So here's the thing...confession time...
One of the major events that happened last year during my Chicken Thief writing endeavours, was discovering the Twilight series. I've written previously about our family discovering the books, although admittedly, I may have failed to mention in that blog exactly what it was we were reading... To say we read them voraciously is to downplay the manic reading fever that gripped our corner of the household. We read the books in one week, and then yes, we all watched the three movies.
So why was this influential in my writing?
Firstly, to get it out of the way (Jessica you now owe me $2.99!), when I get stuck on my writing I have two bits of music that I listen to, both from the Twilight soundtrack:
When I'm writing I find listening to music very distracting, especially songs with lyrics I can tap into. I usually only listen to music when I need to shut other sounds out, or when I'm trying to shift my thinking about the scene I'm writing. When I was writing my thesis Gregorian Chants did the trick, until I listened to them for so long I found I was singing along! Now my fallback is an Israeli group - Idan Raichel Project - because my Hebrew is still pretty scratchy, ok, non-existent. While the two Twilight songs are in English, I find them a good compromise as Robert Pattinson's diction is so bad as to make the lyrics unintelligible! (Heaven help me if the rabid Twifans discover I've said something halfway critical about him!)
Secondly, Stephenie Meyers has achieved exactly what I, and I think most writers long to be able to do - to create a book that the reader doesn't want to put down. I still don't quite understand what the pull is with the Twilight saga, (this is a good visual representation of the experience) but they're the sort of books that keep you reading well after you should have turned off the lights, or fed the family, or generally engaged with the world. Juliet Marillier's books - especially the Bridei series - had a similar effect on my capacity to function as an effective member of society. I love that and while I have no desire to write a book about vampires and werewolves, I definitely aspire to be able to write books that engage the reader to the extent that hers do.
Thirdly, I was inspired by her story of going from a simple idea to a manuscript to a published novel so rapidly. I think it's a classic example of what you can achieve when you believe passionately in an idea and a group of characters who take over your life.
So there you have it, I'm out of the closet. My name is Fiona Leonard and I
Further Reading: Click here to find out what Alexander McCall Smith and I have in common when it comes to musical tastes.
Photo credit: master isolated