I am going to share with you the reason behind my first novel and subsequent books as well as the important part that music always plays whenever I start writing a novel.
Back in 1992, I was 19 years old and still grieving for my first love who had destroyed my life two years before. I guess you could say I fell hard and got burned, but I just couldn’t move on. I always took comfort in reading and had many favourite authors, so that was my original inspiration for literally putting pen to paper and writing my first novel.
Although it was twenty-five years ago, I still remember how obsessive my writing became. I was working my first full-time job and kept my pen and pad beneath the till counter. Any free moment, I was scribbling down the words, letting the characters guide me. I based the storyline on my first love as a way to try to forget him. When I finished it, I was too scared to send it away to any prospective publishers, despite letting a friend’s daughter read it. And so my notepad lay dormant in a box until 2013.
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but as I was entering the year of my 40th birthday, I realized that time was running out. I had a list of things I still wanted to achieve, places to visit, and people to meet. At the top of this pile was the burning ambition to write a book. I found my old manuscript and realized that the storyline, although basic, was still workable. I just needed to find a way to bring it up to date and make it suitable for the romance market and not just as a teenage love affair story.
This time I grabbed a laptop and started typing, determined to meet my September birthday deadline. My original title, Take my Breath Away, was taken from the song by Berlin in the movie Top Gun. However, as I got nearer to finishing, I realized that the title needed to be more original. Equally, as my characters spoke to me, I knew that the title and song no longer fit my storyline. Eventually, I turned to my favourite artist, George Michael. His Wham song “Where Did Your Heart Go?” became the title of my novel.
This leads me on to the fact that I just cannot write in silence and really enjoy finding the perfect song that sums up within the lyrics what my novel is about.
So why not take a close listen to “Where Did Your Heart Go?” then read the book and see how it has significance and relevance for my lead character and her life within the story.
Within my story, although I am unable to reference particular lyrics, I always mention my characters talking about or listening to certain songs. Each of my Heart Trilogy novels are again named after songs. “Unbreak My Heart”’ by Toni Braxton became the title for the 2nd book, and finally, “Closer to the Heart” by Rush the final part. There are many other songs mentioned within the pages. I guess what I want to impart is the way music can define certain moments in your own life. Music and lyrics can take you back in time to happy memories or sad ones. Without music in my life, I don’t think I could physically function. It really is as important to me as sleeping, eating, and drinking!
I love the way that songs speak to me, guide me, uplift me, and are my own personal time machine back to the best moments ever. My writing has become a way for me to share my emotions and those of my characters to the readers willing to let it.
Since publishing my first novel, two months before my 40th birthday, I always thought that I was only ever going to write the one story. My readers wanted more and I knew that I had caught the bug! My linking of books and music will most likely continue throughout my writing career.
I live in Herefordshire with my partner Steve and my two dogs. The original book started life when I was 19 back in 1992 but I was too scared to try and get it published! When I rediscovered it in 2013 I did a complete rewrite to get to the storyline of today. “Where did your Heart Go?” was published in July 2013. It was great to actually include my very first kiss in it as my main characters’ first kiss—such a special moment. The Heart Trilogy series was completed in 2015.
I have since written the first two books in the Bloodstained Heart trilogy and ventured into co-authored books with Rita Ames. We published the first book in our Need for Speed series this year.
Since starting to write I have to admit that I am really enjoying the whole experience and reading reader’s reviews has just spurred me on to continue for them.
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