I love reading in the fall, don’t you? Cozy weather. Spiced chai. Throw blankets. Maybe a spooky read for book club. Plenty of snack-sized chocolate around. All good things. I’ve got books on the brain today because, guys, we’re almost to that three-month mark before the release of After the Rain! (Squeals with happiness!) I can’t believe it. I’ve been looking at the final proofs this morning and falling in love with this story all over again. We’ll be doing a cover reveal in early December so stay tuned for that. (FYI, the cover is perfect and I can’t wait to share it with you.)
As a little behind-the-scenes on After the Rain, the story picks up very shortly after the ending of The Last Summer. While the story can stand on its own, I highly recommend reading The Last Summer first–for a little more depth and context. You can go to Amazon to check it out if you haven’t already. I love that The Last Summer released during the heat of June, and After the Rain will be releasing in the chilly month of February. Because if The Last Summer is that novel you should read by the pool, while wearing sunglasses and drinking a spiked iced tea, then After the Rain is the novel you should read while curled up on a comfy chair, a warm apple cider or peppermint mocha near at hand.
When I write, I like to listen to music. It inspires me. For The Last Summer, I had a long playlist (that I still like to listen to) that brought to mind warm days and nights, lakeside barbecues, and the feeling of freedom that comes with summer. For After the Rain, music has been so important to the story itself, and to the writing of it. I’ve needed that inspiration.
I wish I was more musical myself (I’m pretty sure I’m tone deaf!), but while my rhythm might be lacking at times, I have a strong appreciation and love for music. When I was younger especially, I liked getting the soundtracks to my favorite movies. Why? Because a great soundtrack captures the vibe and pulse of the story. One year for Valentine’s Day, I made a mixed playlist for Jeff and called it the soundtrack to our relationship. Songs from when we were dating, songs from our wedding, songs we love to turn up loud every time they come on the radio.
I love when writers include their playlist for their novel–it’s the soundtrack to our stories. I’ll be sharing mine as we get closer to the release of After the Rain. And you can be sure that music will be part of the giveaways that come with the promotion during release.
Music plays such an important role during certain moments of our lives. Songs on repeat that we love. Songs that make us cry or give us hope. Songs that become an anthem with our friends. Or songs that we associate with certain memories. I think I like soundtracks because they connect music to experience, and you end up with all the feels from both. (I mean, how many songs from the Grey’s Anatomy series have I absolutely loved? So many.)
During an interview for a job once, the director asked me how I handle stress. Looking back, I realize now that he was hoping I’d give him an example of how I respond and react to stressful situations with people or projects. But my answer that day was: “I listen to Christmas music! It always calms me down.” Ha! Probably not was he was looking for but absolutely true. Christmas music is calming to me.
What kind of music speaks to you? What songs are etched on your heart forever? To me, music feels woven through this new novel and that’s just one reason I’m so eager to share it with you.
It’s been a rainy, cool fall season here in Virginia. And as I’m going through proofs, I can’t help thinking that this weather takes me right into the story.
The rain is coming, guys. February 2019. I’m starting the countdown.