So you can read my books

Saturday, November 8, 2014

TO WHAT INNER MUSIC DO YOU WRITE? Neil Gaiman, Sam McCord, & Thea Gilmore

He wrote AMERICAN GODS and is somewhat of a literary demigod himself ...

at least to me. And I owe him two debts:


His blog introduced me to her and her, at that time, latest album, LIEJACKER, with her incomparable song, THE ICARUS WIND.


By the time of AMERICAN GODS, I had already written RITES OF PASSAGE and ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM.

But his AMERICAN GODS with its Gothic horror, dark fantasy, age-old legend, ancient mythology, and biblical allegory in modern-day settings

gave me hope that there was room for my mixing ancient myth with the Old West of Louis Lamour.

Neil Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS has been hailed as a myth for the modern world,

exploring with sophistication, complexity, and evocative prose the meaning of what it means to be human in an often inhuman world.

As I wandered in enforced exile from my home during Hurrricanes Rita and Katrina,

Neil Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS sparked the thought

of how my undead Texas Ranger, Sam McCord, of the 1850's would fare in the New Orleans of Katrina.

And it made me wonder how the supernatural world he had come to know would have changed with the times.

All of this made me think to ask all of you,
my blog friends,
what music inspires you as you write?
What author(s) sparked you into writing a novel or into writing as a means of creation?
I'd like to know.
Here's Thea doing a tribute to AMERICAN GODS in her EVEN GODS DO:


  1. Edith Piaf for Paris stories, as her voice inspires with its passion. For most of my writing I like silence, but very smooth jazz would do for my scifi or blues (saxophone)for suspense stories.

    Authors who inspired? Several, but Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Asimov are the top ones. I also like Diana Gabaldon and Neil Gaiman.

  2. I love light instrumental jazz or even classical music...sometimes silence works well...depending on my mood/mindset...
    Just read my first Gaiman story, Neverwhere, and was blown away.

  3. D.G.:
    You and Michelle are on the same track ... soundtrack that is: light, smooth jazz. I often write to that as well.

    Along with movie soundtracks, NIGHTWISH, OVER THE RHINE, ENYA, MELODY GARDOT.

    Yet, like you, I get caught up in the mood and suddenly realize I have writing to long hours of silence. :-)

    Roger Zelazny inspired me to write, and his ghost speaks to struggling writers in my audiobook in production, GHOST WRITERS IN THE SKY.

    There is an audiobook BBC production of NEVERWHERE with Benedict Cumberbatch and the actor who plays the young professor X in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

    Like you, I love jazz and classical music when I write, too. Music soundtracks.

    Neil Gaiman wrote years before Harry Potter a graphic novel, BOOKS OF MAGIC -- the story is fun and the art is beautiful.

  4. Don't hate me, Roland: I've yet to read anything by Gaiman. I will remedy that someday soon, I promise -- particularly if his work inspired you to create McCord!

  5. Milo:
    You only have so much time to read. I understand. NEVERWHERE is a great place to start. Also he has several short story collections as SMOKE & MIRRORS ... where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store,

    where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control,"

    and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge.

    I think you will enjoy those stories.

  6. I do love Neil Gaiman's work. Haunting, powerful, beautiful...

  7. We are glad you were so inspired.
    I've listed often the music that's inspired me, along with the authors, such as Preston and Child, Zahn, and Burroughs.

  8. Silence for me, yet I do appreciate all the artists you have highlighted.

    And I've only read one book by Neil Gaiman. Shock horror, I don't suspect I shall read another. I think you are a much better writer. Just saying ... :)

  9. Elephant's Child:
    His prose is magical, isn't it?

    It's often rock music that inspires you, isn't it? I can see why Timothy Zahn inspires you. :-)

    I often suprise myself by realizing after a few pages that I have written in silence, too. :-)

    That is a very nice compliment. Neil is a magical weaver of prose.

    But you are right: sometimes he throws me off by maiming his characters or giving us a dark ending.

  10. I'm ashamed to say that I still haven't had time to read American Gods, but I must soon (I'll read your stories first, Roland). I need silence when I write, but plenty of authors have influenced me, including Twain, Dickens, and Hilary Mantel.

  11. George Orwell was the first author I really enjoyed. Later, I found the work of Raymond Chandler and Elmore Leonard highly inspirational. The music I listen to when writing is always an extension of what I write. It's a little different from everyone else in that most people use music to inspire them. For me, what I write inspires what I'm listening to. Currently, I am writing a crime novel, so it's a lot of jazz mixed with some modern alternative music.

  12. Music doesn't inspire me to write. It distracts me and gives me a headache. Willy Dunne Wooters is a computer programmer. He likes to program to music that has a strong beat.


  13. Helena:
    NEVERWHERE I think would be a good first novel of Mr. Gaiman's to read.

    Silence sometimes sneaks up on me when I write, too. :-)

    Twain and Dickens have inspired me as well -- and Roger Zelazny!

    I hope you enjoy what you read of my novels.

    Roger Zelazny was the first author to inspire me to write, but I loved Raymond Chandler's prose since I first read it long ago.

    It is a crime about those decent people you wrote about being arrested for feeding the homeless. Mankind is not kind at all - especially those in power.

    Abigail Adams wrote "Great men by the very nature of what they must to become great are evil men."

    I wish you great good fortune in writing your crime novel.

    As I write about a haunted jazz club, I often listen to jazz when I write, too.

    I would have commented on your blog but comments were not enabled.

    Too much sensory input can give a person a headache I've heard. A strong beat helps me with fight scenes! :-)