Just another Music Monday (try to not get Manic Monday stuck in your head…).
Today let’s welcome Michele Stegman to the blog to discuss Conquest of the Heart!
I don’t really listen to music when I write. If the radio happens to be on, I “tune” it out. Music is so powerful, that it becomes a distraction for me. But I do love music, especially classical music and opera, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Mussorgsky, Puccini, etc. I also love movie sound tracks such as Last of the Mohicans, Pirates of the Carribean, and Dances With Wolves. But my favorite way to enjoy music is to play the piano.
Sometimes I will stay up late and play the piano into the night, until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. It seems such a personal time for me, alone with my piano and my music. And here I am living in a log cabin way out in the woods, with no neighbors nearby. I can’t even see the road from my cabin. And when my husband is at work, I am here by myself. But those nighttime hours are still special.
When I was a child, my first album was Nutcracker Suite. Sure, I liked popular music, too, and listened to it with friends, but classical music was what I really enjoyed, even in grade school.
Now, classical music is still my very favorite, but as the pianist for my church, I am appreciating anew the music I grew up with in church. I especially love finding new arrangements of hymns.
So how do I use music to help me write? Music has rhythm, of course, and so does writing. In the best music, there is a growing tension and then a release that is similar to writing those climatic scenes. I also find inspiration when I listen to grand, sweeping music. I can “see” what is happening when the music plays. And sometimes, that inspires scenes and ideas for new books. I just don’t listen while I write!
I’m working on a western romance set in Texas in 1869. It’s about a man who isn’t as bad as he thinks he is, but who still needs redemption and forgiveness, mainly from himself.
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Conquest of the Heart
Her people conquered his country.
In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?
Now she must conquer his heart.
Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in? How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?