February 17, 2016
So much of our lives are wrapped around music. It starts with lullabies and alarm clocks. Allows us to drown out the noise of co-workers and expresses the love we feel for another at weddings and funerals. Music is part of movies and commercials and cartoons. Yet, including music in books is almost nonexistent or quickly becomes outdated.
To work around this shortcoming–music being relevant from when you write a book to when it is read three to a hundred years later–I usually stick with the classics. Motown, Elvis, Brahms, Queen, the heavy hitters that will always be known and loved. I did this for Waking Jamal, the first in my Valhalla Initiative. The main character Ryan ‘Rum’ Walker hums old Motown hits and movie soundtracks when he is happy or to distract his superhuman brain.
In working on the sequel I wanted music that felt more modern. A modern that won’t happen for seventy-five years; the Valhalla Initiative takes place in 2097. I picked real fictional bands. You read that correctly. I am using bands that exit only in books. My favorite Jet Mykles series includes the Indigo Knights and Heaven Sent, fictional rock bands with hot blooded and nuanced characters. Readers might even recognize the fan nod to Jet’s stories.
I’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Heaven Sent but I own all their books and would happily spend money on merchandise (like this band shirt). If they existed outside the pages of novels, I’d go to their concerts and would sing out loud each time they came on the radio. My kids would groan when I queued up their playlists, again. My characters are the same–passionate about the music in their lives.
Huh. In a way, fictional music is making my fictional characters come alive.