“Words and music, man – they need each other. Words and music.”
Not only is it a quote from one of my favorite movies Eddie and the Cruisers, but those two things have been the constants in my life for as long as I can remember.
In the context of the movie, words are the lyrics to a song and, of course, these are always important. Even if a song has a good beat (and you can dance to it), the lyrics have to make sense and/or mean something.
In the context of my life, words are both those in songs and those in books. My earliest memories involve listening to music or reading a book. I remember standing next to the old stereo in our living room, listening to records and eight-track tapes of Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys, Rita Coolidge. In later years it was Barry Manilow, The Beatles, Kiss, and Meatloaf – yes, still on records or eight-tracks.
I remember searching the public library’s card catalog and shelves for Matt Christopher books and Encyclopedia Brown stories. Joining in the summer reading program was also a thrill for me. (What? A child wanting to read when s/he doesn’t have to?? Practically unheard of!!)
Elementary school was a wonderful place where both of these things came together. Not only was there a school library, but my teacher, Mrs. Thompson, loved music. In her classroom, students participated in the school musical productions, the Christmas caroling in the hallway, and singing at the piano.
When I first decided to write a romance novel, I didn’t necessarily plan to write about music. However, I should have known that it was inevitable. I was at a concert when the idea for Love’s Road Home struck me, and once that thought took root it didn’t leave. Concerts are so full of energy that it now seems logical that the plot was born in that atmosphere.
In Love’s Road Home, I strived to combine the strength of Tom Crowley’s love for his music with the energy of live performances and the determination he had to pursue a lasting relationship with Bethany Miller. Along the couple’s path to true happiness, I threw in some humor and suspense for readers to enjoy.
Good romance novels and good songs should both elicit emotion. Whether it’s a smile, outright laughter, a gasp, or tears – these are the things that stick in my memories. Songs that I heard on the radio after the deaths of my father and cat. Scenes or phrases from novels that weren’t wordy but somehow had just the right impact to make my heart skip – or stop. These powerful things are the major driving forces behind my life and my writing.
Words and music. Words…and music.
Lisa Lewis lives in upstate New York with her husband, two daughters, and three cats. Throughout her life, and especially during the years she worked as a high school science teacher, she often escaped reality listening to music and reading romance novels. In her first novel, Lisa has finally brought those two loves together for others to enjoy. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.lisalewisbooks.com.