29 August, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: Music And Lyrics: The One Thing I Can’t Do Without When I Am Writing

*** Special Feature - August 2017 ***
About the Author:
Aarti V Raman is an Amazon India bestselling romance writer who dabbles in romantic thrillers and contemporary romance. Happy Ever After are her three favorite words in the English lexicon. 

Aarti graduated from Mumbai University in 2007 with a degree in Mass Media focused on Journalism which provided her the perfect background for conducting sound research on any project. But she has also worked as a copy editor, social media consultant, commercial content writer-editor while pursuing her goal.
Aarti’s ambition of honing her craft and writing stories, particularly romances that have strong characters and stronger plots that remain etched in the reader’s minds, grew when she sold her first novel WHITE KNIGHT (Leadstart Publishing), in 2012. 

In 2013, her work was excerpted in the Tamil Edition of Mills and Boon novels. And in 2014, her short story “Post-Coital Cigarette” was chosen to be part of the Rupa Romance Anthology “An Atlas of Love” curated by bestselling author Anuja Chauhan.  Her last novel “Kingdom Come” (Harlequin MIRA) has enjoyed a brief stay at the bestseller lists in Amazon India. Her third book “With You I Dance” (Fingerprint! Publishing) released in April 2016 and debuted on the Amazon India Romance Bestseller list. 

Aarti was chosen to be part of the Goa Arts and Literary Fest 2014 in December 2014 and The Hyderabad Literary Festival in January 2015. 

She is represented by Red Ink Literary Agency, India. 

Connect with the Author:

Music And Lyrics: The One Thing I Can’t Do Without When I Am Writing

Coldplay. Matchbox 20. U2. Sting. Mohit Chauhan. Arijit Singh. Dido. Dido. Dido.

For the music neophytes, these are some of the best famous bands and artists of our times. And I hope they make your personal playlist ASAP!

They don’t say for nothing that writers suffer from neuroses and OCD (probably stretching it a bit too much with the generic self-diagnosis). One of my favorite rituals is to write an awesome and elaborate dedication page. The dedication page will profusely gush over my mother, my own True North, the Big Guy in the Sky, my latest muse who created the hero and…and…a playlist created and curated for that particular story comprising croons and tunes from those bands and artists that hold my heart.

So, this post, as all my books are, is dedicated to the crazy ones, the artists, the ones whose music only I can hear when I go deep into my writing Twilight Zone.

People usually do listicles and talk about their top five favorite songs or Spotify/Saavn/YouTube playlist. But I want to talk about incidents inspired by or happened around songs/artists, that jumpstarted my muse or vice-versa.

I’ll Make Love To You

Black Is The Color by The Corrs

I love writing sex scenes. I absolutely love them. They are intimate and goofy and transporting and somehow perfectly set the tone for the Happily Ever After I can’t get enough of. This song by Andrea Corr is my main go-to jam when I am laying it down for the characters. The beginning with the weeping viola and the steady, rhythm section practically beg for the art of undressing two characters both on the page and IRL.

This is what was playing in my earphones when Krivi and Ziya got it on in a sleazy hotel room in the middle of nowhere, UK. It’s sensuous and erotic all at the same time and it makes for some delicious squirmy scene-writing. One of the good kinds.

I Wanna Know What Love Is

Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai from Kaminey

I don’t know about you guys, but this particular Gulzar gem is exactly the reason why I write romance. So listening to it when I am in the middle of a book makes perfect sense to me. Especially, when I am about to write something extra-gooey and mushy, like an HEA scene.

The lyrics are whimsical and yet stand like a bulwark that captures the defiance of being in love, especially on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Mohit Chauhan is that man (with the face of current muse) whose arms I imagine are around me when I write a touching scene involving the hero and heroine. For instance, Pehli Baar played a pretty prominent role in the way WYID ended.

The Nirmohi, The Harjaayee...The Ideal

Kabira in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

I am not joking, I am afraid to write a character named Kabir and, at the same time, I cannot wait to write him. Kabir, for me, personifies everything amazing and broken about the human male condition. A man trapped between wanting to become an adult and embrace the common sense and minutiae of responsibility that come with it and roaming around like a free spirit with an unerring sense of charm and flattery.

Of course, Kabir and Bunny in YJHD has more layers to him that get peeled back in the course of the movie but, when I hear Kabira play even now, four years later – I think about the fact that writing Kabir would be like writing the most ideal man ever. And such a creature is dangerous if out in the real world. Fun fact: For the longest time, I did not know that the correct lyric was “Kaisa tu hai nirmohi.” And that nirmohi meant, having no earthly desires.

The Song Beneath The Song

Polaris by Jimmy Eat World

I have had Polaris on my playlist since the last five years. And I have still not written a single particular story for it. Polaris, for me, is about the incredible and stunning yearning that only comes from being in love. And being AWAY from your love (for good or bad), whether it is manufactured conflict inside a book or a real life conflict due to whatever reasons. Polaris has these lyrics: As I’m sure your kiss remains employed, am I only dreaming? Aren’t they just so perfect to describe the angst, heartbreak and terrible capacities of everlasting love? I am hoping to utilize Polaris in a character playlist for The Dreamkeeper, my most ambitious project yet but, odds are, I just might go another way and keep Polaris for Aarti, the woman instead of Aarti, the writer.

Another JEW favorite: 23. Christ, what a song!

If They’re Gone (slight variation on If You’re Gone)

Coldplay/Matchbox 20/John Mayer/Michelle Branch/Kings of Leon/U2

My playlist, god my LIFE would be incomplete without songs by these iconic bands. Anything I have ever marginally been proud of and hit publish on, has been in some way inspired by these frigging amazing people. I have gushed about all the other songs and artists because they serve a very specific purpose in my life and in my writing process. But with Coldplay, Matchbox 20, Mayer man, Michelle Branch, Pink, KOL and U2 I am often short of words.

Their music has saved me, enervated me, uplifted me and made me feel every single emotion in the human spectrum, including disappointed (She’s So Mean in North and Inked in Ghost Stories). But, suffice it to say, my words would be far poorer and my stories not as emotionally impactful if it wasn’t for the background soundtrack provided by these legends, whispering, encouraging, making it impossible for me to give up the greatest joy there is:  write romance.

I mean, seriously. How can you not listen to All I Want Is You and not grab the nearest keyboard and 
WRITE stuff down?

When Music Collides With Life 

As a sidebar or inspiration and a huge boost as to why I keep on doing this, sharing a few of the conversations, chats I've had with a few of my favorite artists. Yeah, they are no Coldplay or Matchbox 20... But they are AWESOME and y'all have to listen to them! 

1. Ass Back Home by Gym Class Heroes and Neon Hitch - This song is majorly responsible for the middle section of Kingdom Come. The one where Ziya is devastated after Noor's death!

2. Sleeperstar 'I was wrong' - Sleeperstar is awesome. Just awesome. Damon Salvatore is awesome. And even though the draft I wrote for this song is completely garbage *I kid you not* it has been a part of my music Playlist for the last two years. Whether it is traveling long distance, short distance or writing blog posts or planning the new romance series, this song has been there. Thank you, Sleeperstar.

3. When a heart breaks by SO Stereo - The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy are just three of those series where the music takes over the show. Don't believe me? Then listen to SO Stereo. My favorite song by this hardly-known band is What you wanted me to do which should be like the urban Millennial love anthem! And ever since I heard it, I keep swapping it into new Playlists. I don't remember the draft of the book I was writing that Tuck was so enthused about, but dude. When I get to the US I am holding these amazing, talented, gentlemen to their promise!

Thank you for the music. Thank you for the lyrics. Thank you for being mine and opening up my heart to everything beautiful and heartbreaking about people.

Till Next Time,
Writer Gal

About the Book:

Meera Sagar had everything—the perfect job as a principal ballerina (for a prestigious New York ballet company) and a man who loved her as much as she loved him. But tragedy struck on the night before her biggest performance, forcing her to do the one thing she never wanted to do—come back home. To Mumbai.

Now, a year later, Meera is still trying to pick up the pieces, while

fending off marriage proposals from her well-meaning but

traditional Gujarati family, and figure life out all over again. By

starting a ballet school in Mumbai. But she has two problems. One, she doesn’t know anything about running a business. And two, she can’t dance. Not anymore.

Enter . . .
Abeer Goswami. Hotshot junior partner at a South Bombay law
firm and a man nursing a broken heart. When he meets Meera
again, the woman who left him, he tries his hardest to be her friend,to help her . . . and not let the past get in the way.

And then . . .
There is the sexy Zoya Sehgal. Meera’s only friend in the city and the woman Abeer is currently seeing. They say triangles have pointy edges, for a reason. 

Will Meera find a new dream in her ballet school? Can Abeer and Meera find their way back to each other again? And, most important, has Meera danced for the last time?

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