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Celestial Goldfish

April 2017

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Knight

Music and Muse #2: Guest author Kevin Hearne

Woodland Press's new anthology Stories from the Hearth: Heartwarming Tales of Appalachia features my story, "Drumbeats." My story draws on the Cherokee mythology of the Little People, who love music and offer aid to the lost.

Music can offer inspiration and aid to lost writers, too. Therefore, I invited several authors to guest blog on the subject of music and writing. This second post in the Music and Muse series is from urban fantasy author Kevin Hearne.

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Since music is tied pretty closely to the various emotional centers of your brain, I use it sometimes to whip myself into the proper state of mind when I’m writing particular scenes. And whip is a fairly accurate verb here.

The best example I can provide is what I do when I need to write a fight scene. I’m not much of a fighter. Like, I can wrestle a marshmallow into submission. Scrambled eggs don’t stand a chance with me. But real dudes? I don’t want to think about it. Unless, of course, I’ve got some heavy metal playing. Speed metal stuff. Megadeth, DragonForce, that kind of thing. Play enough of that with the knob turned up to 11 and you’ll pull out your hand-and-a-half bastard sword and get medieval on someone. And if you don’t have any medieval weapons handy, you’ll find yourself surfing the net looking for double-bladed axes and drinking horns and maybe a nice set of boiled leather armor.

For most other scenes, I listen to instrumental stuff, because lyrics tend to interfere with my own word generation. Bands I dig are Rodrigo y Gabriela and Six Parts Seven. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Concerto for Electric Guitar is brilliant. I’ve made a playlist of Rush instrumentals and that rocks my socks too.

There are times when music does nothing for me, however-when holy white silence is necessary, or else the white noise of a dishwasher or people murmuring in the background at a café. Finding silence is difficult, however, unless one travels to a blessed zone of peace in the library. I usually flee for the café.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying I listen (or don’t listen) to whatever works at the time. Whoa. I may have just been astoundingly unhelpful there. In any case, I wish you all the best in your writing. Hope you find a groove that works for you!

Kevin Hearne is the author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, an urban fantasy series published by Del Rey. The fourth book, Tricked, comes out in April 2012. To partake in more of his fabulous wit, follow his website at http://www.kevinhearne.com/.

Other author posts in the Music & Muse series:
#1: Clare Revell

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