Monday, May 23, 2011


By Kimber An

Music inspires me, but more than that it’s a vital writing tool.
I have four children. Yes, four! On purpose! And I enjoy being a mommy more than anything else in the galaxy. But, I also need to write in order to be happy. So, how in the name of all that is sacred do I pull it off?


My time on the computer is extremely limited. I absolutely cannot wait for The Muse. In fact, one of my heroines chucked her into a flaming tar pit a long time ago for saying her butt was fat and I have not missed the Old Hag one bit.

Instead, I have a Playlist for each story.
As soon as I hear the necessary song, I am transported into that story’s ‘universe’ in my imagination and I can write.
The Ophelia Dawson Chronicles Playlist started with a singing group which was popular in the early 2000’s called the A Teens.

They’re from Sweden and all grown up and gone their separate ways now, but you can still find their music. Here’s the pivotal song:


For me, the Playlist isn’t like a movie soundtrack. The songs end up on the playlist because they invoke a feeling. The first two stories in my series, Sugar Rush (sound familiar) and Crushed Sugar had young love at the heart of them. The next book, Sweet Bytes, which I’m working on now is very much about Ophelia, the heroine, maturing into serious ‘Kick-Buttitude.’ She’s won her freedom from the bad guys through the sacrifice of her true love and she wants him back. Now. In order to get him back and keep her freedom too, she must become confident in her abilities. So, on the face of it, you wouldn’t think a children’s cartoon movie, Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron, would be inspirational at all. But, just feel the beat and listen to the lyrics of GET OFF MY BACK by Bryan Adams

And to end the entire series, Ophelia goes off to college with Adrian, Bianca, and Brandon. The scene is already complete in my head, though I still have two more novels to go before I get to it. Here is the song which inspired it, also by Bryan Adams for Spirit-


Yeah, I can see it now, Brandon painted green at a University of Alaska hockey game, yelling, “SCORE!” Bianca’s waving pom-poms like crazy and Adrian’s got his arm around Ophelia who is doing vector calculus on her iPod.

And they all lived Happily Ever After.
The End.


Kimber Li said...

Thanks for posting this, Val! WE appreciate your Blog Maven work so much. I'm off to listen to more Bryan Adams and get back to work on the next novel in the series, Sweet Bytes. But, I'll pop back in periodically, if anyone has questions.

Jessica E. Subject said...

Thanks for sharing your playlist. I'm always curious to know what songs inspire the author while writing their books.

Do you find you listen to different music while you're writing YA versus what you would normally listen to?

Kimber Li said...


It's all the same to me. Like the song says, "I still dig the same things that turned me on as a kid..."

Kimber Li said...

Here, the Beach Boys do a better job-

kathleen said...

I have to get my playlist for my WIP in action. Thanks for reminding me how important music is to create the right mood. I love Bryan Adams! Great post!

Kimber Li said...

Thanks for popping in, Kathleen.

Yeah, gotta love Bryan Adams. At least one of his songs always appears on every Playlist I create. Did you know he finally became a dad this year at the age of 51? Wow! How wonderful for him.