How I Let Music Inspire My Writing…

Those of you who have read some of my more recent interviews regarding my newest novel When Empires Fall will have seen my explanation on where my inspiration came for writing it.  It didn’t come from a dream, or from a conversation I had, or from an image I saw…no, my inspiration came from a song I’ve loved nearly my whole life.  This song, actually:

Can we ever hope to seek asylum from the bounds of faith and family…

When the seventh son of the seventh son comes along and breaks the chain…

Did you know all mothers come from Heaven? Did you know all fathers come from Hell? That is why they’re at sixes and sevens…that is why their marriage isn’t well…

Those are a few of the lines from the song that have always hit home for me, and the words that truly inspired my creation.  When Empires Fall is about a large, prominent hotel family, a modern empire of kings in America, with sins that go back sixty years that rise to the surface to plague the family in scandal.  This concept of “the seventh son of the seventh son, comes along and breaks the chain…” played heavily into my overall construction of the Vasser hotel family (the seventh son has seven sons, and that seventh son is the key player in the destruction of the family).  It is said in folklore that the “seventh son of a seventh son” possesses magical powers, or sometimes satanic influences.  Taking this condition, I crafted a character who succumbed to numerous vices and bad habits, a stain on the rest of the family, an abject failure in the eyes of his father.  And yet he is critical in that he holds the one secret, a morbid truth, that has the possibility of bringing the family to ruin.

But there were other songs that inspired me along the way as I wrote the book, ones that helped me capture the mood of a particular character, or the drama of a specific scene.  I find I tend to make playlists for my characters, songs I listen to that put me in the right mindset to tackle the character in an emotional scene.  It helps me step outside my own emotions and life experiences and into the shoes of someone else, someone whose pain is not my own but whose pain I wish to capture with words.

Below are the songs that captured the emotions and personality and struggles of three of my main characters in When Empires Fall


Madison Vasser…

Rock on ancient queen…follow those who pale in your shadow…


Grant Vasser…

I am taffy stuck and tongue tied, stutter-shook and uptight…pull me out from inside. I am ready


Linc Vasser…

And I want a moment to be real, wanna touch things I don’t feel…wanna hold on and feel I belong.

As I now finalize the outlining phase for the sequel to When Empires Fall, I find myself jumping back into these songs, absorbing their message and feeling.  I can’t wait to start writing, and come back to these characters which have been such a big part of my life for several months.  And, at the core of it, the songs that led me to create them will always remind me of this book, and of the emotions the music allowed me to capture with words.

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5 thoughts on “How I Let Music Inspire My Writing…

  1. Most definitely it inspires me. There are many scenes in both the book I have out and the one I am writing that were inspired by songs. One scene in the second book has nothing to do with the words of the song that inspired it, but everything to do with the music.

  2. Music is a wonderful motivator! There was a song that inspired one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever written. Unfortunately, it isn’t a published story, and I doubt it will ever be. lol However, it was still so inspiring to me! Thanks for sharing your story!

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