Submitted Date 04/01/2021

For years, my mother and sister have looked at me and have shaken their heads after initiating a conversation that usually starts with, "Whatcha working on?"

You'd think by now they would know better than to ask me that question. It usually launches a diatribe of plot ideas, character names and descriptions, and where they reside in "The Loft" that is my brain.

Yes, my characters live in a loft…that is shared with my best friend/co-author Mariam and my niece Kathryn. Don't ask. It's a writer thing.

What fascinates people, however, including my family, is what I refer to as the soundtrack of my brain. When I am on a creative writing tear, the music is going. The headphones are on, the music is blocking out everything around me and I'm in my zone.

It's also why my husband is able to sneak up on me and scare the living daylights out of me, but that's his job, I suppose.


Music has always been an inspiration for me. From movie soundtracks to Gregorian chants and everything in between, I find music a comfort, a balm on my restless spirit, the perfect complement to the stories that I write. It doesn't matter if it is a piece for work, a paper for school, or my novels, there is usually music playing in the background.

Right now, I'm listening to Wardruna. Don't judge.

Anyone privy to my personal Spotify account will see playlists with names like "Protective Custody," "A Simple Kind of Man," or "Agency 2.0." These are playlists that go along with a novel. Sometimes I know the title of the book before I even know what the book is about and I name that playlist accordingly. In the case of "Agency 2.0," it's all songs that have inspired a series I have been plotting out for close to ten years.

Okay. I know. You want to know what is in some of these playlists.

Let's look at "A Simple Kind of Man." This book got inspired by Jensen Ackles' (Dean from Supernatural among other roles) rendition of "A Simple Kind of Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I fell in love with his voice and it sparked something. That something turns out to be a country romance.

Again, don't judge. I live in Texas. It works.

"Protective Custody" was inspired by Christian Kane's (Lindsey on Angel, Eliot on Leverage, Jacob on The Librarians) "Let Me Go." This book is actually part of my Agency series.

The playlist for The Will of Captain St. Pierre? Pirate sea shanties, a lot of music from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and a heavy dose of "Assassin's Creed: Black Flag" tuneage.

What do you listen to when you need to get in the zone – whether it's writing or some other activity? I look forward to hearing from you and, hopefully, finding some new music to listen to!


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  • Julie Nunn 1 year, 3 months ago

    For me, music depends on the mood I happen to be in. My husband and I have recently re-discovered our love for vinyls and have begun a new collection after the ones we had were discarded decades ago. There is something about vinyls vs other ways of listening to music. You hear the scratches sometimes but in a way I find that strangely comforting...maybe I need to write my own article on this...I do, however, have my favs: Bon Jovi, Elton John, Billy Joel, Pink, Queen, ELO, The Beatles, Eric Clapton and anything from Motown. I also love jazz and classical music as well...I loved your article!

    • Beth A. Freely 11 months, 1 week ago

      Hi julie! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And yes, there is something about vinyl that is strangely comforting. I had to leave my collection in Ohio with my ex sister-in-law. Maybe one day I'll get it back. Beth