Another wonderful author, J.D. is an ex-British Australian living in Sydney. He was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about his two stories in Words to Music.
I often listen to music whilst I’m editing and revising. What I listen to varies, from pop to rock, classical to jazz, with a dose of world music thrown in. I have a playlist of about 100 songs I listen to when working on Appetites; otherwise I just put the iPod on shuffle and take pot-luck.
Where else do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. People I see and things I hear in the street. Stories in newspapers. Friends’ anecdotes. Books I read.
When you first got your song, did the story hit you right away or was it more of a simmer?
I have two stories in the anthology. The first, which opens the volume, was very much a slow slimmer. The second, I had a choice and so when I started I had the germ of an idea in mind. This led to two different processes: in the first case I started writing about not knowing what to write about; in the second it was more a case of searching out the touch-points between the lyrics of my song and the idea I had, which I then augmented by parsing the lyrics of a heap of other songs.
Were you familiar with the song you received for Words to Music? Did this impact the story at all?
The first I’d never heard of and had to seek out on YouTube, but the second I knew reasonably well. And, yes, this did impact on the stories: the second is much more closely linked to the song than the first.
If you crave silence instead, why does music bother you?
I do prefer silence when I actually write—as opposed to editing or revising—I think because my muse cannot stand the competition: she demands all my attention. Luckily, I do a great deal of my actual writing on the morning train, and at 6.00am that’s a pretty quiet place.
If you listen to music while you write, what is it about the piece that inspires you (i.e., lyrics, rhythm, style, genre)?
Usually the lyrics, but sometimes rhythm or even mood can suggest something, for example think of the use of Bolero in the movie 10.
The first song is ‘Close up the Honky Tonk’ and the second ‘By My Side’. Can’t say the former has become a favourite—I listened to it a couple of times before writing my story, but feel no urge to do so again—but I do like the second. I wasn’t a big INXS fan at the time, but now associate this song with an insurance ad (at least, I think it was insurance): a guy coming home, wife and small child watching him arrive through a rain stained window. Can’t remember the point of the ad, but the imagery was strong.
Thanks so much for stopping by, JD! You can find more information on JD’s website, or you can ask here!
Other Words to Music author interviews –