Sue dropped by the WIB offices to share in the excitement of WIB’s latest anthology OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song, and it’s recent release! Off course, we wouldn’t let her leave without spilling about her taste in music and inspiration for her short story contribution, A MISTAKE.
- What about music inspires you/touches you the most? The melody, the lyrics or both? What do you listen to while writing? I’m typically drawn to the melody first, the singing voice second and the lyrics last. I really am right-brained and find myself completely swept away by a melody. I can be turned-off by an individual’s speaking voice, and the same holds true for singing voices. I don’t gravitate to male or female, though. I totally enjoy both! Lyrics speak to me, but I rarely love a song based on lyrics alone.
- How has your taste in music changed over the years? If not, what makes you loyal to the same artists’ years later? What attracts you to new artists? I love all kinds of music and vocal performances. I used to listen to folksy group bands like Bread, Fleetwood Mac and the Moody Blues, female artists like Heart and the Bangles, male artists like Michael Jackson or rock bands like Creed. I’ve also had my moments with pop artists like Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson Serena and others. I’ve currently discovered the ChainSmokers. I rarely listen to hard rock or orchestrated pieces, but I’ve found I enjoy a wide, eclectic range these days. I’ve really gotten into musical scores and show tunes of late!
- What other songs did you consider before making a final choice for OFF BEAT? Did they have similar messages? What made you choose the one you did over the others? To be honest, seconds after we decided on the theme, Manic Monday popped into my head. The Mistake’s plot rapidly developed from there and I was so jazzed by the potential story that I never considered any others.
- How would you compare your writing to the musicians that you listen to? Do you have similar messages or ways at looking at life, tragedy, love? So much about music and song deals with love, death, tragedy and conflict. It’s what the best stories are about! I think of music writers as the epitome of an author. They must grab and inspire their listeners with the smallest word count ever! Some of the best, single lines come from songs I’ve listened to. I admire song writers for doing such an amazing job!
- If you were asked to write another short story version of the same song, but in a different genre, what would it be and why? If you listen to the entire set of lyrics for Manic Monday, I think of it as a love story with two people who have come to take each other for granted. There’s some good material in that. Will they survive? Do they break up? Will it take spending their fun day, Sunday, together to rekindle their romance? Who knows?
It’s so much fun hanging out with these ladies! Thanks for the interview! For more information on Sue and her other novels, visit sueduff.com