural tv shows, including Supernatural, and great music.

When I found out that Emma had released a new book I jumped at the opportunity to share her (and her new book) with you. Hope you guys enjoy!

Me:Thanks for stopping by today, Emma! So, as folks probably figured out by my intro above, your love of the supernatural started with TV shows. What was the first show to get you hooked?

Emma:The X-Files. I think I was ten years old when I came across a trailer for a new alien show, and I ran to my dad, all excited to tell him about it. Myself and my big sis, Lucy, would huddle on an armchair together each week for Mulder and Scully’s latest adventure. The X-Files was my first major TV obsession and I fancied Krycek like mad, especially when he went bad. 🙂

Me: Out of curiosity, What made you choose New York/Manhattan as the backdrop for this book?

Emma: In Under the Desert Moon, the protagonist, Erin Harris, always dreamed of going to art college in New York. I never really planned on writing a follow-up novel, but when I decided to go ahead about a year ago and see what Erin was up to after high school. I wanted to make sure her dream of studying in The Big Apple came true. And New York is such a contrast to Erin’s small hometown, a sleepy place in Arizona called Copperfield.

Me: As a follower of your blog, I know you have a passion for music. Were there any specific songs that helped to inspire specific scenes in this book?

Emma: “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon is one of Erin’s favourite songs. She’s a young woman, it’s her first time living away from home, and she’s looking for romance and passion, and this song makes her think of being with the vampire James, the first guy she fell in love with. The scene on the roof of Erin’s apartment when she and James can’t keep their hands off each other, is a result of this song being on repeat in her mind.

Me: Oooh! That’s great! So, speaking of Erin, what character traits do you like best/least about her?

Emma: Erin’s probably a little too serious for her own good. Her mother died when she was a young teenager, her father is a drunk, so Erin’s had to make the transition into adulthood largely alone. It’s no wonder she’s not as carefree as other girls her age. She has to put herself through college and has no parental support, financially or otherwise to fall back on. I’d like to see her let loose a bit more. She’s a strong women. That’s her best trait. She’s been through a lot and gets thrown into some vampire chaos in New York, yet she keeps her cool.

Me: She sounds fantastic! Just the sort of character I’ve always loved. A bit of a badass Buffy. 😉 Can I talk you into sharing a bit more?

Beneath Manhattan Skies Blurb-

November in New York is cold but full of possibility for college freshman Erin Harris. When her twin brother, Nick, shows up on her doorstep for a surprise visit, Erin is delighted. Unfortunately, Nick’s arrival coincides with the discovery of a body outside her apartment building, a body drained of blood. Right away, Nick assumes vampires are involved. He’s not exactly their biggest fan since Erin dated one in high school.

Juggling nosy roommates, a first date with a gorgeous guy from college and a brother on a Van Helsing kick is enough to keep any nineteen year old girl busy – And then Erin’s old flame walks back into her life.

Is Erin destined to be caught up in supernatural shenanigans, or will she choose a different path?

Beneath Manhattan Skies follows the character Erin Harris from Under the Desert Moon, but it can be read as a standalone story.

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber 

Teaser: Erin is chatting to Tommy, one of her college buddies in a club.

“My father wouldn’t be so understanding.” Erin frowned, not liking to think about her dad. “Did she have a boy or girl?” Erin shrugged in apology for not remembering.

“A boy. I feel sorry for my sister. She was surrounded by us growing up.”

“I’m sure it wasn’t that bad. She had a cool big brother.” She groaned inwardly. Why did she have to say that?

Tommy looked at her. Erin thought she saw a hint of a smile hovering around his lips. Where the hell was Sadie with the drinks? That girl was in big trouble for setting this up. A blush rose in Erin’s cheeks. She was grateful for the dim lighting in the bar.

“So, I’m cool, am I?” Tommy said after a moment, smiling easily again.

The tension alleviated and Erin breathed normally. “I thought you might have noticed that. You have a motorcycle. That automatically puts you in the cool club.”

“I’d like to take you out on the bike.”

And the hard-to-breathe thing started again.

EmmaMeade

About the Author:

Emma Meade lives in Ireland where it rains a lot. Reading and writing supernatural fiction, watching marathon re-runs of Buffy and drinking lots and lots of tea are some of her favourite activities. She’s never met a vampire, but thinks it would be kind of cool to meet one. Visit her on her blog, Emma’s Ramblings on Supernatural fiction at emmameade.com or on her website emmameadebooks.com

Website:  emmameadebooks.com

Blog:  emmameade.com

Twitter:  @EmmaMeadeIrl 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4229395.Emma_Meade

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/emmameadewrites

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Emma-Meade/e/B0064LKMK2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon.com –  http://amzn.to/HZtjxO

Amazon.uk –  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beneath-Manhattan-Skies-Emma-Meade-ebook/dp/B00GPKHN22/ref=la_B0064LKMK2_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384966212&sr=1-2

Smashwords –  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/374189?ref=emmaM83

Barnes & Noble  – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beneath-manhattan-skies-emma-meade/1117444078?ean=2940045420013&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-TnL5HPStwNw-_-10:1&r=1

Kobo –  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beneath-manhattan-skies

iTunes –  https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/beneath-manhattan-skies/id747022107?mt=11