Music is important in my life and in my work. I often create playlists while I am writing a book or a story. I listen endlessly, sometimes for a particular scene, sometimes simply to create a feeling for the era, cultural cues you might say.
Many of my blogposts for The Great Pretenders have music playlists included. They provide quick, melodic backgrounds for readers, lively invitations to the music that would have pervaded these characters’ lives, their backgrounds, their frames of reference. Those with playlists are noted below for fast, easy reference, and general delight.
Music for movies proved integral to the writing of The Great Pretenders, from Casablanca to Moonglow. Read about the inspiration and listen to a playlist of movie music that informed the book!
The 2001 film, BOYCOTT is essential viewing for Black History Month. It portrays the year long Montgomery Bus Boycott, winning many awards, including a coveted Peabody Award for “refusing to allow history to slip into the past.”
The Pickford, Bellingham’s arthouse cinema, is now celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Supported by memberships and an all volunteer staff (except for the projectionist) it is indeed a “little music box of a theatre.” The Pickford is my favorite place in town.
Pierino’s, the restaurant frequented by Roxanne Granville in The Great Pretenders, is well known to me. I invented it when characters from my novel American Cookery had lunch there in 1956. Like Roxanne, you too can enjoy Pierino’s in its heyday.
How do I love thee, O Great Virginia? Let me count the ways. I love thee for A Room of One’s Own and To the Lighthouse. These books changed my life. My multiple copies of each are stained with suntan lotion, with spilled wine, with tea, with tears.
For each book I have written, I have created soundtracks, music that I play continually early in the writing process. Sometimes this is thematic, allied to a mood or a certain chapter, sometimes evoking an era. For The Great Pretenders, I was introduced to a whole new musical world, West Coast Cool, thanks to a book that was crucial to my novel.