Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's No Lie...we have Guest Blogger: Julie Particka

Win a copy of Pretty Souls and meet paranormal author Julie Particka today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

Can You Feel the Music?

I listen to music all the time, and I’ve grown used to my kids asking me what songs mean. They understand that I tend to pay attention to the lyrics (and memorize more songs than is sane). One thing I love though is how sometimes when I listen to a song with only half my attention, I hear it in a completely different way.

This happened to me when I was working on Pretty Souls and thinking about where the series would go next. I was driving in my car, listening to David Cook (you know, the cutie from American Idol a couple years ago?). His song “Lie” came on. If you know the song, you know it’s about a couple who’s on the verge of a breakup and the guy is asking her to lie and pretend everything will be okay, even if it’s just for one night. Lovely, heartbreaking song.

That day when I listened to it though, I didn’t hear a love song, I heard fear and panic of a different sort. The next thing I knew, I saw Elle and Cass in a cage, both of them…unwell. And I heard Elle singing the song to Cass. If you don’t know the lyrics, they go like this (second verse and chorus though the entire song fits):

You're hiding regret in your smile
There's a storm in your eyes I've seen coming for a while
Hang onto the past tense tonight
Don't say a word I'm okay with the quiet

The truth is gonna change everything
So lie to me and tell me that it's gonna be all right

So lie to me and tell me that we'll make it through the night

I don't mind if you wait before you tear me apart
Look me in the eye and lie lie lie lie lie lie

Click here to purchase your copy of “Lie” performed by David Cook

The first thought was of a literal nature. Elle just wants to believe they have a chance of making it out. As I kept listening though, I realized it was more than that. She was only willing to put her trust in that so far. The lies go deeper when you have a starving werewolf and a half-vampire who hasn’t had blood for a day or two locked up together.

That scene would be the point that would alter their relationship forever, but I knew I needed more than just two books to get them to that point. Questions popped up all over the place. Why are they there alone? Why does no one know where they went? And those questions led to the spawning of the plans for books two…and three….and five, because this one scene needed to go in book four.

For me, that is the kind of power music can have. It not only gave me a pivotal scene in my characters’ lives, but led to the overarching storyline for the entire series. Three minutes and forty-nine seconds of music. It’s such a little thing that for the lives of my characters…changed everything.

A Note from the Book Boost: Great story, Julie. I really like how one song has spawned a whole series of books and this sounds like a great read! Thanks for joining us today and please tell us more about your book.


My life followed a simple pattern.

Run to keep my inner wolf asleep. Make sure my blood-sucking foster sister, Cass, feeds. Hunt for supernatural trouble when we should be sleeping. Keep my grades up and my head down.

It was mostly a game.

Until people started wandering around like living zombies. Until people I care about started getting hurt. Until the menace came knocking on my front door.

Game’s over.

Time for the soul-stealer to realize just because he’s hunting something doesn’t make it prey.

Cass and I bite back.

~The Paranormal Response Team~
Saving the World Before Breakfast


Cass and I watched from the parking lot as Diego rebounded off the glass and stumbled back a few steps before striding up to the door again. “What do you think, Elle? Sleepwalking?” Cass tilted her head from one side to the other.

I pulled my lip between my teeth—thinking once more how I should really stop chewing on it—as Diego bounced against the glass again. “It’d seem like running into the door over and over would kind of disrupt his REM cycle.”

Cass shrugged, the movement shifting her black duster so the wind caught the hem and fanned it out behind her. “Well, why don’t we go see if we can wake him up? Unless that’ll make you get all tongue-tied.”

The breeze worked so much better for her than me. She got the avenging angel billowing coat.

I looked like the victim of a tragic wind tunnel accident. I yanked loose strands of hair from my face with a grimace and snapped, “I’ll be fine.” It didn’t help my demeanor at all that when I tugged my hair away, several pieces of fur flew right back into my face. Whoever concocted the whole werewolf thing really should have done away with shedding.

“You sure, Sis? Don’t plan on drooling and falling all over yourself?” Cass moved toward Diego without waiting for a reply. What Cassidy wants and all that.

“Yeah. Completely over my Diego issues,” I said to the night air as I jogged to catch up to her.

Want More Julie?

Julie grew up writing, as so many people do, but gave it up to study chemistry and become a teacher. One of her students told her she should be a writer, and that bit of encouragement stays with her to this day.

No longer teaching, Julie now splits her time between raising her own kids and living in the world of her imagination (where her children occasionally visit). They reside in southwest Michigan with her wonderful (and very patient) husband and two faithful dogs who like to sleep on her feet and occasionally drop tennis balls on her keyboard when she writes. All in the name of love.

Julie is all over the internet and is very active on Twitter. In addition, she’ll be signing Pretty Souls at the upcoming Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Los Angeles.

Visit her website here: http://www.julieparticka.com
Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/Selestial

View the trailer. Click here.

Pick up your copy of her book today. Click here!

Contest Time:

Enter to win a copy of Pretty Souls by leaving a comment and answering this question: In honor of the place that introduced me to David Cook, what has been your favorite song from an American Idol contestant?

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Maureen said...

Sorry, Julie! I can't comment on American Idol because I seem to be one of the few people in the country who has never watched it! LOL!

But I totally get what you are saying about how song lyrics shifted your perspective. I had the same sort of experience with My Immortal by Evanescence. I could hear my heroine singing the song to the villian who haunted her, while the hero stood nearby, trying to get her to see him and realize he'd been there all along and was still there.

It was spooky how that gave me a new direction to go!

Kathleen Ann Gallagher's Place to Reflect said...

I love the lyrics to the David Cook song, Julie!

I really enjoyed your post, too. Music can change a mood, evoke a feeling, and launch a magnificent story.

Great blurb and excerpt!

Shiela Stewart said...

Love your post Julie!! Isn't it amazing how a song can spawn a story?

My favorite all time contestand on AI is Adam Lambert. I was shocked that he didn't win. One of my favorites is For Your Entertainment.

Redameter said...

I come from a completely different generations of people and American Idol is not on my list either.

Music does inspire me, but it seldom writes the story for me. I listen just for inspiration, and usually it has no words, because singing disrupts my thoughts unless it is an old song that I know so well. I like instruemental music and I don't attribute a song to a book, but many songs to many books.

But what ever gets you to write is a good thing and I'm all for it.

My kind of music is way back in the 60's mostly. Old rock and roll inspires me greatly. But movie tracks really get me writing, jus the music. Wow

Good luck hon with yoru books
Love and blessings

JM said...

This was a great post, becuase I totally get the music thing. Right now my favorite to have in the background is 'Hello World' by Lady A as I'm writing. It builds slowly, and the tension in the scene seems to increase with it.
Your book sounds wonderful!
Favorite AI song- would have to actually be on the show, Carrie Underwood coming out sing Alone by Heart. Awesome!

Anonymous said...

"If music doesn't touch your soul...you probably don't have one."

Great post, Julie!

The Sweater Curse said...

Wow, I'll start listening more carefully to lyrics. : )

Robert C Roman said...

Whoa! That's so weird. I read your post and was thinking, 'that's *exactly* what happened with 'My Last Breath' and 'Whisper' from Evanesence's Fallen album. I was toying with some characters, noodling around, and BAM! The penultimate scene for an entire series popped into my head. Then I saw Maureen's comment, from the same album.

It's exhilirating yet terrifying to realize I've got a million or so words to write...

Vanessa said...

Music is always so inspiring - sounds like a great book!!!

Maureen said...

Now, I really want to talk to Robert and find out how it hit him! I could play that song over and over and over and gods, how it helped to push the tragedy of her plight into place...

Stephanie Williams said...

Music gets my creative juices flowing too. Love the excerpt Julie and the cover! :)

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for music, I'd probably never do any writing. Not much drawing or painting either. Music is my creative fuel.

(I've never watched Idol either, Maureen.)


P. Kirby

Seleste said...

Thanks for the comments <3 It never occurred to me that people wouldn't know American Idol contestants :( This is what happens when a show's been on so long. I figure everyone's seen it at least once LOL.

aurora M. said...

A Moment like this from Season One with Kelly Clarkson. Now that was a moment that sent chills through me. What a great moment for idol. I am not a big fan anymore but because of this post maybe I should go back and check out what this season has to offer. Thanks for the chance at a great giveaway and for a wonderful post!

Andrea said...

My favorite AI song/moment was when David sang Always Be My Baby. Great contest!