Hello everyone! Today we have a guest post with Erica Monroe (and her debut historical romance A DANGEROUS INVITATION)
Erica Monroe writes romantic suspense set in 1830’s London. Her debut novel, A Dangerous Invitation, Book 1 of the Rookery Rogues series, will be out in December 2013. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina, and the Beau Monde Regency Romance chapter. Erica can also be found blogging every other Saturday at Teatime Romance. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, lover of pit bulls, and shoe fashionista. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.
Many authors write to music. I’m no different—but instead of listening to classical music to get me in a historical mindset, I must have music with lyrics. For some reason, the words allow me to tune out more and create that special world in my mind that I need when writing. I assemble a playlist for every book, which I share under the “Extras” page on my website. However, often when writing, I’ll just listen to the same artist over and over again, so that there’s no variance in the voice to distract me.
While writing A Dangerous Invitation, for my hero Daniel O’Reilly I varied between alternative rock band Gaslight Anthem, and the Nashville cast’s recordings (particularly any song by Sam Palladio). Daniel is a man on the run from the law, for he was accused of a murder he didn’t commit. He’s returned to London to win back the heart of the woman he left, and clear his name. Because of Daniel’s outlaw state, I loved Sam Palladio’s recording of Gun for a Mouth, which also worked for my heroine Kate Morgan’s love of her flintlock pistol. When I was writing scenes where he struggled with his alcoholic state, I particularly listened to Connie Britton’s Stronger Than Me and At the End of the Day. Both songs are from Nashville, and deal with struggling with alcohol addiction. I found that those songs helped me to properly convey Daniel’s emotional state. The Spill Canvas’s All Over You was also great for Daniel, because he’s so in love with Kate still even after three years have passed.
For writing Kate, I listened to Florence and the Machine, Metric, Taylor Swift’s Red album, and Adele. Kate is a very passionate woman, but she fears giving her heart back to Daniel. She’s been heart badly in the past, and so Adele was a natural choice as she sings about loss and love with the most beautiful British accent. For the scenes where Kate is fighting the reemergence of her feelings for Daniel, I listened to Florence and the Machine’s No Light, No Light on repeat. It perfectly matched Kate’s belief that she couldn’t tell Daniel that she loved him, for to do that would give up a part of her autonomy. While Taylor Swift might have been a weird choice for the feisty Kate, there’s something about her Red album that struck home with me. Full of broody songs like All Too Well and Sad, Beautiful, Tragic, it sunk me low when I needed it, and brought me to higher with sweet rhythms like Stay, Stay, Stay and State of Grace.
On the playlist for A Dangerous Invitation, I’ve also placed a lot of songs that I might not have listened to when writing, but really appeal to me in the idea of a book soundtrack. Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper was an obvious choice, as Kate and Daniel fight resurrection men, otherwise known as grave robbers. In the nineteenth century, the laws at the time made it impossible for surgeons to receive bodies of anyone other than a convicted criminal for dissection, and so they turned to other means to get corpses to continue their work. Enter the resurrection men, who are sort of like reapers in a sense. Along with this line, I put Dave Matthew’s Band’s Gravedigger, which is the only DMB song that I love. It’s a creepy little ditty about a man who dug graves for a living and what he saw. Definitely the feeling I was going for in my gritty suspense romance.
Any song that had a theme of water worked for me, as this book centers a lot around the London Docks due to the shipping company that Daniel used to work and Kate’s father owned. I chose David Gray’s Sail Away, Metric’s Breathing Underwater, and Lily Wood and the Prick’s Down the Drain.
Then there were songs that just seemed to fit the characters of my rookeries. Ladytron’s Seventeen matched with Sally Fletcher, a secondary character I introduce. She’s nineteen, and her body is owned by a brothel on Jacob’s Island. She’s got no choice in the matter, for she was a child thief and this is all she knows. Seventeen is about that weird time when you’re in between child and woman, and you can’t figure out what you’re supposed to be.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey through the playlist for my debut novel, A Dangerous Invitation. Do you listen to music while working too?
A DANGEROUS INVITATION
One fatal mistake cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved, spiraling him
toward drunken self-destruction. Now sober, he’ll have to prove he’s innocent of the murder he was accused of three years ago. But pistol-wielding Kate Morgan hasn’t forgiven his sins.
Torn from her privileged existence by her father’s death, Kate Morgan has carved out a new independent life in the Ratcliffe rookery as a fence for stolen goods. Daniel’s invitation to assist him jeopardizes her structured existence. Yet Kate can’t resist his touch, or the wicked desires he stirs within her.
As their renewed passions grow reckless, their investigation takes them through the darkest and most depraved areas of the City. To catch a killer, they’ll have to put secrets behind them and trust only their hearts.