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Archive for January 7th, 2009

mh_stranger5

I pay strangers to sleep with me. I have my reasons…

But they’re not the ones you expect. For starters, I’m a funeral director taking over my dad’s business. Not exactly the sort of person you’d expect to fork over cash for the lust and urgency only live, skin-to-skin contact can create. Looking at me, you wouldn’t have a clue I carry this little secret so close it creases up like the folds of a fan. Tight. Personal. Ready to unravel in the heat of the moment.

Unsurprisingly, my line of work brings me face to face with loss. So I decided long ago that paying for sex would be one of the best (and arousing) ways to save myself from the one thing that would eventually cut far too deep.

But Sam was a mistake. Literally. I signed on to “pick up” a stranger at a bar, but took Sam home instead. And now that I’ve felt his heat, his sweat and everything else can I really go back to impersonal?

Let’s just hope he never finds out about my other life…

 

I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You

 

 

I love music. I love writing to music. I rely on songs to help inspire me and get me in the mood to write, and since each book has a playlist this can mean either picking songs I already like or hearing a song and thinking “AHA! THAT IS IT! THAT’S THE PERFECT SONG!”

 

The song currently on repeat as I type this is Tom Waits’ “Hope I Don’t Fall In Love With You,” which I heard on the radio for the first time tonight and came home right away to buy from iTunes. It fits the mood of my work in progress perfectly. I can’t get enough of it. I’m going to listen to it until I can’t stand it anymore, and by that time, the book should be done!

 

It got me thinking about how different books come from such different places. In my recent novella GET THERE, for example (part of Avon Red’s Red Hot Valentine’s Day Anthology) the main characters, Ty and Edie, are already in love. They’re getting married, in fact. And unlike a lot of romance novels (or novels in general) Ty and Edie don’t really have any conflict. They’re in love when the story starts, they stay in love the whole time the story goes on, and they’re in love at the end. It’s quite possibly the lovey-doviest, gooshiest, most romantic story I’ve ever written. A great song for Ty and Edie would be “Ever The Same” by Rob Thomas.

 

Compare that with STRANGER, out now from Harlequin Spice, in which Grace and Sam have to undergo quite a few challenges before either one of them will admit they’re really truly in love. Their romance isn’t easy for they. They have ups and downs (and some all-arounds, too!)  A song from the playlist for STRANGER is “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel, but the real “theme” song for the book is “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Deathcab for Cutie. Since Grace is a funeral director struggling with her feelings about death and being left behind, that song is especially poignant and I even referenced it in the novel.

 

Other songs I have found particularly important are “What If You” by Joshua Radin, which I listened to over and over again while writing BROKEN. “Everything Changes” by Staind meant so much to me while writing TEMPTED I wanted to call the book MOMENTS OF DISARRAY. (I settled for calling Alex’s Spice Brief, due out in 2010, Everything Changes.) DEEPER had what might have been my longest playlist ever, but featured “Addicted” by Kelly Clarkson and “Why Can’t I Breathe” by Liz Phair, two songs that simply felt so right I had to listen to them countless times. And for DIRTY, perhaps my favorite book to date, there is no song better to describe it than “The Promise” by Tracy Chapman. A final song that’s been on several playlists simply because it’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard is “Without You” by Jason Manns.

 

So that’s what’s been on my mind tonight as I look over playlists. You can find them on iTunes – I usually publish them there. So if you’re curious about what I listened to while I wrote any one thing, check it out!

 

But, if you’d like to win a playlist of the songs I mentioned here in this blog entry, all you have to do is tell me the name of your favorite song, past or present, here in the comments and why you love it so much. What makes it “a keeper” rather than something you bounce along to for a few weeks or a month?

 

You must be able to access iTunes on your computer and have a valid iTunes account and email address so I can send your prize I’ll draw one winner at random from all the comments by the end of Friday, January 9th!

 

And many many special thanks to Fatin for having me here today! Thank you!

 

Megan Hart

 

PS – find me at www.meganhart.com and www.readinbed.net

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