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Time to Get in the Mood

Sometimes writers need a little something to prime the pump when they are writing. In my case it depends on the scene I am writing in the story. I have gone so far as to light candles and dim the lights when I need a little romance. Though, what helps me more than anything to set the tone is a little mood music I checked in with a few other writing friends to see what they listen to when they are getting ready to write.

Nicole Loughan, Saints Mystery Series and Divine Hotel

What I listen to when I am writing depends on the story. While writing the Saints books I listened to a lot of Creedence Clearwater Revival, songs like “Born on the Bayou” or “Bad Moon Rising.” The vernacular from the lyrics ends up in my writing. The other group I listened to while writing Saints was Modest Mouse especially “The Devil’s Workday” It has a heavy Jazz influence, with a lot of heavy horn. It reminded me of my visits to Louisiana. I listened to it on repeat when I wrote the final scene of All Saints’ Secrets. I highly recommend reading it with that on in the background to see if you can feel the mood I attempted to create.

For my newest book, Divine Hotel, set in the 1960s the mood was very different, lighter in some ways. I kept finding myself listening to old swing music or big band classics. I am especially feeling the song “You’ve got to Accentuate the Positive” by Johnny Mercer, which happens to have a tie in to the book. Accentuate the Positive was said to be inspired by the real Father Divine. A fictionalized version of him plays a large role in the new book.

Mindy Quigley, A Murder in Mount Moriah

Sometimes, I listen to retro hipster stuff like Björk or awesome new performers like Laura Mvula. But more often than not, I listen to Christmas music. All year round. Even in early September, I've been known to put Mele Kalikimaka, Bing Crosby's Hawaiian Christmas song, on repeat and listen to it 20 times in a row. So, yeah, it's not even good Christmas music. It just puts me into a weird sort of mellow trance and allows me to focus on writing. I have no doubt that this admission will shock and disgust even my most ardent fans (and by 'ardent fans', I'm of course referring to my mom). But it's true

.Erin McNelis, Editor and author of Willows and Violets

I write best in the quiet, but music does inspire my writing, and sometimes I will listen to something in preparation. The kind of music always depends on what I'm writing, so lately I listen to Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. I have also been moved to write after listening to Counting Crows, Innocence Mission, Led Zeppelin, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I listened to Valse Triste by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius until I finished writing my story, "Instead, a Banana Split."

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