Please welcome my guest, author Kat Cantrell!
Thanks for having me here today Jeanne – I’m excited to talk to your readers about what I’ve been working on. I’m a top ten finalist in the Mills & Boon New Voices contest, which is pretty amazing considering there were over 800 entries. Thigh Noon is the story of a jilted entrepreneur whose ex holds her thigh-shaper product patent hostage in exchange for another shot at their relationship.
The hero, Jesse, is Black Irish, President and CEO of a company he built with his own two (clever, capable, and callused) hands and one sexy alpha male who will do anything to get what he wants. I’ve never written an alpha male before but I know what I like in one and infused as much of that into his character as I could. One thing I knew about him – he likes music. Loud, obnoxious, soulful, sensual; all different sorts. He’s also in the habit of wearing his concert T-shirts almost 100% of the time. That’s the benefit of owning your own company – you can wear whatever you want to work.
I hit upon the idea that the heroine, Alexia, gauges his moods based on what he’s listening to at the time. For example, in the first scene, he’s wearing a Metallica T-shirt because he knows she’s coming to confront him about stealing her patent. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out dirty fight. Metallica fits that mood perfectly. Many readers have commented how much they like that aspect of their relationship and its sparked some interesting debate.
So I started thinking. Can music really convey your mood to someone else? What if that person has a different emotion attached to a song, like because it was an ex’s favorite or it was playing during their first kiss? What if your mood changes during the song? Also, I’ve read some things the artists say about what inspired them to write particular songs and honestly, I didn’t see that feeling in the lyrics or the tone of the music. Sometimes, I think artists correctly leave songs open-ended for your own interpretation because at heart, music is a personal experience.
A lot of writers listen to music while writing and will switch up the sound based on the type of scene it is. Heavy guitars for fight scenes, soulful for the black moment, sensual for a love scene, and so on. To me, this is kind of the opposite idea – taking a mood and transferring it into your scene – and is loaded with the same potential for misfire. Do readers really get what you’re trying to do with the undertones of a scene?
I personally cannot write with music playing, but I recognize the value in it for some people. Regardless of which side you’re on, I want your opinion! Is it really possible to express mood through music and vice versa?
Thanks again for the opportunity to take over for a day Jeanne! Please vote for my entry in the New Voices contest. (requires easy and painless registration but I appreciate it!
About Kat: Kat Cantrell grew up enthralled with Star Wars, Buck Rogers and Starblazers, and read her first Harlequin in the third grade, which gave birth to a life-long obsession with the infinte beyond and eternal romance. What else would make sense but to combine the two? She suffers from genre ADD to this day and writes both contemporary and science fiction romance.
She majored in English literature, officially with the intent to teach but quickly realized the mistake when faced with twenty-five pairs of high-schooler's eyes. After twelve years buried in middle management at Corporate America, Inc., Kat began a new career aspiration: published romance author. And lived happily ever after in North Texas with a fantastic husband, two kids and no cubicle.