Mood Music

Christina here. Lots of authors seem to listen to music while they write in order to get in the right mood – sometimes the same song over and over again to inspire a particular scene they might be working on. Many of them have specific playlists for each book with one song per chapter, which they mention either on their blogs or at the start of their books so that readers can listen along with them. I can’t do that. I need silence in order to compose my thoughts and disappear into my own little world, and music would drag me out of it because when I listen to something I really like, I get lost in that instead.

ThorThat’s not to say I don’t find music inspiring. I do, but I like to listen to it before or after I write, not during the process. And I also love to watch music videos as some of them are mini stories in their own right and they can trigger plots or characters in my head. Today I thought I would share with you some of the songs, music and/or videos that I’ve found helpful while writing my Viking stories and the reasons why.

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An Ode to the Unsung Heroes and Heroines of History

George BridgetowerAndrea here, In honor of Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday here in America, I’m going to highlight a wonderful story of a remarkable figure in history, whose contribution to enriching the artistic tapestry of history has long been lost in the shadows.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I love that historians are bringing to light so many people who’ve been ignored by the traditional narratives of history. It’s inspiring in so many ways, and makes the past come alive with all its real textures and colors.

The New York Times has been running a series of articles on some of these unsung heroes and heroines, so I’m going summarize one of them that caught my fancy—the story of George Bridgetower by Patricia Morrisoe. Bridgetower was a biracial virtuoso violin prodigy who won Beethoven’s admiration—and in fact, the famous Kreutzer Sonata was dedicated to him. (You can read the full article here.)

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Striking the Right Chord

Regency girl-pianoCara/Andrea here,
As we all know, a proper young Regency Miss was expected to be proficient in a number of ladylike skills. Art was one of them—watercolors and sketching with pencil and pastels were deemed desirable talents. As was music, especially playing the pianoforte. Well, I confess that aside from a short stint playing the clarinet in junior school, I have no musical training whatsoever. So I would have been persona non grata at the ton’s musicales.

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Music and The Muse

Cara/Andrea here, Being easily distracted, I have always tended to write in silence. My brain doesn’t seem to be capable of doing two things at once—I am slightly dyslexic so thinking and typing is sometimes a comedy of errors. (You would laugh yourself silly if you saw of the pages of my manuscript before I go back and correct the gibberish.) So I have always worried that thinking and listening might not be a wise idea. But recently I was chatting with a friend about music. He had been listening to Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony the night before and we began …

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