I often write with music playing. It helps put me in the right mindset for the stories I write. It also finds its way into my stories. It's one of the ways I personalize my characters. I think it works well for the readers who are familiar with the music, and I have gotten comments on it in Goodread reviews. It also gives me a chance to introduce the music I love to my readers, if they're interested in following up.
I love it enough though, that I want to go a step further, so I decided that maybe once a month, I would explore the songs of one of the artists mentioned in my stories. So bless youtube, here we go.
When I was writing A Knight In Cowboy Boots, I had just come back to county music in a big way. (One of these days, maybe I'll explore my musical odyssey here.) Josh Turner was key to that return. I happened to catch his performance on one of the country awards shows about the time he released his sophomore album, Your Man. He'd been nominated for the Horizon Award on that program, so he sang the song currently on the charts, Would You Go With Me.
Now I LOVE baritones, and Josh has probably the prettiest baritone voice I've ever heard. It doesn't hurt that I love the rolling banjo in this song, too. (Or that Josh is so darn cute with that great smile.)
It took a few weeks but I couldn't shake the memory of that gorgeous voice, so I went out and bought the CD. At first, I thought Would You Go With Me was the only really good song on it, but it was good enough that I played that one song a dozen times. Then finally, I decided to give the rest of the CD a second chance. I can only claim to have been momentarily out of my mind that first time because the CD is AWESOME. I put it in the 5-CD changer I had at the time, where it stayed for MONTHS. I listened to it through the writing of A Knight in Cowboy Boots, and the songs started weaving their way into the story. When Zach and Maddie meet, they dance to the music on Zach's IPod, which turned out to be the same music I was listening to. (You knew that was coming, right?)
The song Your Man became their theme song. It's even the first song they dance to when Rachel and Mac go to their wedding reception in Knight of Hearts.
I'm going to include one more song. This one's an album cut, so there's no official video, but I like album cuts. Some of my favorite songs are album cuts. Maybe that's because I don't hear them often enough for them to get stale. Then again, I often shake my head over the songs that get released as single and the ones that get passed over. If I weren't writing books, that's the job I'd want. Single picker. There would be a lot more ballads on the airwaves if I had my way.
So that's how I came back to country music, and how Zach and Maddie found "their song." And I still perk my ears up when someone says "baritone." So who's your favorite baritone?