One of the areas I had most fun with when working on A Year with the Harrisons--when it was first drafted or this year when it was published--was the music theme. Music is something I've always loved (I am practically glued to my MP3 player and I've run through more pairs of earbuds over the years than could be counted.) But it hasn't played a large part in any story except The Harrisons, at least so far.
There are two aspects of music that spiral their way through The Harrisons. Mainstream popular music--a blend of pop and country, very likely to be heard on the radio or even in grocery store background music; and music played in churches. The church scene is quite diverse--classical cantatas, traditional choir music, modern worship choruses, and a dash of instrumental and orchestra, and a lot of story is generated by the conflict between people who argue about these different kinds of music. On the mainstream music end, a prominent subplot concerns the Harrisons' cousin Betty and her family, all of whom do popular music professionally.
Snatches of lyrics poke into the story now and then. Music isn't just a plot device in A Year with the Harrisons--it's part of the story's heart and one of the reasons it might continue to resonate with people. Music has a unique way of capturing emotions that no other medium can express and keeping a musical tone throughout the story is a way of trying to describe things best said through song.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
I write peaceful stories with happy endings. When I started writing, I wanted to write the kind of books I like to read. I wanted them to be upbeat and friendly books that make you feel like you're being whisked off on an adventure with friends. And there's also a purposefulness in that because many stories already written miss out on a great deal of what people experience every day.
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