“If music be the food of love, play on …”(Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night)

 

My homage to the Bard on the 400th anniversary (last weekend!) of his death, is a quotation which often comes to mind and is very meaningful to me. Just as certain music is the soundtrack to my life (another post on that to come soon!) also music is the sound track to my writing and often works its way into my novels.

In my children’s book, S.C.A.R.S, it’s rap. In Drumbeats it’s (apart from Ghanaian village drums and 1960s pop) the piano pieces which my hero Jim plays for Jess, for example Fauree’s Cantique do Jean Racine and Mozart’s Requiem. And also the LP records he plays her of Mozart’s clarinet concerto in A and of Bach. In my latest, A Shape on the Air, it’s Nella Fantasia, probably made famous by El Divo but played in the novel by mandolins.

Maybe music is the food of love, because my heroines have a habit of falling in love with the men who play this music to them. In Drumbeats, Jess loves to watch Jim’s hands and fingers as he plays the piano and it touches her heart. There is something about a man’s hands playing the keys sensitively that stirs her (and me!). In A Shape on the Air, Viv plays the music on her ipod and the Rev Rory has the same on his voicemail.

As I write, I always listen to music, usually classical but sometimes the songs I’m learning for Rock Choir. If I’m writing music into my words I always listen to those tracks to inspire and set the scene for me – get me in the mood.

Recently, I’ve been interested to read my lovely friend, Elaina James’s blog in Mslexia  about which she, in her own words, says:

“My blog series has focused on chasing your writing dreams, told from the perspective of a lyricist with stage fright. The final blog focuses on the unexpected chance to turn my words into an actual song with music.”

It’s a great blog series and I do recommend it for a good read. It’s at

http://www.mslexia.co.uk/author/elainajames

and Elaina’s website is

http://www.elainajames.co.uk

Do check them out.

Drumbeats hits #1!

Oh, wow – Drumbeats is rising up the ratings today! Many thanks to all of you who downloaded it/bought it/ are reading it! Hope you enjoy it!
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#302 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Books > Nonfiction > Travel > Africa
#13 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Coming of Age

Many thanks to all who have bought, downloaded, are reading it. If you can do please add a short review on Amazon and or Goodreads – we authors really appreciated reviews!

Writing one novel is hard but how do you write a series?

This post really had me thinking – and I enjoyed writing it … in anticipation of my Drumbeats trilogy. How am I crafting the series? Have I got a plan for all three books? How do they follow on from each other? How do I remember details through all three books and not make any dreadful errors?

Drumbeats starts the trilogy with eighteen year old Jess flying off from England to Africa (Ghana) for her gap year in 1965 – growing up, facing adult decisions and trying to find her way in the world. Tagged as “about confronting challenges and looking beyond what we know”, “thought-provoking”, “totally invested in Jess’s life now”, “a story that will stay in my mind”, “I can’t wait to continue Jess’s journey”, “wonderful quality of writing”, “a brilliantly crafted book”,  “a brilliant read” …

Walking in the Rain continues Jess’s story back in England – marriage to the love of her life and an unimaginable situation to face. It’s been tagged as “heart warming”, “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity”. Due out next summer.

Before I Die sees Jess struggling to pick up the pieces of her life and make something positive of it, persuaded by her best friend to draw up a “bucket list”. Is a return to Ghana on her to-do list? Tagged as “a feel-good read”.

http://www.devikafernando.com/blog/blog-tour-drumbeats-by-julia-ibbotson

Why did I set Drumbeats in the 1960s?

Guest post today – find out why I loved setting my novel Drumbeats in the 1960s. What was it about that time that intrigued me and made me choose 1965-6 as my context for the book? What was happening then? What was Jess’s mind-set? Why was West Africa in turmoil?

http://arbookcorner.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/guest-post/

BROOK COTTAGE BOOKS – BLOG TOUR FOR DRUMBEATS 8th – 19th September, 2014

Another brilliant review today on my book tour!

JO LAMBERT - A WRITER'S JOURNEY

Drumbeats Tour Banner

First can I say many thanks to the author for sending me  a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest  review as part of the Drumbeats Book Tour

My Review 

Reading the synopsis for Drumbeats my first thought was that this is not my usual choice of book. However although I have definite preferences when I’m buying, I’m generally pretty eclectic in my taste and can very often be persuaded to step outside my comfort zone and try something completely different. If anything drew me to this novel it had to be the beautiful cover and I do think if I was not doing a professional review it probably would have played a big part in influencing me to buy.

The synopsis for Drumbeats gave all the indications of an interesting read. What I had not anticipated, however, was the wonderful quality of the writing.  It’s a brilliantly crafted book where sights…

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