‘Songs to capture sadness, isolation and heartache’
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
Soundtrack by Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Mraz, Ray Lamontagne
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
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