With music ringing in her ears, Michelle Betham talks about her passion, Music was my first love…
Followed very closely by writing, and hot on their heels was Donny Osmond, but that’s a whole other post that is. Anyway, music may have been my first love, with writing just behind it, but now the two have merged together and become just as important as the other, as far as I’m concerned. The two of them come as a pair and, in my opinion, they need each other. Why? Well, here’s an example as to why I need music to write, and why my writing needs music.
I’m in the process of finishing my seventh novel, Striker, a football-themed romance set in north east
. But the ending was proving to be a slight stumbling block, for a number of reasons. The story itself had changed slightly along the way, with some characters playing a bigger part than they’d originally intended to play and that had caused the ending I’d originally planned to use to become redundant. I was happy with the way the story now played out, but could I think of a perfect way to end the book? No. I couldn’t think what to do for the best, and at one point I was saying hello to that unwelcome friend of all authors, writer’s block. And then, one day, it just happened – a song came on the radio, something clicked, and there it was. My perfect ending. The lyrics of a song had given me the push I needed, the inspiration I’d been crying out for. Music had saved the day. England
Every single one of my books has, to some extent, been written with a “soundtrack” in mind. My iPod is full of playlists I’ve made to go with each book, containing songs that have inspired everything from characters to storylines, and without them I’d be lost. I’m one of those people that can’t write in silence – I have to have music playing, even if it’s just there in the background because sometimes, as I explained before, a song can start playing that just kick-starts a run of inspiration, opens a flood-gate to new ideas. That’s how I see music and writing going together. They work alongside each other for me, helping me, inspiring me. For example, a song from Canadian rock band Nickelback’s album ‘The Long Road’ – ‘Do This Anymore’ – was the song that inspired my steamy
Hollywood romance, ‘No Matter What’. When I listened to that song I could visualise the story I wanted to write playing out in my head like a movie, with this song as a soundtrack. It just felt right.
If I didn’t have music I’d still be able to write, of course I would. But it wouldn’t be as enjoyable. Both music and writing are such huge parts of my life that it just seems natural they should fit together so well, and I hope it continues to happen for a long time to come. I’ve got a lot more stories to write, a lot more characters to create, and a lot more music to listen to. And I can’t wait to see how they all come together in the future.
So, am I the only one out there who uses music as a big inspiration when writing? Somehow, I don’t think I am...
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