At the Romantic Times convention in St Louis many years ago, I spoke with a vendor who had created soundtracks for the different romance genres.
Soundtracks to read by. Completely new concept to me, but they told me it was to create a mood, enhance the reader’s expereince with the book. In essence, world building for the reader.
When you’re at conventions like these as either a reader or as an author, (or both as was the case for me) you get to know those around you in the lulls when everyone’s gone to listen to Laurel K. Hamilton talk vampires and dark fey creatures.
Hmmm. I like to read in QUIET and I said as much when we chatted during a lull between visitors. Not to be difficult, but because my kids offered plenty of noise throughout the day and I’d learned to savor every quiet moment of my reading and writing time.
Laurel’s talk must have gone long – or was followed by Sherrilyn Kenyon because we had an empty exhibit hall and plenty of time.
They had the headsets and equipment for readers to test drive the various romance soundtracks, so I let them plunk a headset over my ears and gave it a try.
The quality was great which was no surprise. I’d come to expect nothing less from this group. But the effect was shocking. They’d hooked me up with a Celtic track based on my preference for historical romance as my primary escape reading.
Their soundtrack created a mood, swept me up and away and I realized what an asset this would be. Much like the writing side of world building for a paranormal romance novel, this was a great world building enhancement to the reading experience.
When I got the CD home, there was an added benefit: Writing to this instrumental collection turned out to be a lot of fun too. The music sets the stage, evokes images, and boosts my productivity in general.
So whether I’m writing or reading, I’ve learned how much the music benefits the world building for the paranormal romance novel or the escape read of the day!