Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Of Monsters and Men: Writing Inspiration

I love music, and since my days in middle and high school choir, I’ve loved soaking in the sound and feeling of it. As an alto surrounded by the full resonance of those around me, particularly when we performed in a hall with good acoustics, I learned to appreciate the power and subtly of music.

When I write, if possible, I listen to music. Sometimes it’s on Pandora Radio, sometimes off my computer, and occasionally I turn on my old radio/CD player/tape player. It’s particularly exciting when I hear a piece that speaks to me in regards to the writing.

Usually this comes in the form of characters. For example, when I first heard “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down, I knew it perfectly fit Runen, the hero of my epic fantasy series. It didn’t matter that the song had nothing of the medieval in it. Rather, it captured Runen’s emotion and inner turmoil enough that it has become his theme song in my mind.

The other day, while listening to the radio in the car, “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men came on. It struck me then how well it fits my current WIP (work in progress), the sequel to Red and the Wolf, which comes out on March 4th, the first in my Embracing Ever After series. This sequel is currently titled Gretel and Her Ghost.

In it, though grown, Hansel and Gretel never fully left behind what happened in the candy cottage so many years ago. Gretel tries to live a normal life but cannot escape her obligation to her brother who was broken by the incident. When Sebastian, a mysterious, ghost-like magician, comes to haunt her steps and beg her help to rescue other children, she must face hard truths. Dare she trust the word of this tempting stranger, risking shattering all she holds dear but offering her true freedom and, perhaps, happiness in the end?

Of Monsters and Men likes people to come up with their own meanings to their songs. For me, the lyrics speak very much of a house with dark undertones and the relationship of a man and a woman through struggle and, perhaps, the veil between life and death. This very much characterizes my hero and heroine, Gretel and Sebastian, in Gretel and Her Ghost. And it certainly helps that the voice of the male singer, Raggi, is very similar to Sebastian’s voice in my head.

So today, I’ve included a link to a video of the song. It isn’t the music video. You can find that easily on YouTube, but I intentionally linked to a different version because I thought the music video would alter your perceptions too much, at least the first time. Here’s “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men. Enjoy!


  1. I'd never heard of Monsters and Men but I love music, and I think you just introduced me to a new group I'm going to love. Great song! I'm going to have to check out some of the other vids. I'm always on the lookout for new music.

    Also, looking forward to RED AND THE WOLF and GRETEL AND HER GHOST!

    1. Thanks, Mae! Yes, Of Monsters and Men has really caught my interest too, even more so because they're from Iceland, something new, and because they like to base their songs around stories.