I get asked a lot about my inspiration for these characters and I have written a few blogs about where it comes from. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my main story inspiration always come when I’m driving and listening to music.
I know it sounds weird, but music talks to me. It tells me what I can’t hear sometimes. It speaks for the characters and through listening to lyrics, I hear their stories.
I’ll explain a little, if I can.
I think I’ve said this before, but Tommy comes directly from a Kenny Rogers song, “Coward of the County.” I grew up listening to Kenny and this song always spoke to me. I was confused. Why was he still considered a coward? He stood up for his girl? I didn’t get it.
The song revolves around a boy named Tommy who is considered a coward because his dad (who died in prison when Tommy was 10) told him not to follow the path he did. When three boys went after Tommy’s girlfriend, (in what can be inferred as a rape) he takes them all down. He learns that sometimes it’s okay to fight when it’s important.
That’s my Tommy. He is sweet and tender and loving, but if you hurt who he loves, he will stop at nothing to protect his family.
I have never brought that song into the series, but maybe I will one day.
Another character who comes from a song is one I have brought into the series. “Billy Don’t be a Hero” by Bo Donaldson. I have that record on a 45 and I used to listen to it growing up all the time. My dad’s name was Bill and my mom played that song. I loved it and I still do.
It was fitting that the Bill in my story was a soldier and was ALWAYS trying to be the hero. It’s just who he is. Julie singing him that song on the day they first met was a strategic gamble.
Important to who they became as a couple?
There are a few songs I have that I use for inspiration on the couples.
Tommy and Brittany have the one that means the most to me.
Rascal Flatts “I won’t let go” is their song.
I remember hearing it for the first time early on in the development of their story. The lyrics were spot on and it was almost as if it was written for them.
“I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do
If you can’t cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won’t let go”
I listen to it a lot when I struggle writing their story. It’s kind of a reminder to me of who they are to each other, and to me.
Sometimes, I use songs to help me when I write flashbacks.
Tim McGraw wrote a song a long time ago called “Can’t be really gone” which was about a woman leaving a man. There is a lyric from that song that has always stuck with me.
“Her book is lying on the bed
The two of hearts to mark her page
Now who could ever walk away at chapter 21
So, she can’t be really gone”
I used this to create the flashback after Julie and Tommy’s parents were killed and Julie found her mom’s book. It was such a simple moment, but it hit me. Her mom was in the middle of the book. How could she be gone when she was in the middle? Julie read each page out loud each night until she was done, so her mom would know the end of the book.
When you lose someone without warning, so many of the minor day to day moments seem suffocating. This song always brings that up for me. How many people find such simple things after a loved one dies?
And it must stop them in their tracks.
Jack and Stephanie are my sexy duo. I don’t know why, but their songs always revolve around sex.
Maybe it’s the whole “Penis and chocolate” issue 🙂
I don’t know.
Joe Cocker “You can leave your hat on” is my favorite for them.
Also- there is a newer song out there that is amazing.
Eric Church “Like a wrecking ball”
Listen to it- you won’t be sorry 🙂
I have a few others, and I would be happy to share. Evan and Liz have a lot of songs and Mike and Jade are pretty creative, too. (I’ll give you a hint…Mike has a Warrant song attached to him).
What are some of your favorite songs?
Also, do you have any questions on how I decided on certain scenes?