What’s Your Song?

In a book I was writing a couple months ago, the hero reminded me of Noah the dragon/man from my paranormal Dragon Blues. They both have an innate confidence and a resonating voice: the kind men listen to and women shiver to. At one point, he called the heroine, and I got the idea that he needed a ringtone. I couldn’t think of the right song, but I knew I wanted it to be by a bluesy male singer. Someone on Facebook suggested Marvin Gaye. I hopped over to YouTube (it was research! honest!) and played a few songs. Finally I saw “When A Man Loves a Woman,” and I knew that was it (though Percy Sledge is the singer I associate with that song).

Then I had to look up a song for the heroine. Hers was easy: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack.

I ended up putting aside that book. For the book I wrote instead, the hero and heroine are both of Italian descent and she’s a cook at his restaurant. This book doesn’t have ringtones, but a favorite singer that the hero plays on the speakers in his restaurant fits the entire book – and that’s Andrea Bocelli.

For the book that’s germinating in my mind, I don’t know the hero well enough to guess his song yet. But the heroine is Sarah, the heroine’s sister from STARDUST MIRACLE. In this book, she’s a young widowed mother with two children. I almost see her songs as a progression:

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlin
“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dione
“Help Me Make It Through the Night” by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge
And last, “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin

Here are some songs that could fit a hero/heroine:
“Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys
“At Last” by Etta James
“Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones
“Folsun Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash
“Respect” by Aretha Franklin
“Sugar Mama” by Bonnie Riatt (Just thought I’d throw that in :) )

I’m a country music fan, and Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert sing a lot of story songs – which could be why they do so well. Miranda Lambert’s “Famous in a Small Town” would fit my Miracle Interrupted novels that take place in the tiny village of Miracle, Wisconsin. And if you watched the Daytona 500 race yesterday, you might recognize Miranda’s friend who’s driving the car in the video at the top of the blog.

If I had to assign a song for me, I’m not sure what it would be. Something positive, like “Feeling Good” by Michael Duble. But sometimes the first verse of “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne fits me. (Especially when I’m doing anything new on the computer. Argh.) I can’t pick my husband’s song. I’m not sure if that’s odd or if it’s because I know him in so many ways. My dog’s song would have the title “Feed Me, Pet Me, Love Me.” Actually, I think a lot of humans would like that song, too. My cat’s would be similar, except her lyrics would add “On Demand.”

What would your song be? If you’re writing or reading a book, what song would fit your hero or heroine?

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31 Responses to What’s Your Song?

  1. I love this post! Music is perfect for “drawing” my characters in my mind. I have to “hear” my characters talking in my head. Songs help me structure them.

    Good food for thought.

  2. Misty Evans says:

    Great post, Edie. I have playlists for my books…songs that help me get into character when I’m writing or frame the plot in my head. Currently, I’m writing the third Kali Sweet book and the playlist is long.

    For ringtones, my husband uses Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road for me (my fav Bruce song from my college days) and I use Thunderstruck by ACDC for him (the White Sox theme song – he’s a huge Sox fan).

    I don’t know what I’d pick for MY song…I have too many favorites. I could have a different song everyday, depending on my mood. Fun to think about for sure.

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Misty, love the ringtones you and your husband have for each other! A different song every day sounds good to me. :) After finishing the first draft of my book on Friday, my mood right now is “Feeling good.” When I start my revision, I hope it won’t change to “Bad Day.”

  3. Pingback: Blogging day and giveaway! - Edie Ramer

  4. Edie,

    What’s been playing in my head with Soul String is Helen Reddy’s I am Woman. Also one you mentioned, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Also think Memories (of the way we were) is going to be strong in these last few books and one other but I’m not sure yet. It’ll come soon. Oh, for Caleb, Rick James, or anyone’s actually, version of Women of Ireland. Yep, definitely that one.

    When I wrote Black Ribbon Affair Lady in Red played through my mind. Great topic. Now off to work on Book 4 edits, and try to come up with a topic for my newspaper column due on Wednesday. Argh…
    Casey Clifford`s last blog was …Soul String Saga

  5. Dale Mayer says:

    hi Edie,

    Lot’s to think about for someone who craves…silence! I no have music on when I’m alone, in the house or car or on walks. My soul wants peace. lol. There have been times when I adored classical rock, and other times when I loved country. Now I prefer instrumental like YAnni – or I did. Who knows what my preference would be if I actually put something on :)
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …An awesome way to start the day!

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Dale, I was into music like Yanni’s a long time ago. Not so much now, though I do love Scottish/Irish type music. A little haunting. When I’m driving in my car, I’m usually listening to a country station.

  6. Amy R says:

    I listen to music as much as I read and I listen to a lot of types of music. I don’t think I could pick a song that is me. I have too many favorites across genres that are dependent on my mood. Today I am listening to Pandora and shuffling between Christian, Country, Pop, and 80’s music.

    I love it when authors have playlists for their books. I always want to know how the author sees/visualizes a character or scene. I have actually taken Misty’s (and other author’s) playlists and listented to them when they post them on their websites. And I am such a fangirl of Misty’s that I made “You and Me” by Dave Matthes Band as my ringtone because it was on her playlist for Operation Sheba and reminds me of the love between her Conrad and Julia which makes me think of my husband and I. So, please post your playlists for your books on your website and us readers will love it!

    • Misty Evans says:

      Amy, that’s so cool about the DMB song. I’m glad it reminds you of your love for your hubby. I might have to use that in a future super agent story for Julia and Conrad. Julia is a huge Dave Matthews fan. ;-)

  7. Edie Ramer says:

    Amy, I just listened to You and Me by Dave Matthews Band, and I love it! I never heard it before. I might play it again and again.

    I don’t have a playlist. When I have a song on, I’m listening to the lyrics instead of writing. Like Dale, I work better in silence. Maybe I’ll do a progression of a book, though, with songs like I did for the heroine of my next book. I’ll post that. That would be fun. Thanks for the idea!

  8. Amy Atwell says:

    I’ve never done a formal playlist for a book I’ve written, although I always have definite ideas of what types of music my characters enjoy. Most recently, my hero in Cheating Hearts told the heroine she was the best thing that had ever happened to him. Hello, Gladys Knight!
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Favorite Christmas Stories

  9. Cynthia Eden says:

    You’ve stumped me! I don’t know what my song would be! Hmmm….must think on this one! ;)

  10. I come from a long line of anxious people, so my song is “Don’t Worry About a Thing,” by Bob Marley :)

  11. Edie, you know I just love this post!! (And, ohhh, how I loved Noah from Dragon Blues. *swoon*)
    For me, personally, I need a song that will stop time so I can catch my breath and keep up!! But for my heroine in the novel I’m working on right now the song would be “Second Chance” by Shinedown :).

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Marilyn, another big smooch to you! Remember Cher’s song, “If I Could Turn Back Time”? Would that help?

      I just listened to “Second Chance.” Great lyrics. Whatever you’re working on, it’s going to be interesting. Doesn’t sound like one of your Door County books, either.

    • Misty Evans says:

      Marilyn, I’m a Shinedown fan. Second Chance was my theme song for a couple years – I drove my kids crazy listening to it every day. Love it.

  12. Liz Kreger says:

    Coming in late … as usual, Edie. Let’s see. There’s a song that’s fairly popular now and damn if I can think of its title. I think it fits me to a t. Also, mostly anything by Melissa Ethridge. When I’m writing my UF, I like to listen to something gritty, like Nickelback or ACDC.

  13. I use music so much when I work. Crowded House was the sound track to my retelling of a fairy tale I wrote a couple of years back. When I hear any of their sounds, that story comes to mind!

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Michelle, it’s funny how music can bring an experience or a time of your life back. Music moves us so much, and we’re connected emotionally to voices and tunes. I don’t think just our bodies, but our souls, too.

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