The Undercover Soundtrack – Roz Morris

‘Music, the language of souls’

Once a week I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative process – perhaps to open a secret channel to understand a character, populate a mysterious place, or explore the depths in a pivotal moment. This week it’s my turn, and I’m talking about the music behind My Memories of a Future Life . And below you have a chance to win a very special version of the print edition….

Soundtrack by Grieg, Beethoven, Michael Nyman, Bill Nelson, Daryl Runswick, Joe Jackson, Meredith Monk, Seal, Handel, Massive Attack, Emeli Sande, George Michael

Begin, like my narrator Carol, lying on a floor trying to think of nothing. Her brain’s like a searching radio, snatching music out of the smallest sound, or the footsteps of the yoga teacher walking around her.

That’s me too. If you’re talking to me and I detect music, no matter how quiet, my brain will align to it and you’ll become the background.

My brain is also a noisy beast. It crackles with images, connections and ideas, but far too fast for its poor operator to catch. Music freezes the hurricane and allows me to play with an idea, stop time and rewind so I can examine and explore. So it’s pretty much essential to my writing.

A life steeped in music

My Memories of a Future Life is a novel steeped in music. Its narrator, Carol, is a classical pianist. In the story there are a number of standard pieces that have special meaning for her (Ludwig Van’s Moonlight SonataGrieg’s piano concerto in A minor – which I marinated in so long that I developed absolute pitch).  But to write Carol I needed to understand what it meant to devote your life to an instrument. An obvious place to start was Michael Nyman’s theme for The Piano, a windswept reel where a piano speaks for a person. But under Carol’s classical poise is a more raucous urge. Enter Bill Nelson’s Scala, an operatic aria gone feral. I listen to that cliff of sound and it tells me the joy of connection that Carol feels at her instrument:

Their faces weren’t critical. They were soft and open. Music, the language of souls. That was why we played. To do that to each other.

I’ve never worked out if Scala is, in fact, a joyous song. The lyrics might even be Bill Nelson’s shopping list. It does not matter. When I’m writing, music guides my gut, not my head.

Mysterious pain

Carol’s career is halted by a mysterious injury. She’s desperate to play again but medicine can’t give her any answers. So she seeks them from an unusual source – herself in a future incarnation. The story splits into two threads: Carol now, and her next life.

One of my earliest decisions was how the two narratives would work together. I found a guide in Joe Jackson’s Lullaby. It’s a slow snow-fall of a song with a flavour of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and a floating female vocal. It made me think of blue hallucinations and deepest winter. For a long time I planned the modern-day action to take place at the bitterest time of year, frozen like Carol’s life. But once the characters were setting their own agenda, the quality of winter became a person: Carol’s hypnotist Gene Winter, a complex, mesmeric man who has

a soul of solid steel. A surgeon’s soul.

The dreamy blue from Lullaby became an underwater city in the future. There, Carol’s future self, Andreq, is a healer struggling to cover up a secret. He needed his own voice and soul, distinct from her. His eerie composure came from the extraordinary composer-vocalist Meredith Monk in this track, Lost Wind.   Even her track titles made me want to write – especially Travel Dream Song.

Crazy daydream

Of course, what Carol is going through is pretty odd. She’s experiencing her future self, and increasingly questioning the influence of Gene, who’s teasing it out of her. I was out driving one day, my favourite mode for daydreaming, and Seal’s Crazy swam out of the radio. Crazy is so famous you probably don’t have to click the link. Certainly I knew it well from its days in the charts. But once a song crosses into my undercover soundtrack, it’s like hearing it for the first time.

That song created, in sound, a scene I had been feeling for. A party in a darkened house, where everyone is ‘dancing to not be there’ and Carol realises she is hoping for miracles.

‘As the music swept everything away I imagined that I could talk to Gene about what we were doing, that we could slip off our inhibitions like these people here, that we could talk about what was me and what was him and what was neither’

Searching

What is Carol searching for? At one point she thinks she’s got it. Handel’s brooding, thrilling aria Ombra Cara, from Radamisto examined the moment perfectly, in the music at least. What the words are, I haven’t a clue.

Much of the novel’s action is at night, a 3am desert where normal rules are suspended. When I needed to loosen my bones I’d go running. I liked to go out after dark, listening to songs that were too invasive to write to but kept me in Carol’s mind. One was Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy for its restlessness. Last summer, on final edits it was joined by Emeli Sande and Heaven - which to me sounds like Unfinished Sympathy cloned in helium.

Long before I knew what the end should be, I knew how it should feel. It came from George Michael and this fragment from his album Older. It has only one lyric. I had it on repeat while I ran in the dark, mile after mile, searching for the way there. Like Carol.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

COMPETITION Win a very limited print edition of My Memories of a Future Life

Special album sleeves are de rigeur in music, so I thought I’d try it in books. I’ve made a special version of My Memories of a Future Life with an adventurous variation on the cover. (And yes, it goes around the back too.)

The text inside is the same as the red edition, except this has an inscription about the cover and its own ISBN. It’s not for sale, it’s a one-off piece of authorly whimsy. I’m giving away two copies, which I’ll sign and number.
To enter, leave a comment here by 8am UK time on Sunday 16th September – although you can enter no matter where in the world you’re based. If you mention this post on Twitter, Facebook, your blog or any other corner of the known etherverse, that counts as another entry – but make sure to tell me here. Each comment or mention counts as an entry, within reason – in other words, don’t spam… (of course you won’t…)

…….

UPDATE

WINNERS! Thanks for all your entries and your energetic tweeting, googling and hooting. The entries have been shuffled, stuffed in a fancy cardboard churn and scrumpled again. The two winners, plucked from the mass with due solemnity, are Aine and Debbie Steg. Congratulations – and email me at rozmorriswriter at gmail dot com

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  1. #1 by adelesymonds on September 12, 2012 - 7:41 am

    Wow this book sounds amazing and the writing process is so different to what I have heard of before. Love the cover. If I win I will review it on my blog.

  2. #3 by philipparees on September 12, 2012 - 8:53 am

    A fascinating teasing out of the strands that contribute to creativity. What a piece of music will ‘pull together’ is so very individual, that to be invited to explore one mind (yours) is to partly understand one’s own. I am intrigued that the shape of the book followed the ‘feel’ of the psychological impact of different kinds of music, or that it solved intuitive necessity. Rather suggests that we seek for what we already know! Listened to all tracks but the Handel did it for me, perhaps undistracted by changing images. A generous sharing of deep secrets! Now reading the book becomes a necessity.

    • #4 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:30 pm

      Hi Philippa! I find that so much of my writing is digging for what I really mean – as you say, reaching for what we already know, clarifying it so that we can make something out of it for others.
      That Handel is delicious, isn’t it? I don’t tend to watch the videos. The visuals are better in my head.

  3. #5 by Dina Santorelli on September 12, 2012 - 11:06 am

    It never ceases to amaze me how music uniquely inspires and drives writers. As I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, I was quite surprised to find the music that inspired me to write my debut novel simply belongs to that debut novel now — I tried playing it while writing Novel #2, but it was no use… It belonged to BABY GRAND. :) What a great post, Roz. I’m off to share. :)

    • #6 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:31 pm

      Hi Dina! Yes, I don’t think that a track can cross from one book to another. My music for Life Form 3 is firmly behind its own fence.

  4. #7 by Fancy Ruff-Wagner on September 12, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    As someone who is not a practicing musician, but who was raised by 2 musicians and trained to be one, and am now married to one and bore one, I cannot imagine listening to music while writing, although I am intrigued by your description of its effect on you. In my church they often use music as the background for guided meditations, and I find myself listening to the music, not the meditation. I also can’t have a conversation over music for the same reason. Yet my daughter, quite an accomplished singer/songwriter who plays multiple instruments, loves to have music on when she writes her stories, So perhaps I ought to give it a try, and in reading your posts, I have been giving thought to the kind of music that would define my main character and her experiences of the world.

    I also shared this post in my Facebook writing group, My Writing Friends.

    • #8 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:34 pm

      Fancy, how very interesting to have the perspective of a thoroughly trained musician. I used to think I couldn’t write if I could hear music because of its distracting qualities. But one day I realised that the right choice of music could add such a dimension of immersion and concentration – perhaps like meditation (although I am a person who can’t meditate, I’m too antsy).
      Hope your experiments are fruitful and thanks for the double sharing!

  5. #9 by DRMarvello on September 12, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    The interplay of the arts is fascinating to me, and the Undercover Soundtrack has shown fun and intriguing examples of how music inspires writing. The posts reveal so much about the author! I have yet to apply musical inspirations to my own writing (consciously at least), but you inspire me to try doing so. I usually write in the early hours of the morning, and I enjoy the pre-dawn darkness and quiet.

    It’s interesting how the visual arts can contribute to writing as well. A single photograph can inspire an entire story. Graphic novels have evolved to a new level of sophistication in recent years. One of my Magic Appreciation Tour authors has published her first title as an “EmotoBook,” which is a novel that has abstract art images interspersed at critical moments of the story. The idea is that the image represents the emotions of that moment in the story. As far as I know, it’s a new concept developed by a company called Grit City Publications.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Roz. I can see how your musical influences affected the tone and flow of MMoaFL. I’ll have to read it again. Already, my memories of a future reading experience are richer.

    • #10 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:45 pm

      HI Daniel! I love how personal the Undercover Soundtrack posts are. As you say, they are revealing on so many levels and that connection with a fellow creative is so interesting. When a new post for the series arrives in my inbox I have to drop everything and read.
      You write in the small hours? At the end of the day or the beginning? I’m hopeless at getting up early – mainly because I’m good at going to bed late. But once a book really has momentum I sleep less and less.

      Photos and art are, of course, another interesting way to freeze an idea or impression for examination. I keep a file of faces – random people from magazines who seem to thrum with character. Something about their expression or situation suggests they’d be interesting in a story. You may even remember the post where I showed my pictures of Gene, Jerry and Carol – although I wouldn’t link to it now because everyone will have their own mental picture of them now.

      I’ve heard about EmotoBooks but never seen one. What an interesting idea. It reminds me a little of those Sandman-style comics which seem to partly be like collages – a gothic strip of lace here, a figure in the mist there. I’ll have to check them out – the more I think about them, the more I like them.

      Glad you found my post fitted with the novel. Like the character pictures, it’s difficult to know if you’ll ruin it for the reader!

    • #11 by DRMarvello on September 12, 2012 - 5:22 pm

      For the record: I’ve posted a link to this page on G+, Facebook, and Twitter. I’m happy to help, even if being in the U.S. disqualifies me for the drawing.

      You asked about when I write. I get up at 4:30 AM and start writing after having coffee with my wife. I’m usually at my computer by 5:15. I wrap it up and start getting ready for my “day job” between 6:30 and 7:00. According to my time tracking, I average about an hour and a quarter of writing time a day.

      I haven’t tried any of the EmotoBooks myself yet, so I don’t have a specific recommendation. I do plan to read Cynthia Ravinski’s title “Lingering in the Woods” because I know her from the Magic Appreciation Tour.

      • #12 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 5:27 pm

        Daniel, you’re not disqualified by not being in the UK…. I’d better adjust the post to make a point of that. So many of my readers are in the US that I couldn’t exclude them.

      • #13 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 5:28 pm

        4.30am? eek.

  6. #14 by Marni Scofidio on September 12, 2012 - 1:19 pm

    Roz, I think discovering your work and blog are probably the most important ‘keep-writing’ treaures I’ve found since discovering Scrivener last year.

    Like many writers I use my life as writing fodder. I can’t remember what happened last Tuesday, but I still recall when I lived in Los Angeles, a night in 1988, staying in my car long after I’d arrived home to listen to Jacqueline du Pre play Franck’s ‘Sonata in A, IV. Allegretto poco mosso’ on the radio while the rain poured down my windshield and my soul. I’ve lived three separate lives in as many countries and in all that’s happened, I can use music to pull up memories that might otherwise be lost, along with last Tuesday.

    It’s so helpful to see successful writers treasuring the same practices I use. Thank you, Roz; time and again, your writing helps me navigate the difficulty I often find in creating something new. Music helps conjure the elusive and noncompliant; it is that other great consolation in life, right up there with correspondence.

    • #15 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:49 pm

      Wow, Marni – great endorsement. I’m really chuffed!

      I love that story of you staying in the car until the piece of music was over. I do that – although not always with such harrowing reason. Music is a time machine. It freezes a moment and it conjures up memories. It must be one of our best inventions.

  7. #16 by Sally - aka Saleena on September 12, 2012 - 1:46 pm

    Hi Roz!

    Your undercover soundtrack was long overdue! :)

    The song ‘Crazy’ was one I used too. Love its haunting sound.

    Your novel does indeed ooze musical knowledge, but you did a marvellous job of making its presence natural and not ‘researched’. I suppose it helps that you have a keen musical ear anyway. :)

    • #17 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:52 pm

      Hi Sally! Crazy is terrific isn’t it?
      I’m glad the music seemed natural in the novel. I had to do quite a bit of research, as my knowledge of music was very DIY. I like to bash a piano and I can make a passable noise when I sing, but that’s very different from understanding the high degrees of discipline and detail that go into classical musicianship. Most of all, though, it helped to understand the emotional side – the state of mind of a player and the pressures they might face.

  8. #18 by Ann Marie Gamble (@amgamble) on September 12, 2012 - 3:19 pm

    It’s interesting how activities that use another sense can affect each other: I find that not just certain music boosts my writing, but watching certain kinds of movies, getting exercise, some smells can be inspiring. I think they tie up enough parts of my brain that the inner critic is too distracted to pick on the verbal part.

    • #19 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:58 pm

      Hi Ann Marie! I find all those things you listed inspiring too – but it’s different to do them at the same time as writing. Distracting the inner critic must be a big part of it – giving it just enough to do that our imaginations can relax and invent.

  9. #20 by Rebecca Allan on September 12, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    Now that is very interesting! As I write I have to listen to music – usually film soundtracks. It was interesting how today, I was writing a sort of sneaking around scene and all of a sudden the Pink Panther theme tune started to play. It made it far more interesting and I found it easier to see the scene. Music – it is just fascinating how it plays with one’s brain.

    • #21 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:59 pm

      Hi Rebecca! A sneaking scene to the Pink Panther – very nifty. I wrote a chase scene once to Fatboy Slim and because of the music the twists and turns became a lot more quirky.

  10. #22 by Hemmie Martin on September 12, 2012 - 3:43 pm

    Hi Roz, like you, music can be part of the writing process for me. My taste ranges from classical to Green Day, depending on which character I’m concentrating on or which plot/sub-plot. There are times when my mind demands peace.

    Great idea for your piece. Off to share on Twitter & FB.

    Hemmie

    • #23 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 4:59 pm

      Hemmie, there’s another writer who uses Green Day… scroll down to the bottom and click and you can find your soulmate in soundtracks.

  11. #24 by John A. A. Logan on September 12, 2012 - 3:49 pm

    I’ve Google-plus-one-ed, Tweeted, and Facebooked, Roz! I want to win! That copper-green and bronze cover is beautifully-done, and so was this post…and I say that as a fellow-runner-in-the-dark!

    • #25 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 5:01 pm

      Hi John – your four entries are on the tally! Didn’t know you were an after-dark runner. I love it for freeing the imagination. It’s like entering a timeless cocoon. It makes me feel I’m free to explore.

  12. #26 by PJ Kaiser on September 12, 2012 - 4:04 pm

    I love the links you’ve compiled here – this approach to writing very much rings true for me. One of the novels rambling around in my brain is about a burned out world-famous pianist and his struggle to come to terms with his gift and his responsibility, if any, to keep playing. Whenever my mind goes to this character, there is always music in the subtext. As a pianist, I look forward to diving headlong into the story, but it’s still in the mulling stages for now ;-)

    I have tweeted the link to this post and shared it on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pj.kaiser.writer

    The special edition print version looks lovely and would be a delight to read. :-)

    • #27 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 5:05 pm

      PJ, I didn’t know you’re a pianist. I’ve always loved the instrument. Its polyphony means it’s self sufficient and doesn’t rely on accompaniment to give a note its context. The range means you can play about with infinite musical possibilities, from very low to very high. And the studying I did for this novel gave me even more respect for those who can master it. I’m impressed with anyone who can put a piano through its paces properly.

  13. #28 by Lovelyn on September 12, 2012 - 4:15 pm

    I recently heard your interview on The Bookcast and your book sounds interesting. I’d love to win a copy of this special edition.

  14. #30 by suzannepurewal on September 12, 2012 - 4:16 pm

    I have found a kindred spirit! I always hear the music in the background. I can not tune it out no matter how hard I try. If music is playing, that is what my brain picks up on. Recently I was out with friends and one friend noticed my mood changed drastically even though our conversation was light and happy. She asked what was wrong. I checked myself at that moment. My mood had changed because of the depressing song the piano player was playing, and I didn’t even realize it! I really hope that I win this book. I plan to read it cover to cover! And I’ll definitely review it on my soon-to-be-released blog.

    • #31 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 5:07 pm

      Suzanne, you’re another person who hears the voices. No, we’re not going mad, we’re just too imaginative.
      That’s a really interesting story about your friend noticing your mood change. I’ve never been aware of that myself, or thought of it happening. How fascinating.

      • #32 by suzannepurewal on September 13, 2012 - 11:33 pm

        I love that – we’re just too imaginative. I am going to remember that the next time it happens. Thanks for the sanity check!

  15. #33 by Thérèse on September 12, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    Music is on a different plane. It evokes a host of new things, and fuels creativity in a way nothing else can, for me.

    I’d love to win this, Roz. Author whimsy is fantastic. :)

  16. #35 by Jonas Attilus on September 12, 2012 - 5:17 pm

    that’s really interesting that authors are finding new way to improve their creative process, i really enjoy the initiative which is new by itself and we’d like to congratulate you roz and ask you to keep us update. good luck and keep it up. i’ll publish it with my 2815 contacts on Facebook.

  17. #37 by Eliza Green on September 12, 2012 - 7:50 pm

    Great post, Roz. I always try to work while music plays in the background. I feel it adds an extra dimension to my writing.

  18. #39 by Andrew Blackman on September 12, 2012 - 8:05 pm

    Great idea to do a special edition, Roz! I haven’t come across the idea much in writing, although as you say it’s common in music. After reading other writers’ thoughts on here for so long, it was great to see you step out of the background and share your own musical inspiration. I’m tweeting about the contest as we speak. Well, as I write. Well, you know what I mean.

    • #40 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 12, 2012 - 8:17 pm

      Thanks, Andrew. It was a lot of fun to revisit the novel with its soundtrack. Like living it again. Thanks for passing it on.

  19. #41 by David Mark Brown on September 12, 2012 - 9:07 pm

    I’ve always wondered how many other writers create soundtracks for their work, and how those soundtracks influence their writing. Hah, I guess I’m another secret soundtracker. I usually spend almost a week just before the first draft putting together around three to four hours worth of music. The bummer for me is that I need most of the music to be new (to me) in order to help unlock the story (so I spend a lot on iTunes). I want to start listening to the music at the same time I start the new book. That way they influence each other. I have found the songs taking on new meaning as much as the novel as I play the same playlist over and over for several weeks.

    All these other responses has given me more to chew on.

    • #42 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 13, 2012 - 7:23 am

      I go collecting as well, David – especially if there is an obvious prompt such as a setting. Many of my ghosted books were set in foreign countries so I’d find music that dripped with atmosphere and place. Many of the pieces for Future Life were ‘found’ though – almost like romantic discoveries.

  20. #43 by Debbie Steg on September 12, 2012 - 9:11 pm

    Roz,

    I loved reading about the music that influenced and shaped your characters and the story. While I’m inspired and influenced by music before and after my writing sessions, yet I still find it distracting when I do the actual writing. Instead, having the right scent wafting in my environment while I’m writing serves the same purpose that music does for you. For example, if I’m writing about a summer setting, a scent of fleurs d’oranger sets the mood, etc. Often the scents of nature in my writing environment, like the smell wet earth during a rain storm when writing, that earthy scent can influence and inspire my writing. For a long time I disliked rainy days, but find them some of my favorite days to write now. The rainwater washing away old thoughts and clearing the space for new thoughts, ideas and inspiration and that after the rain comes the sun and a clearing. I also go for a run to clear my head when writing, although it’s usually an early morning run (not often given that my best writing time is usually late at night – and here I thought I was the only one!) or a late afternoon run as the sun is setting.

    I’m tweeting this post on twitter.

    • #44 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 13, 2012 - 7:26 am

      Hi Debbie! Scents – that’s an interesting prompt, and far less controllable than headphones. Or at least the rain element is. Running is a favourite with many writers, it seems.

  21. #45 by Aine on September 13, 2012 - 12:14 am

    Love Meredith Monk & Nyman; Joe Jackson is blocked in the U.S. will have to seek him out on youtube; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IlDxUyQVB0 – Adding Prelude in C# Minor – most challenging one I had to memorize!

    • #46 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 13, 2012 - 7:30 am

      Aine, what a pity that Joe Jackson is blocked – something I can’t tell from this end. But thank you for the Rachmaninov. Lovely bloke.

  22. #47 by Catherine Stine on September 13, 2012 - 1:02 am

    Hi, Roz, I have your novel bought, loaded and ready to read on my Kindle Fire TBR list! As for the soundtrack, I like Grieg and Seal the best, and together, even better. I did a playlist for my futuristic thriller, Fireseed One, and I played it while revising. I still listen to it in my car, and it brings me to that world like nothing else.

    • #48 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 13, 2012 - 7:34 am

      Catherine, a Undercover Soundtrack knows no genre boundaries. Agree that Grieg and Seal coexist nicely. And do try, as Carol does in the novel, beginning with Grieg and segueing into Rock the Kasbah. They’re in the same key.
      I like to rerun my soundtracks too. It brings back the time those characters were living with me.

  23. #49 by Jami Gold on September 13, 2012 - 3:42 am

    What a fun explanation of how you came up with your soundtrack. I love listening to music while I write, but I usually don’t have specific songs for specific sections (although I do for one book).

  24. #51 by Toni Rakestraw on September 13, 2012 - 9:53 pm

    I haven’t used music while I write. If there are lyrics, my brain locks onto them and I can’t focus well on my writing. My daughter, who has a desk very close to my own, often plays intrumentals from video games (wonderful orchestrations!) and songs from Japan. I find these less intrusive on my own thoughts, probably because I don’t know the language. Sometimes I can be put right into a story I was editing when she first discovered a song because she’d play it over and over, so it becomes indelibly linked in my mind to that particular story.

    I love that you made a special edition on a whim. Shared this on Google+…I always need more things to share there. :)

    • #52 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 13, 2012 - 10:10 pm

      Thanks, Toni. I was messing around creating artwork for the Undercover Soundtrack Inside Out, trying to find a twist on the logo I’d already established. It suddenly hit me that I could make an alternative cover. I’m so glad I did – people are loving the idea. Thanks for sharing on Google!

  25. #53 by Ian Sturrock on September 13, 2012 - 10:11 pm

    I pretty much always have to write with lyric-less music on, or lyrics in a language I can’t understand (including non-language stuff like Cocteau Twins or Sheila Chandra’s Speaking In Tongues songs). If the music has words in, I end up typing the words!

    • #54 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 14, 2012 - 6:18 am

      Hi Ian! I used to think writing music had to be lyricless, but now manage to ignore whatever’s being sung at me. But if you need to, you could widen your repertoire with some of Toni’s daughter’s collection…

  26. #55 by Kat on September 13, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    As always, I love taking a peek at your Undercover Soundtrack feature. It was great to read about your own! (Also, I REALLY dig the limited edition cover! Fantastic idea.)

  27. #57 by Kirsten on September 14, 2012 - 12:33 am

    Music is an integral part of my writing process, so I make soundtracks for everything as well. Reading about yours was fascinating, and really piqued my interest in your book! I hope I win, but if I don’t this is a story I won’t be able to resist for long. Lovely writing. :)

    • #58 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 14, 2012 - 6:14 am

      Thanks, Kirsten – I do soundtracks here every week so if this was a pleasant diversion do come back!

  28. #59 by Debra Eve (@DebraEve) on September 15, 2012 - 2:06 am

    You know I loved My Memories of a Future Life since I’ve placed strategic reviews around :). Even though I’ve read it, I know a few friends who’d appreciate your writing as much as I do. Michael Nyman’s soundtrack is one of my favorites. Thanks for the other great listens!

  29. #61 by simonclarter on September 15, 2012 - 11:15 am

    Oh, okay. You got me. I’ll tweet and facebook and such. (Also, I agree on the music being essential to writing thing. Ask me about symphonic metal and noir sometime…. >.> )

  30. #63 by Alexandra Davidoff on September 15, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    As I type this, I’ve got my ears plugged with my headphones blasting “Piya II” by the Sulk Station. Electronica with ethereal vocals just puts me in a creative mood, ready to conquer the world! (even if that world is imaginary)

    I like to see each of my ideas as a piece of raw meat, slowly beginning to smell in every moment that I waste procrastinating. Music is both the marinade that flavours them, and the pressure seal that helps me preserve them. I also have this habit of sometimes being so intensely swept up in the rhythm and vocals of a certain song that I start to imagine the singer reading aloud the words I’m writing in my own private fantasy. Music helps me think. Music helps me breathe. Without it, I bet I’d go insane, and kill my characters well before getting to ‘THE END’.

    “Music freezes the hurricane and allows me to play with an idea, stop time and rewind so I can examine and explore. So it’s pretty much essential to my writing.” – so beautifully said. Roz, you write wonderfully. I’m enthralled. The concept of your novel is also fascinating. As a fan of poetic, lyrical, literary works, I’d be honoured to add yours to my collection, especially with that stunning cover!

    Shared on both Twitter, and Google+

    • #64 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 16, 2012 - 8:49 am

      Alexandra, I LOVE synths. They sound as if they’ve come from the future, or the labs of insanely curious people who are searching for something – anything – different. Just the name Sulk Station makes me want to check them out. Sometimes I deeply envy bands for their talents with titles.
      Adding your name to the hat the requisite number of times – and thank you!

  31. #65 by Beth Rudetsky on September 16, 2012 - 3:13 am

    Dear Roz, the pairing of your music choices that run the gamut from plaintive melodies to thunderous sounds along with your deep insight into the drives of people and what makes them tick, lays bare before us the stark emotions that are inside the soul.

  32. #67 by Andrew Blackman on September 16, 2012 - 5:34 pm

    Ah, I had high hopes – still, congrats to Aine and Debbie Steg!

  33. #69 by Terre Britton (@TerreBritton) on September 19, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    Hi Roz! Sorry to be late to the party, but I’m so happy I didn’t miss this entirely. Your Undercover Soundtrack series is brilliant and, I agree with Sally/Saleena, ‘yours’ was long overdue! It reveals such interesting tints and shades of your personality, your characters and your writing process. I love the sensitivity of this quote: “Their faces weren’t critical. They were soft and open. Music, the language of souls. That was why we played. To do that to each other.” That is such a lovely description of why and how artists create and appreciate.
    And I think the cover’s color inversion is a clever and apt inside-out, or doppelganger-ish, visual metaphor for Carol’s split/other life.

    • #70 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 20, 2012 - 6:28 am

      Hi Terre! The ‘doppelganger edition’ – fantastic and appropriate name! Lovely to see you here – thanks for your comment.

  34. #71 by Katherine Amabel (@KatherineAmabel) on September 23, 2012 - 11:50 am

    Thanks so much for joining my Follow-Swap Blog Hop and leading me here so I could follow you. :D Your book sounds amazing and I love your music-related interview series. What an awesome way to tie your blog to your book! I’m always listening to (aka being distracted by) music when I write, but my biggest challenge was to compose a song written entirely from one character’s point of view at one of her most emotionally wrought scenes. Fun times. :)

    • #72 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 23, 2012 - 1:20 pm

      Katherine, I host an interview like this every week – a huge range of genres and writers. And you’re a musician as well… I shall have to have a word with you in private…

  35. #73 by Katherine Amabel (@KatherineAmabel) on September 23, 2012 - 11:54 am

    P.S. I’d love if you tweeted the blog hop or mentioned in a post that you joined in. The more publicity, the more publicity. :P
    Kat

  36. #75 by Talynn Lynn on September 29, 2012 - 4:55 pm

    Reading through this blog post inspired me with such an astounding idea, I’ve got to go write down my notes right, before the creativity runs away. Thanks!
    Talynn

  1. ‘Music, the language of souls’: The Undercover Soundtrack, Roz Morris – and WIN a limited print edition of the novel « Nail Your Novel
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  3. Got to explain my story’s world… but how do I avoid exposition? « Nail Your Novel
  4. Music for telling stories – The Undercover Soundtrack – Kobo Writing Life
  5. Imagine Desert Island Discs for novels – welcome to The Undercover Soundtrack… | My Memories of a Future Life
  6. The Undercover Soundtrack – Roz Morris | My Memories of a Future Life

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