I chose “Going Home” by Mary Fahl. While it is not necessarily about the same subject as my story, it fit Annie’s story perfectly. She was coming home to herself and the song was the perfect soundtrack to that journey.
What about the song inspired the story?
When a woman leaves an abusive situation, she has to find herself again. We leave bits and pieces of ourselves behind, hide others, to protect ourselves. We compromise who we are and lose our voices. Annie was finding herself, and her voice again, and the song just felt like her song at that moment in time.
In what other ways has music inspired you?
Music inspires me daily! I have what I call ‘morning songs’ to help in my daily struggle with chronic illness. I explain this in my first non-fiction book, The Unchained Spirit, how I use songs to start each day and get my heart pumping. I may not feel like getting up each morning, but I use music and other methods to get my feet moving and a spring in my sometimes-difficult first steps.
At what point do you feel music and storytelling intersect?
Music is storytelling. Even instrumental music has a song within the silences and crescendos. Songs become the soundtracks of our own lives, and songs themselves tell stories. Each is the natural progression of the other. Just as poems have a natural cadence and written stories have a ‘voice’, songs reach us on a different emotional level when we hear them and sing along.
Three things… one, I’ve never published a story that was inspired by a song, though I’ve written several. Two, this is a very short story, the shortest I’ve ever written. It is meant to take place in the time it takes for the song to play. Three, it is tied to another book that will release next year, Love in the Middle, and provides a bit of background for one of those main characters. I do hope, though, the reader feels it stands on its own as well. For those with whom the story and Annie’s character resonate, I think that will be the case.
What was most challenging for you in writing this story?
It is very, very personal. The story this is tied to, that is deeply personal as well, was a cathartic journey in writing it, very painful and very soul-bearing. Since Annie is a character that is, for better or worse, based on me, this was not an easy project to put out into the public eye. Yet, as hard as it was to go there for me, and to bring that out to share with readers, I believe it is also full of hope.
Is this your first anthology contribution?
No, it’s my second. I also contributed a story, Dragonmarsh, to A Horde of Dragons anthology, with another amazingly talented group of writers.
What other books have you published?
• The Treasure of Ravenwood: A Fairy Tale
• To Miss the Stars
• Message on the Wind and To Reap a Whirlwind, books 1 and 2 in my McEwen series
• Two illustrated children’s books: Ben’s Little Acorn and Why Does the Moon Follow Me?
• The Unchained Spirit: The Glass is Half-full But I Can’t Remember Where I Put it (non-fiction, about living well while living with chronic illness)
• Unchaining Your Spirit, a daily journal based on The Unchained Spirit
What projects do you have coming up?
Love in the Middle is due out in Feb 2017 and is the story that inspired Going Home. I have two illustrated children’s books coming out in 2017, and the third book in my McEwen series, Winds of Change, is also due out next year. Two anthology contributions are also on my horizon.
Where can readers find you and your books online?
Blog & online store: http://www.keyboardmusings.com/
Signed books and swag: http://bit.ly/1EeXWey