Monday, June 18, 2012

The Survivors: Point of Origin Blog Tour + GIVEAWAY!

I am super excited to be hosting a spot on the Amanda Havard's Point of Origin blog tour!  I've had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful author, and we've definitely connected about music a time or two.  She is a passionate person who appreciates the art of music, and you can definitely tell in her writing.  It's an honor to share her thoughts with you all on how music has affected her writing process.


Amanda Havard
"To me, music is not so much a thing as it is an experience. I can hear a song and truly be transported to another place, live an experience I’ve never had, see a scene from a different set of eyes, exist in another world entirely. It’s the perfect inspiration and perfect creative energy. I can be anyone, be anywhere, do anything with the right song playing."
I wrote those words when someone asked me about music when the first Survivors book came out. I’ve answered questions similar before and since, but that might be the best way I’ve ever put it.

The music is the single most influential factor in the creation, execution, and design of the Survivors world. The day I came up with the idea for the series, I attached a song to the fledgling thing, and it turned out that in four verses, I could see four major segments of my book series. In every moment between characters, be it a moment of love, fear, tension, or terror, there is a song playing in my head. Sometimes I choose the songs, but sometimes the songs choose me. On more than one occasion, I’ve been driving along and hear a song for the first time and realize instantly that that has a place in the series. Occasionally it’s a song that will fit an existing (if even unwritten) scene, but many more times the song has informed what I end up writing. If I can be anyone or anything, if I can exist in another world entirely when I hear the right song, then I should be nothing short of diligent in finding the perfect songs for my series. So far, the music is as much to credit for the story as I am.

But music worked its way into the Survivors world in even more unexpected ways. I’ve been into music all my life. Though I’m no performer, I play piano and write songs often, and when I was writing the first book, I’d find myself rambling through a scene at two in the morning, and I’d know I wasn’t doing myself a service. You should never let your characters keep rambling until they figure out what to say to each other. It isn’t real life. They should know what to say. In that sense, word economy is your friend. I remembered, then, that my songwriting professor in college used to emphasize word economy to me in my songwriting. So one night I thought I’d give myself the ultimate challenge and, really, utilize the ultimate tool I had: write a song from one character to another. I had to figure out what they were really trying to teach other in fifty words, not five thousand. It worked.

That first night, I wrote a song called “Pretty Girl” which years later would morph itself into this pop-rock powerhouse my publisher and I teamed up to produce for the series. The voice you hear there is Chris Mann (who was one of the final four on this season’s The Voice), and to hear him, one of the greatest voices on this planet, singing a song that started as a broken song from a broken boy to a broken girl? Well, that was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. We went on to write and produce more songs, including “Breaking” (a Sadie song that asks the pinnacle question for an immortal, ‘Can a heart learn to beat without breaking?’) performed by the incomparable Jess Moskaluke, and “Who You Are", a duet sung by Patrick Thomas and Jenny Gill embodying the Cole/Sadie storyline in the first book… and maybe still the second. Next up, we have a song coming out this summer for Point of Origin called “Play Nice” by Nashville rocker Elle Maze that has the edge to it that the second book deserves. (My favorite line? A tie: “You bury truth like bodies, wearing secrets like crown jewels.” Or, “The snow falls, and the air gets cold. You’ve lost all the good in your soul. The winter wins as your restraint grows thin.”) I can’t wait for that one.

At the end of the day, music is just another form of storytelling. Whether it’s others’ musical stories that inspire the story or this story that inspires the music, it’s all just a part of what I love doing, and what I love making. Start listening with a different ear, and you’ll find what I find: The perfect inspiration. The perfect creative energy.


Want to experience this musically inspired story for yourself?  Then enter my GIVEAWAY for a chance to win Books 1 & 2 in the Survivor series by Amanda Havard.  You will also win this awesome swag bag of goodies that contains an iTunes gift card -- because everyone needs more music in their life!

(This giveaway is open to US & Canada residences only.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To learn more about Amanda Havard, visit her website here.
Be sure to add the Survivor series to your goodreads list here.


  1. This quote stood out to me: "At the end of the day, music is just another form of storytelling." It's so true and music interweaves so well with books that it's just a natural thing. Loved this post Ginger and Amanda!

  2. I really adore Amanda Havard and am NOT surprised that you two connected over music ;-) Have you read the books, Ginger? Curious to hear what you think!

  3. What a great post Amanda! I love how music is definitely a part of the writing process and your books. Plus, I totally get how you and Ginger would have bonded over that!


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