Posts Tagged ‘singer/songwriter’

“Like the fool I am and I’ll always be…” ~Jim Croce

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

I’m obsessed with the number three. A lot of artists are. I’m convinced Jim Croce was. His songs break down that way a lot, and the lyrics follow a rhythm I respond to on an instinctive level, long before I know why.  Snippets of Croce music have always been there for me, when I’ve needed them, and they converged while I wrote Love on Mimosa Lane, being there for my hero, who I was at times having a hard time seeing.

Law Beaumont was a bad boy (hence the Leroy Brown initials), but he’s not anymore. But who is he. He has no clue. Except he’s an honorable man doing his best to raise his daughter, feeling responsible for how badly her young life had turned out so far. But he’s going to keep walking that tough, winding road, not yet living a hidden dream, but he will be (say that in Yoda’s voice, it’ll mean more to you)…because leading characters to their dreams (more on that soon) and setting them free from the past, so they can thrive, is my pattern. I do it in threes, too, I’ve discovered over these last three books (more on that soon, too).

winding road sunset

“If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud…”

Not having pride about trying hard and failing is a good thing, until you let it distance you from dreams that have more to do with thriving than they do surviving. My survivor of a hero has lost sight of that at the beginning. We all have, once or twice in our lives, at least I have. We forget who we once were–we forget our “name” as it where.

And so, the first “third” of Love on Mimosa Lane got the working section title, “I Have a Name.” Law finds himself, who he was before it all went to hell, because it’s the only way to really help his daughter. Taking his identity back from all the damage and failures and mistakes is the only way to unchain himself and his child from their hold. It’s the only way any of us do, really.

“Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by. I’m gonna go there free…”

I’ve told you Law as a musician, right? That’s how he thinks of it. It’s who he was, not who he is now. Except, when Kristen comes into his life, when he allows her in after staring at her from a distance (in a sexy-as-hell, non-creepy way), so does his music. His creativity. His voice. His soul. She unlocks the parts of him he gave up to survive.  She won’t let him be only what he thinks he’s become. She sees who he is and doesn’t let him off the hook about it, because to have her, he’ll have to be more than broken–she’s come from too much brokenness herself, to settle for that kind of half-life, and she’s just as good (better?) at protecting herself as he is.

And, so, the second third of Law and Kristen’s story happened with the working title, “I Have a Song.” (more…)

WINNERS… And Taking on FB again with our next fun Release contest!

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

We have more winners (from this weekend’s contest which ended midnight last night ;o). And we have another chance for everyone to chime in about there love of music, as I share all week the Jim Croce lyrics that inspired me as I wrote Love on Mimosa Lane. I’m heading back to Facebook to give it another go there, but each day I’ll be posting here as well. Comment on FB or in any of the posts on the blog, or all of them to increase your chances. I’ll select winners randomly from all the comments. NEW CONTEST DETAILS  and MAGIC FACEBOOK DISCLAIMER WORDS below.

But first, our winners (randomly selected from the blog and FB comments):

  • Signed copy of Love on Mimosa Lane: Kathy Arel, who commented on FB on January 25th.
  • $10 Amazon Gift Certificate: Angie M, who commented on the blog on January 25th.

Ladies, please message me on FB or via email at Anna @ annawrites . com, to confirm your mailing address (Kathy) and email address (Angie, so I can send your gift certificate electronically). We’ll get your goodies to you ASAP.

New Contest (look for blog posts all week, in addition to this one, where you can enter).

Music lives with me daily. All my life, I’ve heard it. And I was good at making it for a while, though I was never an artist. I couldn’t create. I could follow notes on a page, but I could never let go of the counting and the visual and the fear of doing it wrong, and just play for the joy of it. Not the way I do with writing. But I HEART MUSIC. So does Law Beaumont in Love on Mimosa Lane.

FINAL LoML Front LowRes

Jim Croce came to me as I thought up Law (and changed his name to match the initials LB…can anyone tell me why?).

Excerpts from JC’s songs were slotted into each LOML chapter heading. They had to come out before publication, of course, for copyright reasons, but their legacy lives on in the story.

time in a bottle

I’ll be sharing Jim Croce inspirations all week, here and on Facebook, in addition to the JC-inspired Pinterest Board I’ve put up. Chat here or on the daily blog posts through Friday or on my Anna DeStefano: Author FB page. I’m hoping to convince you to chat with me about JC or other musicians and lyrics that speak to you–because who wants to be a geeky music nerd, all by herself!

Pin to the JC Pinterest Board. Share photos, pics, videos or whatever on FB. Whatever is fun for you.

I’ll be checking the blog, FB and Pinterest every day, watching. At midnight Friday, I’ll select winners randomly from all the fun. (more…)

If you could have your own singer/songwriter to love… And WIN more goodies ;o)

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Can you tell from the cover of Love on Mimosa Lane that one of the central themes in the book is music? I hope so. We worked pretty had on that one (pats self on back).

More accurately, the healing, magical restorative power of music. At least it is to me, and to my central characters.  Yeah,  the book is about community and patching back together broken homes for two very special kids and still loving unconditionally when you think someone’s forever ruined your ability to be vulnerable in love, but music is a key factor for bringing everyone together in the end. Music has been a safe, deeply moving, motivational place for me my whole life. I wanted to share that.

FINAL LoML Front LowRes

Our hero in LoML is a singer songwriter. He’s given up for years his gift for moving his own soul and others with his creativity and talent and unique voice. Allowing inspiration to move within him again, because he can no longer hold it back each and every time he confronts our heroine (No, he doesn’t burst into song and dance, this isn’t a musical. But she DOES inspire him in ways only music has before ;o), is a first step toward healing for him and so many others in the book. I sense many artists are this “soul” place within their own realities, where their paintings or music or words or photographs or whatever transform more around them than they’ll ever know.

I actually patterned Love on Mimosa Lane, at least in theme, after a series of Jim Croce lyrics I’ll be sharing over the next week on my Anna DeStefano: Author Facebook page. Croce’s ability to tell a story with a few perfect words, to paint a picture with the movement of simple notes and the timber of his voice, is life transforming. He reaches into me with every song and phrase.


At one point while drafting  the book, I included snippets of his lyrics at the opening of each chapter, to remind myself of the theme I was going for within. These had to be stripped away before publication for copyright reasons. But I squirreled away those moments (my husband says I save everything). I’ll be sharing them here and on social media. I eventually, at the end of the novel, have our hero sing a couple of Croce songs that melt hearts and reveal who he really is, soul-deep, more than he can possibly reveal without his music. I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

Can you guess which of Croce’s songs he chooses.

It’s an epic moment, symbolism-wise, even if I do say so myself ;o)

Music is an epic thing, if we let it work its magic in our lives.

I’d love to know what singer/songwriter/music can do that for you. I’d love to share the fascination (okay, borderline obsession) I’ve had with music since I was a small child. I’d love to know their are other freaks like me out there, who if they could write novels would dream and plot and fashion an entire novel around a musical theme, if they could ;o)

Which leads us to Release Week 2’s  CONTEST ;o) (more…)