Thursday, June 13, 2013

Finding the Story in a Song

I fell in love with country music late in life even though I grew up with it.  I remember an 8 track tape my parents loved (note they loved it, not me).  I couldn't tell you who the singer was, but I can still sing most of the songs..."Roll muddy river, roll on muddy river, roll onnnnn.  I've got a notion you'll go to the ocean..."  I grew up and forgot about country for a while.  It was my parents' music, so it couldn't be cool.

But then I started watching country videos and was hooked all over again.  I discovered that country songs could tell an entire story in under four minutes.  Tim McGraw's, Don't Take the Girl.  Travis Tritt's Tell Me I was Dreaming...heck that whole trilogy.  (And as someone who loves writing trilogies and series, I love that he did a trilogy of songs!)

When I started writing, I discovered that sometimes it wasn't the songs telling A was a song telling MY STORY.  The biggest example was Keri Noble's Piece of My Heart.  There was no video with it, but I played that song hundreds of times as I wrote Same Time Next Summer.  That song fit the mood of the book, and it fit the story.  To this day, whenever it plays on my iPod, I'm immediately back on that beach in Ohio with my characters.

This month, the final book in my A Valley Ridge Wedding trilogy is out.  I so loved writing A Walk Down the Aisle. In the first two books in the trilogy (You Are Invited... and April Showers) readers met Sophie and Colton, a seemingly perfect couple.  But here's the thing, no one is perfect.  No relationship is perfect.  But I think that sometimes we shine even brighter because of our imperfections.  More than that, I think relationships are stronger when people have to work at them.

The book was on the shelf when I bought a copy of Lady Antebellum's new album, Golden.  It's awesome (that's not a them!).  And as I listened, I heard the title song, Golden and realized, they were singing my book.  If you replaced the word Witchita with Valley Ridge it would be perfect.  You can almost see the book's hero, Colton, a farmer, walking through his fields and reveling at a sunset.  You know that he keeps Sophie close to his heart and in his dreams.  What he has to learn in the book is to accept her not only accept them, but treasure them.

Listen to the song as you read the book.  If you've already read it, listen and let me know if you think it's as perfect a fit as I do.   I'm anxious to see if anyone else finds the story in the song.  Have you ever read a book and had it remind you of a song, or vice versa??


PS On a totally unrelated note, I have a short story that's free today for Kindle.


HollyJacobs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Cochran said...

I've been a country music fan, as well as lots
of other music styles, since my teen years. I
always enjoyed the many stories "told" in the
songs. I look forward to reading your books!

Pat C.

HollyJacobs said...


Me, too! I love the videos, but most of the time, I don't need that...the song's enough!

And thank you so much! I loved writing the Valley Ridge books and really hope you enjoy reading them!