How do I get in the mood to write? (You’re dying to know, and if you’re not, just play along). Music does it for me. I find it hard to write in complete silence, probably because music has always been a prominent feature in my life. When I was younger, my parents always had some sweet reggae playing at home on the weekends. Our house was always filled with the sounds of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Third World, Gregory Isaacs and many other classic reggae artists. As I got older, my brother became the main source of noise around the house. His heart was always in R & B and later Hip Hop, though he was forever in my father’s reggae collection and got busted several times for disturbing the settings on the stereo. “Who turn up the bass so loud?” was always a frequent question, to which my brother would always raise his shoulders and shrug innocently in response.
After a bit of a struggle, I got used to studying with the bass thumping through the basement as my brother honed his deejaying skills. “But I have to practice!” he would yell in response to me yelling, “I’m trying to study for my exams, do you mind?!”
Now, I find myself using music as a source of inspiration. The novel I just completed, Somerset Grove, is partially set in Jamaica and I often relied on those reggae rhythms to transport me to the island, to help me create imagery and to shape the mood of my characters. From the soulful sounds of Beres Hammond singing of Sweet Lies to Michael Rose singing of a Shine Eye Gal, they all influenced me and make me smile when I think of my heritage.
So what’s playing on my iPhone now? Affairs of the Heart by Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. Love a good Marley tune! It makes me realize that I’m long overdue for a trip to Jamaica. Until then, I’ll just keep the iTunes going so I can keep the words flowing.
I’m interested to learn what inspires you. If you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.