With so many upcoming projects I have been busy doing what I always do to prepare, making files for each book. I made a checklist years ago and still use it for every book I write. I go out and take pictures or find ones online of places and people that inspire me for the atmosphere, time and characters of the piece. I also include a list of references such as books, recordings and people that can give insight if I need research on the book. Along with the resources I also will take notes during interviews and when reading the books which I make sure to include as well.
Having the pictures and research I can create character biographies so that I get to know each person on a deeper level but it isn't until I get to my favorite part that I know I am ready to write, creating the customized playlist. The songs I choose for my books have several possible reasons for being on the list. Some have lyrics that flow through my soul bringing to life things my characters would discuss or feel when traveling through the world I am making for them. Others have music that evokes an emotion within me and takes me into the feel of the story as a whole. The second kind are actually my favorite.
When I made the list for Sharing Strength and Survivor both have the same list as Survivor is the background to one of the main characters in Sharing Strength, I put in songs like I Just Came Back From A War by Darryl Worley and Not A Girl Not Yet A Woman by Britney Spears. Both of these songs represent characters in Sharing Strength. But then there are other songs like Last Resort by Papa Roach, The River by Garth Brooks and Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross that all are about evoking emotions associated with different parts of the story.
Welcome to Syn was entirely music that put me in the mood and brought me to a certain time emotionally. The song I started out with was Lindsey Stirling's Shatter Me. Everyday when I sat down that song brought me to the girls and made me experience their world in a much more vibrant way. I also played a collection of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin with various other classical composers thrown in occasionally.
I am not gathering songs and making its for Chocolate Covered Cherries my upcoming romance, Voices Book 2 and I imagine I will use Welcome to Syn's list for Lucasta because she is the eldest daughter from the original. It is incredible the power that music can have on our lives and I believe that there are times when a writer listens to certain types while writing it can be translated into the words flowing out to the readers as they take the journey the author created.