I was recently asked to share my favorite “writing music”. Turns out it’s a short list: NONE. I need absolute silence – no distractions—when I work, write, etc. I’m ADD. I just simply can’t focus with anything that might distract me from the words on the page. Especially when the subject matter, historical fiction, requires intense attention to detail, as Masque of Honor has demanded.
However, there is one caveat: I sometimes listen to something that projects a mood that I want to convey in a scene BEFORE I write it. For example, I listened to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony before taking on a scene in another 19th century historical fiction project I’m tackling that’s based on an 1872 murder and subsequent trial. Once the mood is set in my mind, I turn it off and get to work.
Painting is different however. That’s an ideal time for me to listen to something to inspire. It depends on the painting and the mood I’m conveying on the canvas. For example, for sunrise paintings it might be Bruno Mars or Prince or Stevie Ray Vaughn. A landscape might be Dave Matthews or Red Hot Chili Peppers or Arctic Monkeys. An abstract could be anything depending on the mood of the painting – Mary J. Blige, Adele, Don Henley and Chris Cornell are always favorites.
My current favorite painting playlist includes songs like “Pinch Me” from Bare Naked Ladies, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “Yellow” by Cold Play, “One Headlight” by the Wall Flowers, “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down, “ShortSkirt/LongJacket” by Cake, “When You see a Chance” by Steve Winwood and “Smooth” by Rob Thomas with Santana. Give a listen to my playlist here.
Sharon Virts is a successful entrepreneur and historical fiction author. Her passion for storytelling is encapsulated in her novel Masque of Honor. It is one of the best historical fiction books chronicling the drama, life, loves and struggles of two families of the Virginia aristocracy following the War of 1812. Sharon Virts has captured Virginia history in this American historical fiction novel based on the true story of two cousins in the early 19th century. Set in Loudoun County Virginia and the District of Columbia it is both historical fiction romance and historical fiction drama.