IT IS MY HONOR TODAY TO WELCOME THIS AWESOME RRBC AUTHOR, LISA KIRAZIAN ON MY BLOG. TAKE IT FROM HERE, LISA!
Music as Inspiration for Writing
In CADENZA, the final book of “The Music We Made” series, the young tenor Brian Martin finds himself on the cusp of superstardom and marriage, until he is compelled to leave behind his distinguished musical family, and his fiancé, in London, to visit the U.S. to see where his famous late grandmother, Maggie Crawford, the only other opera singer in the family, grew up. His journey takes him to Marshall, Minnesota, and Maggie’s hometown high school, where he meets the music teacher, Laura Jones, who helps him with his family history in more ways than he could have imagined.
Lisa Kirazian’s Cadenza and
“The Music We Made” series
It’s an honor to write this guest post — and to be RRBC’s Spotlight Author for February!
Music inspired me to write “The Music We Made” series – made up of the books Bravura, Appassionato and the newly-released Cadenza. They were inspired by my experience as a violinist, my love of music instilled in me by my parents from a young age, and my desire to write something that was a love letter to music and musicians so that others could peek into their fascinating world.
There were three main ways music played a large role in writing Cadenza and the entire series:
1. Music is a character in the overall story. Music occupies the heart and soul of most of the main characters – they are professional instrumental musicians, singers, composers, conductors, advocates, or teachers. As a result, specific pieces figure into the story as well – that they audition with, or perform, create, or teach to others. Each book has a list of pieces at the end that played a role in the book, in case readers want to explore the music on their own.
2. My research explored the great musicians of the 20th century. In getting approved to conduct research at the British Library in London in the mid-1990s, and again in the early 2000s, I was able to pour over concert posters, flyers, programs and recordings of the 1950s to the present, specifically as they related to the characters, opera houses, clubs, concert halls, orchestras and festivals I wanted to portray in the books. In addition, I loosely based the Royal School of Music on an existing music school in London and was thrilled to research it when I was there as well.
3. I listened to music as I wrote it. This was two-fold: when writing those scenes that involved a character performing a piece, I would play that piece in the background while writing. Or when there was a scene that created a certain mood but did not directly involve music, I would select other pieces to play that captured the same mood, while I wrote. Many people love to listen to music to get writing ideas, and my process definitely benefitted from this practice.
I encourage you to incorporate music into your writing routine and forms of inspiration, no matter what your subject matter. Onward!
Lisa Kirazian writes fiction, plays, screenplays, and also directs for stage and screen. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Performing Arts Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune and many other publications. She is in demand as a speaker and has been a guest on KPBS Public Radio and at various conferences. Lisa is a graduate of Stanford University.
Several of her screenplays have placed in major competitions and festivals. Twelve of her stage plays have been produced across the U.S. and have won numerous awards, including a few publications. She also directed and wrote the adapted screenplay of the short film, “Reflection Day.”
Her novels include BRAVURA, APPASSIONATO, and now CADENZA, the three books of “The Music We Made” series, following three generations in the Driscoll family of musicians and inspired by her experience as a violinist. The series is also being developed for television.
Lisa lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters and is involved in the Armenian community locally, nationally and abroad.
Twitter: @kirazian and @TheMusicWeMade