Today I am happy to welcome Christina Westcott as a fabulous Tuesday Treat with her newest release.
A Hero For the Empire.
The Soundtrack of Your Book
Every great movie has an equally stirring soundtrack. Where would Star Wars be without John Williams’ exciting music or any cinematic love scene not accompanied by a background of lush strings? And just like any sweeping film, your book deserves its own soundtrack.
More than any other stimuli, music touches our thoughts and moods. Filmmakers are well aware of this fact and use music to full advantage when heightening the emotional impact of a scene. Don’t believe it’s that important? Watch any romantic or adventurous sequence with the sound off and see if it doesn’t lose a huge part of its overall impact.
You can’t package a soundtrack with each of your manuscripts, but you can use this trick to supercharge your own passions while you write. Build a play list of music that represents each strong emotion you want to express—danger, love, sorrow. If you don’t know where to begin, select a movie that expresses the feelings you’re searching for and build from that. Pick a title song as if you were scoring a film, melodies to represent each of your main characters and even a love theme.
If you’re one of those people who can’t write to music, don’t despair. Listen to your play list while running errands, cleaning house or walking the dog, all the while mentally creating your scene. You’ll soon come to connect this music with your manuscript so intimately, that every time you hear it—be it in the mall or the grocery store—you’ll be transported into that world you have crafted. When you sit down to write, take a few minute to relax and listen to the appropriate play list. Open your mind and let the images come. And then write.
I write space opera romance, filled with interstellar battles and gun fights between the love scenes, so my play lists contain a lot of loud, exciting music, particularly power metal by bands like Nightwish and Epica. During the edits on my last book, my editor had requested a change in a fight scene near the end. I completed all the other revisions, the manuscript was due back the next day and I still had nothing on changing that scene. I plugged my action/adventure play list into the car’s CD player, cranked up the volume and hit the Interstate. North of my home, the highway runs flat and relatively straight for 14 miles (22 klicks) to the next exit. From there I turned around and headed back. By the time I pulled into my driveway, the entire scene was there inside my head and all I had to do was dash to my office and write it down.
Music can do that, break down all the artistic blocks and let the creativity flood in. Not always, but when it does, it’s magical.
A Hero for the Empire is high velocity space opera adventure with a sexy super-soldier and a hard headed mercenary teaming up to bring down the corrupt Empire. In between the close calls and the space battles, the two find time to fall in love, but if there’s any chance of a happily ever after for the pair, they first have to survive this mission.
Here’s an excerpt from my newest release due out from Samhain Publishing on October 7, 2014. See if it doesn’t read better with a little heavy metal in the background. Either “Unholy Trinity” by Epica from “The Score-An Epic Journey” or “Storytime” (instrumental version) by Nightwish from “Imaginaerum” works for me.
The freighter abruptly rolled to the right. Red lights rippled across the control panel. Alarms wailed. With a thruster out, the Loki series glided like a block of plexisteel dropped in a bathtub. Their angle of descent steepened precipitously. Wolf managed to bring the ship out of the roll and feathered the throttle on the remaining engine to keep them level.
When her hearing returned, Fitz could hardly understand him through the ringing in her ears. “Ship, give me a revised course to the bloody landing site. Can we make it there?”
Lizzy’s answer was obvious as the plot recalibrated on the tactical display. Their new course passed directly over the city toward the mountains. It ended abruptly about half way up one of the peaks.
“I’m afraid not, Colonel.”
“Find me a pass or valley or something to fly this piece of shit through. Otherwise, we’re going to have to put down on this side of that range. The only place that looks good to me right now is the ocean, and I’m not keen on going swimming today.”
“There.” Fitz pointed out a break in the line of peaks just before Lizzy put the new course up on the display. “Can we make it through there?”
“Perhaps,” the ship answered. “If we can maintain this altitude. Colonel, change your heading to three-five-zero.”
As Wolf eased the nose around to the new heading, Fitz eyeballed the slender defile ahead of them. This far out, it looked impossibly narrow with a tangle of trees crowding the gap between two vertical rock faces. Half way through, the passage doglegged to the right. She wouldn’t want to fly through that in a perfectly good shuttle, let alone a crippled freighter.
“Jumper. Box,” Wolf snapped. For once, the cat didn’t argue. His claws scrabbled on the deck plates, and the door to his carrier slammed.
“Fitz, activate your crash web.” He fought with the controls, not waiting to see if she obeyed him.
Cocooned inside the restraints she would be unable to do more than watch. “Not yet. You’re going to need my help with the ship.”
“I don’t need your help. I need you safe. Activate the web.”
At her touch on the button, the restraints boiled out of the edges of her seat, enveloping her and contracting. She felt trapped in a vat of thick cold pudding. A clear shield covered her face, sparing her a sense of suffocation and allowing her to communicate.
“What about you?”
He shook his head. “Someone has to fly this shit box.”
As much as she’d rather see him safely ensconced in the crash web’s embrace, she knew only he could take the ship through that defile. A coldly logical computer, Lizzy would never have considered such an unlikely course. It took a slightly mad and very ballsy human pilot to pull this off.
Author’s Webpage. http://www.christinawestcottauthor.com/science-fiction.html