One habit I developed a long time ago is that I write a song for nearly every book I read. I love to read, but I always used to feel guilty if I were reading and not working on a new song. (I’m so good at guilt.)
I remember the day I was telling my dear friend and fellow songwriter, Joel Lindsey, about it. He said, “Belinda, it’s research. Read as much as you want because you get ideas from books.” We were at South Street Grille here in Nashville, and every time I go there I think about our conversation. I came up with the Novel Theme Song Plan out on that patio.
Fast forward many years, and many Novel Theme Songs, to summer 2013. I was invited to be on staff at the Appalachian Young Writers’ Workshop at Lincoln Memorial University, and when the director told me that Susan Gregg Gilmore would be the fiction teacher, I was stoked. I had read her first book, “Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen,” and loved it. Besides, I’m always fascinated with novelists; how on Earth does anyone concentrate on one thing for so long?
After a week of living in dorm rooms again, eating cafeteria food and surviving middle-of-the-night tornado warnings, Susan is officially one of my favorite humans.
The Cool Part
Here’s a very, very truncated version of one of our conversations:
Me: So do you have a new novel in the works? (I know writers hate this question. I asked anyway.)
Susan: Yes, it’s actually coming out in September. I’m really excited about it.
Me: Awesome. What’s it called?
Susan: The Funeral Dress.
Me: There’s song in that title.
Susan: Oh, it would be so cool if you wrote a song for the book!
Me: I’ll totally write a song for the book. (Thinking: She doesn’t know that I’m not allowed to read it if I don’t.)
And then a week later, Susan leaves me the following voice mail:
“Hey, I talked to Random House about your writing the song. They LOVE the idea! Call me.”
WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE?
Gang, the Novel Theme Song has finally come into its own. And, honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of Susan and her novel. It’s so much fun for me to be able to add in even a small way to the release of, “The Funeral Dress.”
Today, I’m inviting you to check out your local bookstore (always support them first) or click here to order your copy.
And then you should write your own Novel Theme Song. You never know what could happen.
Here’s to supporting a fellow writer!