Monday 8 September 2014

Guest post with Laura E. James, Author of Follow Me

Title: Follow Me, Follow You
Author: Laura E. James
Published: 7th August 2014
Publisher: Choc Lit

Guest Post

I’ve Got The Music In Me

And in my novels …

Recently, I bought some goods from a well-known health food shop and when I got home I noticed these words emblazoned across the front of the bag: Caution. I could burst into song at any moment.
How well the townsfolk know me.
Of course, it’s a national campaign, but as my children will attest, any moment is the perfect time for me to burst into song.
It seems inevitable that there are characters in my books who share my delight for music ‒ I come from a family of musicians and music-lovers. My nan’s cousin was Ivor Emmanuelle, a famous Welsh musical theatre and TV singer, who appears in the 1964 Michael Caine film, Zulu. He leads the soldiers in a rousing rendition of Men of Harlech, moments before a bloody battle takes place. My mum’s grandfather was a violinist, her grandmother a pianist, and we have a cousin who sings opera.
Radio Two provided the soundtrack to my childhood ‒ Abba, Kate Bush, Eurythmics ‒ with my older brother expanding my youthful horizons with Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and Rainbow as they blasted out from his record player. Granted, at the time I was an unwilling student, but my bedroom was the other side of his and the volume on his stereo went to eleven. In adulthood I’m genuinely grateful for the heavy rock education, as there’s nothing better than a full-on session of Ace of Spades or Black Knight to blow away the cobwebs.
Grieg, with his slightly eerie Hall of the Mountain King, from the Peer Gynt Suite, Bach’s Violin Concertos, and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons followed, classical LPs in my mum’s vinyl collection I wasn’t supposed to listen to without first asking. But I couldn’t help myself. The music was so captivating. Enchanting. Exciting.
When I left home, I shared a house with my brother and a friend. Our musical preferences varied greatly, but wow, did that make for some excellent party mixes. And we did party. Motorhead to Talking Heads to Ian Dury and The Blockheads ‒ it was all there.
It’s no wonder then my hero in Follow Me, Follow You is renowned among his peers for his love of music. In his case it’s Genesis. In an early draft, Chris Frampton had music piped throughout his ranch, even in his shower. Mama was the chosen song in that particular scene. Sadly, that little insight into Chris’s bathroom didn’t make it to the final version, but imagination is a wonderful gift.
Victoria Noble, the heroine, while not big on music, appreciates the structure behind classical compositions. It makes sense to her in ways rock and pop never has.
I’m a Tchaikovsky fan. I don’t profess to know and name everything he’s composed, and I am in no way an expert, but if the music moves me, if it brings tears to my eyes, or whips my breath away, then it’s on my playlist.
When I was writing the romantic scenes for Follow Me, Follow You, I listened to the Nutcracker’s Pas De Deux. It’s an incredible, passionate, beautiful piece that captures the sheer intensity, depth and pain of true love, and it’s those emotions I wished to convey.
There’s one final character in the book who is directly connected to music, and without whom, EweSpeak would not exist: Annabel Lamb, pop singer and winner of TV’s UK Starz. She’s a gregarious, energetic, loveable go-getter, with the verve for life, a heart of gold and a head for business.
I never assigned her a song. I wonder which tune won her the UK Starz final. What do you think she’d have sung?

Author bio
Laura lives in Dorset with her family. Laura was twice a runner-up in the Choc Lit Short Story
competitions. Her story Bitter Sweet appears in the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Anthology. Truth or Dare?, Laura’s debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Joan Hessayon Award. Follow Me Follow You is Laura’s first Choc Lit novel published in paperback.

Twitter: @Laura_E_James

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  1. Thank you, Laura, for inviting me here today. Your blog is so lovely :-)

  2. Begin write wich labor it's great moment.