Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How Music Inspires Author Rowanna Green

Author Rowanna Green
by Rowanna Green

I don't function well (at all!) without music; I’m permanently plugged in to my iPod. This love of music has entered my writing. Many of my chapter headings are song titles, and one of the characters (Carrie, in “Wolf in Sheep's Clothing”) mentions some of the soundtracks to her life throughout the book. That was great fun to write, but now it's taken on a new dimension.

Journey have been my favourite band since the early eighties when I danced round the front room to “Escape,” drawn to the superb story-telling in every song. In 2008, I spent a week in hospital, recovering from an operation, so I wrote a Jukebox Musical (as you do!) based on twenty of Journey’s greatest hits. “Don’t Stop Believing” sat on the back burner for almost a decade, but now here it is.

The story of the musical is “Faithfully” tailored to the sentiment of each song, and the main characters are determined by the situations suggested by the lyrics. Finding a credible setting was challenging, but the diverse nature of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival adds a quirky element so often found in jukebox musicals like “We Will Rock You” and “Rock of Ages.” Veronica Richards, bestselling author of “The Heartless Fey,” was swept away by the fast-paced plot. ‘This world of music and relationships held surprises, as I thought the author was going one direction and then pivoted in the end to a much more satisfying conclusion than I expected.  All round, a delightful read.’

As Journey fans will know, relationships are at the core of their sensitive, emotional ballads, so it’s no surprise that this is a character-driven story exploring three contrasting relationships. Jean Grainger, bestselling author of “The Tour” says this. ‘The way the three stories entwine cleverly highlights the differences in attitudes between a couple meeting for the first time, another trying to patch up a dying marriage and a third who are tentatively rekindling an old passion.’

After reading Neil Daniels’ excellent biography, “Don’t Stop Believin’: The Untold Story Of Journey,” I contacted the music journalist for advice. He was incredibly helpful, and agreed to read a copy. I'm thrilled by his endorsement: ‘A nostalgia-filled AOR romp for seasoned rockers. Hugely enjoyable and highly entertaining.’ My biggest hope is that someone will like the idea enough to collaborate in bringing this to stages in the West End and on Broadway. I can dream, can't I?

For the first time, I entered NaNoWriMo, and the result is two more Jukebox Musicals based on the British rock band City Boy. “Young Men Gone West” will be released in December, and “The Day The Earth Caught Fire” is set for release in the new year. You can win a free copy of these by signing up to my musicals-newsletter.

Released in November, “Don’t Stop Believing” is available at a bargain $0.99 (£0.99 in the UK), but only for the next week – it will be back up to normal price very soon.

Rowanna can be reached on her Website and Facebook

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