Monday, April 6, 2020

# Guest Posts

The Soundtrack of Writing by Kathleen Stone #guest @kstonewriter

The Soundtrack of Writing

By Kathleen Stone

Music has been part of my everyday life for as long as I can remember. There was always music playing in my house growing up, whether it was my mom’s beloved Elvis or my dad’s country music. It’s only natural I would become a music lover as well, and I have music playing at every opportunity. I listen to music while working, cleaning, exercising, and in the car (no talk radio for me!). How often do you hear a song that takes you back to a specific memory, positive or negative, and the emotions wash over you unexpectedly?  We all have soundtracks to our lives and most likely there are quite a few when you consider pivotal life moments — childhood, high school, first love, college, careers… the list goes on and on.

As my life as a writer began to take shape so did the soundtrack of my work. While I have an eclectic musical library, when it comes to writing only certain songs will do. This becomes my writing soundtrack, and it can vary from book to book, or even from scene to scene. I once spent an entire day trying to get one specific scene perfect and listened to one song over and over all day until I got it right. And when I was finished I was emotionally drained, but the scene was pure magic.

A writing soundtrack for me can consist of the same band for one novel, the same genre of music for another, or a specific decade for yet another. My recent novel, Whispers On A String, takes place between 1975 and 2011, so you can imagine the extent of what that soundtrack might sound like. Music plays a huge part of the story, and the musical inspiration came from an overwhelming amount of artists and genres, spanning nearly forty years. I wanted to be able to share this soundtrack with my readers somehow, so at the end of the book I listed all the songs involved in my book’s soundtrack, sixty seven in all. I then did something I haven’t personally seen before, and created a playlist on Spotify (Whispers On A String — The Novel) so my readers could actually listen to the book’s soundtrack, either while reading or on its own.

I did an experiment one day and tried writing without any music whatsoever, and it was abysmal. Not only was I completely on edge, but the writing didn’t flow naturally and it turned out to be a completely wasted writing day. Now that I’m writing the next novel, the music is different but the process is the same, and I’m excited to discover long forgotten songs that end up being perfect for a specific scene or chapter. What does your writing soundtrack look like?

Kathleen Stone has been a freelance writer since 1999 and now writes full time. Her work has appeared in Doll World Magazine,, The Lake County Journals,; USA Today (travel), (lifestyle), Essortment, eHow, Answerbag,, Suite101 and YahooVoices. She is the author of Whispers On A String and the Head Case Rock Novel Series, which includes Head Case and its sequels, Whiplash and Haven. She also has short stories published in the Secrets: Fact or Fiction I & II anthologies.




What happens when your soul is bound to another before you were ever born? Lonny and Roo have been best friends since they met in high school in 1975 at the age of fourteen. Same last name, same birthdate, they were attached at the hip; rarely was one seen without the other. Together they navigate through their emotional high school years, but nothing prepares the naive teenagers for the real world ahead of them. Now on the cusp of their fiftieth birthday, Lonny finds Roo broke and alone and convinces her to leave with him on a cross country road trip from New York to Las Vegas, hoping to set her on a new path in life. Told exclusively by Roo, follow the friends back and forth through their unique relationship — experience the loss of innocence, career and life choices that separate and unite them, and unspeakable events that nearly destroy them. It’s a love only they understand, as well as the unbreakable bond that forever ties them together. Is it possible they are only capable of loving each other?


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