Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mind Over Music With Guest Blogger: Emma Leigh Reed

Meet featured author Emma Leigh Reed
today at the Book Boost!

She's here to discuss her musicality and here's what she had to say...

Is there one thing that becomes a must in order to have the words flow while you write? For me that is music.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a child I would sit for hours playing 45s, singing along and dancing around the living room or my bedroom. As a child, I took tap and jazz dance lessons, and then in college and after voice lessons became a part of my life.

As my children were born, music became just daily routine in our lives. They were involved in different music things as preschoolers and I would sing to them at night. I made sure my kids were exposed to movies such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, and even as they got older to Grease. Fun movies with great music.

One of my favorite times with my children is when we would lose electricity, which being a New Englander happened frequently in the winter months. When the lights were off, the kids would gather around me and we would sing as we waited for the power to come back on.

When my son was born with autism, music became an integral part of his strict routine. He would listen to Tchaikovsky at night. No substitutes on that one. Although my son was nonverbal for the first three years of his life, we taught him sign language. In that same vein, along with the numerous Sing-A-Long videos I had for my children, we found Sign-A-Long videos for my son filled with silly songs that were done with sign language along with the words and music.

There were times when my son was young and he cried nonstop that music became my life saver. Whether it was a quiet lullaby tape to try and soothe him, or some songs that talked to me personally, they became a part of my daily routine. As I moved through my life, adjusting to a child with a disability along with my other two children, music became an outlet. Through my divorce, music surrounded me, pushing me through another phase of my life.

I honestly can’t remember a time in my life that music wasn’t on. It consumed me.

When I suddenly decided I needed to write, the same continued. My most emotional scenes have been written with a song in the background that touched my heart at some time or another in my life. I have tried to “concentrate” and shut off all music. Unfortunately that also shuts off my muse. I typically pick the type of music I want to represent the scene I am writing. Some of my favorite artists to write by are Lady Antebellum, Jim Brickman, Thompson Square, Daughtry -- just to name a few.

In fact I was just finishing my newest romantic suspense with a Happily Ever After ending while I listened to “I Got You” by Thompson Square.

Music and writing is a very personal thing for me and in my mind writing can’t be done without music. Does music inspire your writing?

A Note From the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Emma. Very fascinating. Music is an inspiration for me but I can't listen while I write. I find that I want to sing along and either get lost in the music or lost in my story. So, I have to choose between them. You are lucky that it pushes you to write. Keep music as your muse and keep up the great writing. Please tell us more about your latest.


Kira Nichols is raising her autistic son alone while dealing with the guilt she has lived with for years surrounding her husband’s death.

Grant Rutledge returns to his hometown to help take over the family business and to repair the spiked heel to his broken heart. When he runs into a beautiful, overprotective mother and her nonverbal son, sparks fly and his chance to be part of a loving family seems possible again.

When Kira discovers a secret from Grant’s past, she second-guesses her heart. She must overcome her suspicions and haunting ghosts from the past in order to get what she wants – if it’s not too late.

To build the family Grant has always wanted, he has to learn to follow his heart.


Kira Nichols pushed back her hair as the crisp salt air blew it across her face. She walked up the path—her sneakers leaving small impressions in the soft sand—to the cul-de-sac. At the empty lot across from her house, the foundation had been capped over and abandoned for about a year now.

She sprang into a run at the rumble of a sports car arriving at a fast clip. She arrived at the cul-de-sac at the same time the vehicle skidded to a stop. She caught her breath as the lean, ruggedly handsome man exited his vehicle. The smile he flashed her was one she imagined had many women melting at his feet.

Kira squared her shoulders and approached him. Her five foot two inch frame seemed minute compared to his at least six foot stature. She willed herself to appear calm and not give away that her senses had completely left her at the sight of him.

“Grant Rutledge.” He extended his hand to her. His deep voice, like a shot of brandy, was warm and soothing. She swallowed hard, her anger forgotten for a brief second. Then it flared back and she ignored his hand. “Do you have any idea that there are children in this area?” she demanded, planting her hands on her hips.

“My apologies if you felt I was going too fast.” He gave an exaggerated glance around. “There aren’t any children about now.” He smiled that smile again and in spite of her anger, her heart melted. She started with the realization he still had his hand extended in introduction. She tentatively shook his calloused fingers. Tingles shot up her arm and she struggled with not yanking her hand away. Heat flooded her face. She prayed he couldn’t tell.

“Again, I apologize. I hope you wouldn’t think I have no regard for children.”

Kira turned to go. “I just know the type.” She gestured absently at the car. She forced herself to walk slowly towards her house, feeling his eyes on her back. Her mind whirled. She had practically melted at the sound of his voice. Her cheeks reddened at the thought of him watching her walk away—thankful she had stayed in shape.

The solitude of the cul-de-sac was the reason she originally loved this spot. Her house had been the only one in this two-lot area for six years. She hoped the new construction company would be considerate and not disrupt the serenity, and keep working hours to normal business hours, hours when Jared was in preschool.

She thought back to the long hours they kept when they put in the foundation. Jared had been unable to sleep due to the noise and disruption of his routine. Hopefully this time around the noise wouldn’t disturb him. He was just beginning to sleep through the night.

If only she could.

Want More Emma?

Visit her website here: www.emmaleighreed.com

Pick up your copy today! Click here.


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

I always find it interesting when authors post what kind of music they play when writing. I find music without lyrics best fits my style, especially classical guitar.

Good post!

Margaret Fieland said...

I play the flute and the piccolo, and music is a big part of my life as well. Nonetheless, I prefer quiet when I write, as I find I listen to the music if I turn it on.

I'm not sure that I find music directly inspiring in the way that some writers seem to describe when they say they listen to music and images appear in their mind.
I do find that songs or music will bring to mind a subject I want to write about. I also use music and musical images to point up things, especially in my poetry.

Emma Leigh said...

Thanks for stopping by Vicki and madcapmaggie. It is always interesting how other writers work. So glad you enjoy the post.