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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 my guest is debut romantic thriller novelist Stacy Green @StacyGreen26
Thanks so much to Roz for letting me share parts of the soundtrack for my debut novel, Into The Dark. I don’t always write to music, but I tend to turn to it when I’m having trouble getting motivated to write or slogging through a scene that just won’t work.
Into The Dark is a romantic thriller at its heart. The book starts off with a bank robbery in Las Vegas. Two masked men storm the bank, and one only has eyes for branch manager Emilie Davis. SWAT and quick-thinking hostage negotiator Nathan Madigan manage to save Emilie, but her life is sent into a tailspin with the stalker’s dramatic escape.
As I wrote those scenes, I wanted to convey the idea of one person’s determination to possess another. The villain, who becomes known as the Taker, spent months planning his kidnapping of Emilie. He is desperate and traumatised in his own way, and the Taker’s most interesting feature is that he isn’t all bad. He’s far from it, and Death Cab For Cutie’s I Will Possess Your Heart captures his torment perfectly.
The Las Vegas storm drains, known as the tunnels, house more than 200 homeless people at any given time. While most are addicts in various stages of addiction, they are also forgotten human beings just struggling to survive. It’s a way of life that breaks my heart, and one I hope to bring attention to.
The tunnels, although only in a handful of scenes, play a pivotal role in Into The Dark. From the moment I heard it, Jason Mraz’s Halfway Home captured the sadness and isolation the homeless must feel, and it was easy to envision the tunnels scenes when this song played.
At the core of the book is the understated, budding romance between Emilie and Nathan. He’s a SWAT officer, and she is an open case, but he is drawn to her. Because Nathan is driven by a mistake in his past he feels the need to atone for, he considers himself responsible for the Taker’s escape. He sets out to help Emilie, and their forbidden romance is a slow burn throughout the book.
Ray Lamontagne’s Let It Be Me has been Nathan and Emilie’s song from the start, back when I only knew he would do anything to save her, and that they were tied together by their mutual past heartaches.
Thanks again to Roz for having me. If you’re a writer, what music influences you? Readers, do you hear a soundtrack for books when you’re reading?
Stacy Green is fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts at her blog, Turning the Page. After earning her degree in journalism, Stacy worked in advertising before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. She rediscovered her love of writing and wrote several articles for Women’s Edition Magazine of Cedar Rapids, profiling local businesses, before penning her first novel. Her debut novel, Into the Dark, is published by MuseItUp and available on all digital formats and paperback and is $2.99 for a limited period (use Smashwords coupon Code CF97D. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @StacyGreen26
GIVEAWAY and special contest! Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Into The Dark. And sign up for Stacy’s newsletter by January 31st for a chance to have a character named after you in her upcoming Delta Crossroads Series. She says she only contacts subscribers when she has news to benefit them, and they will have exclusive pricing for her upcoming books.
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- The Undercover Soundtrack is a series where writers - and occasionally other arty folk - reveal how music shapes their work.
- It began as a companion to my first novel, My Memories of a Future Life, and now thrives as a creative salon in its own right. Pull on your headphones and join us.
- If you're curious about the novel that started it all, click the image below.
Kobo featured book, London Book Fair 2013
Seal of Excellence for Outstanding Independent Fiction, Awesome Indies 2013
Underground Book Reviews Top Summer Read 2012
League of Extraordinary Authors Top 10 Indie Elite 2012
Multi-Story Pick of the Month March and October 2012
Alliance of Independent Authors Book of the Month, January 2013
Email merozmorriswriter at gmail dot com
- All content copyright Roz Morris 2011-2020. Nothing may be reproduced without my express permission in writing beforehand. Photography: Bonnie Schupp Photography, gcg2009 and Roz Morris
What is The Undercover Soundtrack?Sleeve notes here
For the soundtrack of My Memories of a Future Life, you'll need Chopin's Sonata in B Minor, Rachmaninov preludes, lashings of Grieg's piano concerto in A minor and The Clash's Rock the Kasbah (they go together well).
You'll also need Samuel Barber's Dover Beach on piano, although that doesn't actually exist so do the best you can.
And the novel's undercover pieces. You can find them here
- What's on their soundtracks? Zip down to the footer and you can search by artiste or composer. See who shares your taste in inspirational music
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- 'My Memories of a Future Life is a poignant story steeped with melancholy, edged with a desperate hope, and twisted throughout with darkness and humor'
- 'Some of the sharpest writing I've read in a long while'
- 'The feel of a modern-day witch trial with a tense romance'
- 'Clever when you think about it afterwards; haunting and engrossing while you're reading'