where the writers are
Story Behind The Story - The Sorcerer's Songs
Weathervanes CD by Steven Howell

I wrote The Sorcerer’s Songs using my husband's song lyrics to create the plot. It was a lot of fun to write, and a great writing exercise! I think I was so inspired by his music that the story practically wrote itself. The Senior Editor who accepted the story wrote these wonderful words about it... "I also want to note that you write about magick with a heart and understanding that's pretty rare. There's a ritual feel to the music performance in your story."

It is true to say that without my husband, Steve, this story would not be. However, it would be truer to say that without him I would not be… the person I am, or have the life I am so grateful to lead. He is my constant source of love and support in so many ways, as well as my best friend. What a privilege to have both a friend and a mate who is so generous, creative, loving, accepting, hard-working, and the list could go on and on.

Actually this story started with one specific song called, The Road. Go to http://www.broadjam.com/player/player.php?play_file=23955_260044 to listen to the song. The song just screamed storyline to me…the regrets, the forlorn tone, the passions untouched… However, once I started letting my imagination go, it seemed that others of my husband’s songs echoed in my head as the plot progressed. So, I went and grabbed his newest CD, Weathervanes. The idea struck me to try to see how many of them I could use. It was sooo much fun listening and playing with the songs to create a storyline. Only, once that step was done, and they were all arranged, the story would not be stopped! I was writing over five thousands words a day on it for the first few days, not able to walk away from it without having to grab a pencil and paper to scribble down notes on. I think that is a testament to the caliber of songwriter Steven is.

 

I was really nervous for him to read it. Yet, once he did, he said that often it was just uncanny how the songs fit the story so well, as if the hero, Adam, would have wrote them just for the situation her was in. That was the greatest compliment, as I hope the book, the use of his creative genius in such a way, was to him. 

Once I started thinking about the man in the song, The Road, and who he would be, it immediately can upon me to ask: what has he left behind? Of course as a romance writer, it had to be a woman. *giggles* Second, being a paranormal writer, the question formed in my mind as to what powers my hero could have. I thought surely, with music being so influential, capable of such an effect on people, it could be used in spells too. A little research both in the psychology field and into Wicca gave me a wealth of knowledge to work with…to let my imagination run away with.

I felt I knew Adam, my musical sorcerer, right from the start. I could see him. I could feel what he was feeling. A lot of him was my husband, but a lot of him had already formed in my mind in listening to the song before. I guess I really drew from personal experiences for this one. In creating the town Adam grew up in that he would be going back to, to face what he left behind, I went home in my mind. I come from this great little town on the southern part of the Ohio river called Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. It is so rich for settings. I have driven the roads, walked those woods, and seen that white farmhouse several different places. I really believe that towns shape people, the types of jobs prevalent define a lot of the inhabitant’s lives, create a certain human landscape. Even if the person is one whose life mission became to get out of that town after graduation, the town still shaped him or her. So, somehow, the people I grew up with there, all meshed together to become the heroine, Stacey, and Adam’s childhood friend, Pete and Pete’s mom, etc. In fact, Stacey’s house, as I saw it in my head while writing, actually was the house of a childhood friend with the same name. Guess you can see how my mind came up with that one. I think too that setting, especially in paranormal writing, can become a viable character in the book.
Also, in starting the story, I needed my hero to be off playing somewhere. Having visited Key West, Florida twice in my life, it just seemed the perfect opposing compliment to Martin’s Ferry.

Making my hero a musician was also easy. My husband and I will soon be celebrating 15 years of marriage. In that time, I have been to many of his gigs (well more before we had children), got to witness him writing songs, etc. I have seen his creativeness play out many times. In fact, the song, “Sick Of You,” also used in the story, I had a small part in helping write. Also, I had a living, breathing encyclopedia of music right here with me. It helped that I can read music myself. 

I am just so excited, and so grateful to my husband, Steven Howell, for letting me use his music!