Join the discussion! We’re talking about how and why music inspires writers as we work. This is a topic close to my heart, as nothing inspires me more. I’d love to hear how music has affected your writing process. Feel free to comment and/or share links to your favorite writing music.

We begin our discussion with a Q&A with Author Noelle Pierce, who has also written a short story, “Undone,” for the anthology Words to Music. Let’s get to it!

What song is your anthology story based on? Do you like the song? If so, why? And what about that song speaks to you?

Come Undone by Duran Duran is a song I loved. It’s got a mellow, serene feel to it, and the words were incredibly inspiring (the video even helped)! I’ve always associated this song with water, not just because of the video, but because I spent a lot of time at the beach when it first hit the charts, listening to it while we sat in tide pools.

Do you listen to music when you write?


How does the music influence your writing?

Music is one of my pillars. I have playlists for nearly everything I write, and I have a radio or speakers in every room of my house for times when I’m not writing (yes, even the bathroom). I can’t imagine my world without music. When I’m not sure what sort of music will work for a story, I’ll put Pandora on and see what happens.

What do you usually listen to?

It depends on what genre I’m writing. If it’s a historical romance, then I need songs that give that sort of feel, but are modern. Classical music by current composers is some of my favorite, but I also have a special theme song for every story, which sticks out from the playlist crowd while I’m writing. For example, for Stars in the Night, the theme song is “Until…” by Sting, and Reaching for the Moon uses “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows. When I’m stuck and can’t move a story forward, I play only the theme song on repeat and the words start to flow again. And I never seem to tire of the songs (of course, once I’m writing, the music fades into the background and the story is the main focus, so maybe that’s why?).

How does music affect and inspire your writing process?

It’s almost always the feel of the music, the tone it portrays. I couldn’t listen to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack (which I adore) when I’m writing a Regency romance. It just doesn’t give the right feeling or induce the right images. Unless the romance includes a pirate on the high seas. *grin* Occasionally, the words work really well, too. The theme songs for my projects have the prerequisite tone and rhythm, but also the right lyrics. My Regency take on the Perseus and Andromeda myth includes an unrequited love from the hero to his sister’s best friend, the heroine. Her current situation leads her to look at her world differently, and she finally sees Percy as more than a friend–except her father is marrying her off to a degenerate. The theme song for this one is “So Close” by Jon McLaughlin, and the words are perfect. “So close to reaching that famous happy end; Almost believing this was not pretend. Let’s go on dreaming for we know we are…” It’s so poignant for them.

Noelle Pierce writes all sorts of stories, but her first love will always be romance. She writes historical romance based on the constellations, and is currently seeking representation. Living in Atlanta, Noelle is a member of the Georgia Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.

You’ll see my thoughts on music at Noelle’s site here:

To kick off the discussion, here’s one of my favorite bits of music to write to: Persuasion (2007)