The Monday Mixed Tape

I was once driving down the street and noticed that a sentimental favorite, Tchaikovsky’s festival overture in E♭ major, Op. 49, aka the 1812 Overture, was on the radio. I knew what was coming. Some slower parts that would have had me changing the station if I hadn’t known the piece. The occasional bright and sparkling trumpets of the approaching “La Marseillaise” but I must point out, “bright and sparkling” is interpreted through my Hollywood-influenced sentiment for the piece (Casablanca, anyone?). I understand that as written in The 1812 Overture, the French anthem was not only an anachronism from decades after Napoleon was history, so to speak, but its inclusion was meant to be boastful and brash, the approaching armies of Napoleon.

Sorry. Child of Hollywood. It will take some doing for me to go bad on “La Marseillaise.

But it matters not. The story told by this epic musical composition is one of the triumph of the Russian people over the tyrant, Napoleon. And it ends with a heart-swelling pounding of howitzer cannons and the ringing of all the bells in Moscow, as the French retreat, their tails between their legs.

It never ceases to make my heart swell, anyway–and it occurred to me, what a glorious thing, to have a book that could be accompanied by such a soundtrack. Yes, periods of pain. And fear. And death. But knowing–knowing–that the end would be filled with such emotional ecstasy and physical triumph…

Ah, yes.

I’d be lying if didn’t admit that this little ditty fuels a lot of my writing dreams.

I often see authors sharing the soundtracks, mixed tapes, playlists, whatever you want to call them, that accompanied the writing of their books. So often those musical selections leave me cold, because I don’t share the musical tastes of the author. I am so sure that my own preferences are so odd and unusual that very few of my readers would be moved by them, much less interested in them.

And yet, here I am, working on The Dead Shall Live (Volume Two of The Fury Triad) with the soundtrack in my ears, and I decided, why not share?

It owes most everything to the Mediaeval Baebes.


Although the first album of theirs I loaded onto my iPod was Mirabilis, and I still love it, any time I find my muse beginning to get jaded I add another of theirs to the playlist. Why do I listen to medieval-influenced music when writing a fantasy series set in the English Regency era? It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but me, and for me, it’s not about logic or sense but about the music sounding ‘fantastical’ to my muse and summoning the characters, and the magical world they live in.

Perhaps it helps that the roots of my story are in the Dark Ages and grow opulently through the medieval Tudor courts, as well.

But from the opening bars, Star of the Sea brings my world to my fingertips, and I’m not going to argue with that.

There it is, the first installment of the Fury Triad mix tapes. I’ll be offering more on coming Mondays!

But back to the beginning… what would be the soundtrack of your life, if you could choose?

Come on, have some fun with it!

Originally posted here.


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