Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stalkers Book Blitz, Day Four: spotlight on author Laurie Treacy

This is the fourth day of the Book Blitz for the Stalkers anthology (thanks to Shane at Itching for Books Blog Tours for hosting). There are four authors spotlighted today but my post was lengthy so I split it from today's other post. My feature has my playlist which helped me write my story, "Powerless." I'm focusing on the top songs and have them in the video below. Each one has the lyrics so you can get an idea of the different emotions invoked by the words, vocals, and music--all which helped inspire me during the process.

Thanks to these blogs for hosting me:
Random Smiles
Uniquely Portable Magic

Letting the music inspire me
Music. Doesn’t matter what type, its length, or even if it has lyrics. If the music touches me in some way, gets my creative mojo active, it’s a keeper. I’m a writer who needs music. I can’t write without it. Pounding beats, piano strokes, lilting vocals, piercing lyrics—individually or together—something has to speak to me in some way to help me convey each story, its characters and conflicts, all down into one cohesive piece. Music gives my words movement and I wouldn’t want to change anything about its effect on my creative process.

For “Powerless,” my New Adult paranormal short story, I compiled a playlist beginning with the song which changed a one-page idea (a character began speaking to me and I wrote down what she said) into the fifty-something page story it became: “Powerless” by Linkin Park. The mesmerizing mid-tempo beat paired with the lyrics sung by Chester Bennington helped me flush out Kat’s story idea. Just read these lyrics:

I watched you fall apart and chased you to the end.
I'm left with emptiness that words cannot defend
You'll never know what I became because of you
Ten thousand promises, ten thousand ways to lose
(lyrics by Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin)

The mood of the music, the feelings I derived from those words told me this was it. This was my story’s title and my couple’s theme song. “Powerless” is about a twenty year old college sophomore, Kat, who is suffering from amnesia and is a novice ghost hunter. She is being stalked by a persistent ghost who keeps leaving ‘gifts’ for her. As the ghost hunts increase, Kat spends more time being visited by this ghost, developing what she creepily regards as feelings of attraction for him. But this ghost has secrets which he keeps from her. As Kat fights to regain her childhood memories, she is haunted by another ghost, a sinister force. In order to protect her, her ghost friend needs to reveal his true identity and hope he doesn’t lose her friendship. Without Kat, he is powerless.

There are good and bad ghosts in Kat’s story and a mystery surrounding her lost memories. When writing various scenes, from attacks to dreams, certain songs helped create the perfect ambiance. As Ellie Goulding sang “Dead in the Water,” I wrote some of Kat’s dreams.

Halestrom’s “In Your Room” was perfect for a scene between Kat and her ghost friend which took place in her bedroom. “Give In To Me” by Three Days Grace helped me when I was creating the antagonist and his various scenes. 

The other songs vital to my story were:
"All That I Am" by Parachute
"Tragedy" by Christina Perri
"I'll Keep You Safe" by Sleeping at Last
"Live Without You" by Cary Brothers
"Shoreline" by Deas Vail
"All That I've Got" by The Used
"Breaking" by Anberlin
"Breakdown" and "Crawl" by Breaking Benjamin

Each song played a pivotal part during my writing process. This playlist is simply a sampling of the most important songs I listened to but there were other songs. My full playlist runs over three hours long. For each work—from short story to novel—I create a playlist. I don’t think I could write without music.

So if you like paranormal, check out Stalkers by picking up an eBook copy for only $.99 at Amazon (through Feb. 27th) or paperback. I’m also lengthening “Powerless” into either a novella or novel. There was so much more about Kat and her ghost guy I didn’t get to tell in the short story format. I’ve plotted it out and I’m writing it now with—you probably guessed—more music, but those new songs are for another guest post.

A huge thanks to the bloggers hosting me on their blogs today.

“What’s the matter, doll?” Holden inquired sleepily, turning over in bed. He didn’t close the distance between us. For once, I’d love to feel his arms wrap around my waist, his breath fan across my neck. All he said was, “Go back to sleep,” and then settled down, away from me.

I watched his breathing lessen. Sleep was no longer on my agenda. I slipped out and went to get a drink. Mr. Roo rubbed up against my legs as I filled a glass at the kitchen faucet.

“Okay, okay,” I said, opening the lower cabinet door to retrieve his food. With Mr. Roo’s bowl brimming, and the box put away, I stood to grab my glass. Ice particles floated across the surface. I shivered as the air switched from warm to biting. Stepping back, my breath created puffs of smoke. His fur standing out, Mr. Roo hissed and then sprinted off in a blur of fur.

Still moving, my back hit the edge of the island countertop. The first rays of sunlight rising on the horizon shone through the sheer curtains hanging at the window above the sink. I knew I wasn’t alone. I rubbed my arms and waited, hesitant to wake up Holden. He belonged to the camp of skeptics.

My glass had completely frozen over. I stared at it, amazed. Unexpectedly, a cabinet door flung open, a box of kosher salt flying off the top shelf and toppling to the floor. Landing with a thud at my feet, the box broke open, grains soaring everywhere.

A chortle caressed my ears as a flicker of movement reflected off the microwave oven door.

Was I now being stalked by two entities?

I flinched. The glass exploded. My hands flew up to cover my face, but there was no sting. I lowered them. Shards floated as if being controlled by an unseen force. I tiptoed sideways around the island, increasing the distance. Once on the other side, I turned and took off.

I ran smack into—.

Author bio: 

Laurie Treacy is an urban fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance writer (YA/NA/adult). She graduated from Marist College and lives in New York's gorgeous Hudson Valley with her husband, three children and various pets. She's a member of the SCBWI and can be found at local writer's events and bookstore signings. You can also find her blogging about books over at

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