Sunday, March 31, 2013

Music - Book Inspiration by Charity Santiago

Many writers cite music as their main inspiration for plotlines and characters- and I’m really no different. 

Music can play a huge role in conjuring emotions and creating memories. Today I was listening to my Rick Astley Pandora station (hey, don’t judge) and “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” by Journey came on. I immediately remembered the final scene in the Jim Carrey movie “Yes Man,” where the protagonist borrows a Ducati and speeds off to make amends with his estranged girlfriend. Journey’s music blasts in the background as the back of Carrey’s hospital gown gapes open, revealing his naked rear end.

I’m pretty sure Journey never intended their listeners to associate their song with Jim Carrey’s bare tush- but I’ll never hear “Separate Ways” again without remembering that Ducati scene. (As a side note, I truly love that movie and recommend it to any comedy fans and/or repressed 9-to-5ers out there.)

I am definitely a writer who finds inspiration in music. Music inspires my characters, plots, relationships and even locations. Writing “Return,” the first installment in my Lady of Toryn trilogy, was an emotional roller coaster. I began writing it when I was just eighteen, shelved it for almost a decade, and finally went back to it a few years ago. My music tastes changed drastically throughout the writing process, and the end result is that the unofficial soundtrack for “Return” is, shall we say, very eclectic. The soundtrack is also a little unusual, because while “Return” is a steampunk-inspired fantasy set in an alternate universe, my writing playlist was curiously void of any epic, sweeping orchestral scores, instead featuring music in the genres of rock, alternative and Kpop.

1.      The Scene – Dommin

This is something of a theme song for Ashlyn Li, the heroine of “Return.” When she discovers that her absence has caused a war in her kingdom, she begins questioning her every decision and wondering what kind of consequences her actions will bring about in the future. Sadly, because this song was released by Dommin on an independent album before they signed to Roadrunner Records, your only chance at hearing it is on YouTube or by purchasing a used copy of their CD “Mend Your Misery.”

2.      Caught in the Rain - Revis

3.      Bolero – DBSK

4.      Wars – Hurt

5.      Shot in the Dark – Within Temptation

6.      Erase My Scars – Evans Blue

7.      Not Strong Enough – Apocalyptica ft. Brent Smith

8.      Orchard of Mines - Globus

9.      Obsession – Shinee

10.   I’d Come For You – Nickelback

I actually don’t own a single Nickelback album, so stumbling across any song of theirs is pure coincidence for me. When I was writing the last few chapters of “Return,” I took a break to head to the mall with a friend, and while I was in a store, “I’d Come For You” began playing over the loudspeakers. The opening chords of the song are haunting, almost like they’re being played in slow motion. I could picture someone being emotionally devastated, working hard just to keep breathing because their heart is shattered and aching- and I was immediately inspired to start writing again.

Do you have any songs you would add to this soundtrack? Any opinions on the songs I’ve listed? Let me know in the comments!

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Lady of Toryn trilogy
Book 1
Charity Santiago

Genre: YA fantasy


Number of pages: 263
Word Count:  74,459

Book Description:

For the last three years, eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father's kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunites Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead.

Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn's sworn enemy.

Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn?

Book Trailer:

About the Author:

In February 2011, Charity Santiago's 7-month-old son was admitted to the hospital with severe respiratory issues. While Charity stayed at his bedside, she kept them both entertained by downloading several books on her new Kindle and reading them out loud. It was during this time that Charity learned about Kindle's self-publishing program, and realized that she had an opportunity to share her writings with the world.

Charity is a native of southeastern Arizona, and a writer since childhood. She wrote her first manuscript, Guinea Pig Code, at age nine. When she’s not writing books, Charity spends her time reading on her Kindle, wrangling children, watching Sylvester Stallone movies and pursuing a degree in Education.





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