Dear Reader Letter from Keri Arthur on Darkness Unmasked
One of the questions I'm often asked is, do I write to music? Now, lots of writers don't, but I happen to hate silence when I'm writing. I guess it stems from all those times of squeezing in writing time whenever and where ever I could, thanks to an active toddler and my work as a chef, which meant split shifts and lots of weekends. Generally, when I did get the chance to write, there was always some sort of background noise happening.
But what sort of music do I write to? Generally, it's something that will fade into the background and not intrude on the flow of thoughts. When I wrote the first four books of the Riley Jenson series, the music I listened to was Enigma's MCMXC a.D & The Cross of Changes. There was a moody sexiness to the music that really suited the first few books. But by the time the fourth book rolled around, I was feeling the need for something different. A Google search through various styles of alternative music led me to Eco Zen 2, and that became my new writing music. It's hard to classify the music in Eco Zen 2—iTunes has it listed as rock, but it's not really. It's also pop, alternative, and electronic, all rolled into one. As they say on the One World Music website, it's full of luscious beats and sensual vocals. For me, it was perfect, and that became the soundtrack for not only the next five Riley Jenson books, but also the two Myth and Magic books.
But when it came to the Dark Angels series, I felt the story needed a little extra something. I wanted a song that spoke to the journey Risa Jones, our heroine, was about to undertake. When I heard Melissa Etheridge's "Into the Dark," it was practically perfect—it spoke of Risa's physical and emotional journey in so many ways.
With Darkness Rising (book 2), I added The Heavy's "Short Change Hero." For Darkness Unmasked (book 5), Neil Finn's Song of a Lonely Mountain was added (the longing for home and place seemed appropriate). And for Darkness Splintered, the 6th and penultimate book in the series, I added Black Lab's Weightless. Again, the lyrics were very appropriate for Risa's current state of being.
It'll be interesting to see what sort of song I add for the final book, Darkness Falls.