Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Erotic Romance Soundtrack

I frequently run across authors who provide the music play lists they use when they write. Although my muse is inspired by music to create story ideas, once they arrive I do not write to a soundtrack. It messes with the character voices in my head. That being said, I'm questioning whether the chosen play list is very different for authors when they write erotic romance? Many of the talented ladies I know have written both erotic and non-erotic stories. Are their music choices similar when they're writing the hottest of hot? The most explicit of explicit? Writing naughty to the core?

In a related issue, once I finished Bound Odyssey and began to think about the perfect "title song" for the movie soundtrack of the story, my mind did not connect with particularly sexual or sensual songs. Not that the novel is in any imminent danger of being brought to Hollywood, but as authors we can't help but daydream. Kind of similar to the casting couch speculation for our novels the talented Cara McKenna speculated over in her recent post.

For Bound Odyssey I connected to two melancholy songs by Michael Franti: Hey World (Don't Give Up Version) and Have A Little Faith. I'm lucky enough that copyright issues kept my video trailer designer from using either of those songs because the music she chose was perfect. But those Franti songs still thrill me every time I listen to them and imagine my characters' emotional connections and the struggles they faced together on a disintegrating world.

But this is different than a writing play list. What would make up an erotic romance play list? My guess is that the content would still be the songs we as writers connect to emotionally. But let's have some fun. How about a list of the perfect naughty but inspirational songs? Given the nature of what I've written, I'll toss out the first ball and list Erotica by Madonna. Can anyone else contribute another, or if you're a writer comment on the content of your own play lists?

Inquiring minds you know.



Laurann Dohner said...

I can't write without music. LOL. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. LOL. Metallica, Korn, a band called Hungry Lucy (soft, kind of haunting music), and I have a real thing for German bands. Apocalyptica (think classical music with hard rock added to it - Songs Path and I don't care and Bittersweet) and Cinema Bizarre (kind of pop-electric music I love - songs I don't believe and Lovesongs). I think one of the ones I like for it's sex content is Limp Bizkit for song - Eat you Alive. LOL. I also have been known to write to Elvis, The Eagles, and the Rolling Stones. I don't get my ideas from the music though. It just helps me tune out to everything but it and the screen in front of me. LOL. Great post.

Jina Bacarr said...

Music can be very inspiring--as you can imagine, I listened to the soundtrack from "The Last Samurai" when I was writing "The Blonde Samurai." It's a poignant score that also resonates with drama during the action scenes.

Excellent post, Michelle, esp. the part you wrote about connecting to your characters' emotional core. That is optimal in writing erotic romance.

Cara McKenna said...

I write music-free, but when I'm brainstorming what's going to happen next, I take long walks and listen to carefully selected songs that put me in the mood to write for particular characters. Those songs usually have more to do with individual personalities than the sexy parts of the story. For one story it was all Joni Mitchell, all the time (my poor husband.) For another it was Prince, and Talking Heads, and Mystery Jets, and PHIL COLLINS of all people. That novel was all about retro fun.

But if we're talking songs that put me in the mood, that's a different story. "Swing it Low" by Morphine is my instant engine-starter. "I'm on Fire" by Bruce Springsteen's always good, "Cruisin'" by Smokey Robinson, plenty of stuff by Portishead and Tori Amos, more Kylie Minogue songs than I care to admit. "Ain't No Sunshine" of course…I won't go off on a love-rant about Bill Withers here, though.

Wynter Daniels said...

I need silence when I write, but when I think about my books, a certain song may pop into my head. For Can't Stand the Heat, the soundtrack would have to include Chris Isaac's Wicked Game. Playing With Barbie has a completely different mood, so the track would be a mix of Bob Marley and The Donnas. Yeah - I know that's a strange mix!

Michelle Polaris said...

So the comments are tied right now, two who write to music and two who do not. These song suggestions are great, ladies. What diversity. It all goes to argue that what hits our buttons and makes emotional connections for our stories and characters are very different.

Smut Girl said...

Usually I have TV as a backdrop, but when I do have music it's:

The True Blood Soundtrack, Counting Crows, Backdoor Slam, Otis Redding, NIN--or very recently-- Bruce Springsteen.

Smut Girl said...

sorry. so rude. i forgot to sign that.
Sommer :)

Michelle Polaris said...

Not rude, Sommer. Just carried away with excitment about the music (grin). Thanks. I love Otis and I'd never thought about the True Blood soundtrack. I'll have to give a listen.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Michelle!
I'm late but weighing in anyway! I absolutely need music to write. I create a soundtrack for every book that I work on. If I'm on a particularly sexy--but difficult--chapter and have to walk away from it for some reason, when I return I can play the song that goes along with that chapter and capture the mood of the characters and the scene again.

That said *ahem* (putting myself out there for ridicule) some of the music I write to may not fit what may be considered "erotic". Chicago--yes! I said it!! Chicago! I had to get that out. Sorry I snapped. Anyhoo, Chicago, Phil Collins (Hi, Cara!! *wave*), 80s music are all on the playlist. But then on the other hand, I have R. Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Seal and Luther Vandross on that same list.
They're all across the board but they get the job done!

Stephanie Adkins said...

I must be one of the odd ones because I never listen to music while I write. Usually, when I'm home alone during the day, NOTHING is on, not even the TV. I just crave the peace and quiet. LOL

Dalton Diaz said...

No, I'm with you on that one, Stephanie. I have to have total silence, to the point where DH bought me noise canceling earphones. Part of that is due to the fact that my teenagers are in a band together, and since one of them is the drummer, they practice here.
That said, there is plenty of music that can get me in the mood. I love Wicked Game, and I didn't know anyone else knew who Portishead is! Also, Come Undone by Duran Duran, and especially Take My Breath Away by Berlin.

Cara McKenna said...

I second "Come Undone" by Duran Duran! Oh God, so effing sexy!

Cara McKenna said...

Totally late and unrelated comment:

Happy 100th post, NAC blog!