New York Times  Bestselling Author

Searching for Soundtracks

dog stereo.jpg

When I was on my writing retreat week before last, I wrote at least eight hours a day. I listened to soundtracks on my iPod the whole time, and while I have quite a few, I grew tired of listening to the same tracks over and over again. I would love some suggestions for new writing music. I particularly like lyricless soundtracks from dramatic, emotional movies, because they really get me in the “write” frame of mind. Some of my favorites are Last of the Mohicans, Dances with Wolves, Braveheart, and my current favorite, Blood Diamond. You can see, though, that most of my soundtracks are ancient. I need some new blood in my iPod. Do you have any favorites?

31 Comments

  1. Denise on February 24, 2009 at 1:12 am

    One of my favorite oldie-but-goodies is the soundtrack from OUT OF AFRICA.

  2. Lindsay on February 24, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I don’t have any suggestions but that picture is too cute. I had to comment on it 🙂

  3. Anna Adams on February 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Anything from James Horner is perfect. I particularly love the soundtrack from GLORY.
    Now that I’ve delurked, I want to thank you for so much reading pleasure. CeeCee is still visiting in my mind!

  4. Diane Chamberlain on February 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Denise, I do have Out of Africa in my iPod. That’s a classic. So beautiful.
    Lindsay, I agree! I’m totally in love with this pup and want to know what he’s listening to that’s giving him such absolute joy.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on February 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Anna, I have Glory also. Maybe I’ve got all the good ones that exist?? I’ll have to see what else Horner has done. Thanks for delurking, by the way, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying my books!

  6. Gina on February 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Diane,
    I’m a rock and roll girl. BonJovi, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John. I could go on and on.
    I also love James Taylor.

  7. Diane Chamberlain on February 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    But they sing WORDS, Gina. I listen to them when I answer email and play websudoku, but when I write, I get totally distracted by lyrics, which is why soundtracks work so well. (ps, to your faves, I add Eric Clapton and old Joe Cocker).

  8. Ronnie Goodman on February 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I hate to sound to main stream but how about Kenny G?

  9. brenda on February 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Kenny G of course and Brickman on the piano-my two favorites….

  10. Glen on February 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Diane, I know that when I want to chill I listen to either progressive jazz or, get this, full orcestra concert. When I really want to “feel” something I found that my favorite album of all time is Yani Live at the Acropolis (besides Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road). Contrast??? 🙂

  11. Ann on February 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Diane, once before we discussed good writing music and I suggested soundtrack from Prince of Tides. It is beautiful. Old but good!!!

  12. Mary on February 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Interesting topic. I love the soundtrack to Braveheart; I’ve written many hours to it. Right now what I do is create a soundtrack of songs that fit the theme of the story. There’s something about the familiar songs that immediately put me in the story.
    I hear you on the words interfering, Diane, but I find that for me that doesn’t last. Once I’m into the story, the words blend right in with the music. It’s just a trick that works for me because the process of selecting the songs for the soundtrack also helps me work through the story ideas.
    But – if you’re looking for a pretty new soundtrack sans words, the score for the movie Nights in Rodanthe is lovely. The score by Jeanine Tesori is separate from the movie soundtrack (which does have words. The track listing includes titles such as Sandstorm, White Whine Dinner, Walk on the Beach.

  13. Mary on February 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Ooops, that should say White Wine Dinners. 🙂

  14. Diane Chamberlain on February 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Mary, I was going to edit your Whine, but your correction came through before I had a chance, and it’s so cute I’m going to leave it!
    I like your idea of creating a soundtrack for the book you’re working on. I love that idea, but knowing me, I’d get so into creating the soundtrack, I’d never write the book. I’m glad it works for you, though. I’m going to check into the Rodanthe soundtrack. Also, Ann, I’ve had the Prince of Tides soundtrack on my list to check out ever since you mentioned it. I guess it’s time I actually do it!
    Glen, I’ve tried hard, but have never been able to get into jazz (except I DO have Keith Jarrett on my iPod–I don’t think he’s exactly progressive, though), but I bet it would be good for me to listen to when writing about a character who is unlike me. I’m going to try that. I also have some Rimsky-Korsokov and Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff and some other favorites (hmm. . . I seem to like the eastern European composers). Yanni and Elton John? Now that would be an interesting concert. . .

  15. Anna Adams on February 25, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Diane, I should have delurked long before now to thank you because your work is wonderful!
    After I suggested GLORY, I have to admit, I tried to find my own copy. I may have to shop! James Horner also did the soundtrack for APOLLO 13. My very favorite piece of music ever, though is MEDITATION FROM THAIS by Massenet. If you visit iTunes, I can vouch for the Abbey Road Ensemble’s Itzhak Perlman Edition. It’s almost too beautiful to write to because putting it in the background proves difficult. 🙂

  16. Diane Chamberlain on February 25, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Anna, I can’t wait to try the Meditation on your strong recommendation! And I’m so glad you’re enjoying my books!

  17. Gina on February 25, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Welcome Anna! It’s always a pleasure meeting new Diane fans.
    Oopps Diane, I didn’t realize you were looking for songs without words. I can understand wanting to listen to music without words when you’re working.
    Just wanted to let everyone know that Diane is doing a live chat with my book forum tonight discussing The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. If anyone is intersted in popping in for the discussion, just stop by. You will need to sign up as a member to join in on the discussion. Hope to see some of you there.
    http://www.thehappybookersclub.com
    See you tonight Diane. Thanks again.

  18. Diane Chamberlain on February 25, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I’m looking forward to it, Gina. The Happy Bookers are so much fun!

  19. ronnie on February 25, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Diane,
    I just ordered a Kindle please tell me Secrets She Left Behind will be available for my Kindle?
    BTW- does anyone out there have one?

  20. Diane Chamberlain on February 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    It should be, Ronnie. My recent books all have Kindle versions. I hope to get a Kindle this year, too. . . although I’m VERY UPSET about the new Kindle’s audio feature which essentially infringes on the author’s audio rights. (I’ll blog about that sometime soon in one of those griping posts I sometimes feel compelled to write). For now, though, I just want to celebrate that my books are available for Kindle, and I hope you’ll give us a report soon on what you like and don’t like about this cool device.

  21. ronnie on February 25, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Its funny you should mention that Diane. I was thinking back on an earlier blog about buying from ebay and used book stores and how authors do not get their royalties and was wondering what happens with the Kindle and the audio feature. But like you I will step off of my soapbox now and promise you I will not use the voice activated part of my new toy. After all “SHE who dies with the most toys wins”.

  22. Gina on February 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I have the original Kindle and I love it.
    My first love, is that I do prefer holding a real book in my hands. And, I still go to the bookstore every weekend to buy books. So, the Kindle has not taken the place of my buying books in a bookstore.
    What I DO love about the Kindle is that it’s great for traveling. I never have to lug around so many books with me when I travel. Having the Kindle makes it real easy. I also have it with me in my purse every day, because you never know when you’re going to get stuck somewhere for a long period of time and not have something to read. SO, it comes in real handy during those times.
    For me, I feel like I have the best of both worlds. Kindle is alot of fun. I’m glad I have one.

  23. ronnie on February 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Gina I have about 100 books here that I haven’t read yet so I see incorporating the kindle into my paper book life. My favorite thing to do is buy books. One might call it a little problem, I call it helping the economy.

  24. Gina on February 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Very true Ronnie! I will help the economy any way I can when it comes to book buying. It’s a lovely little obsession, isn’t it?

  25. brenda on February 25, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I was going to buy the Kindle this year…to have for traveling…However, the cost seems to be going up, and I am wondering if it would not be less expensive to buy the books-leave them where I am…also, I have gotten some information from various authors similar to what Diane mentions above…an author’s rights…

  26. Diane Chamberlain on February 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I think I should clarify that there’s no problem with Amazon’s Kindle e-books from the author’s point of view, since Kindle pays e-book royalties on them. The issue is that, with the Kindle 2, a mechanical voice can READ the books. Authors sells different rights to their books, such as foreign rights, movie rights, and audio book rights. This new technology amounts to an audio book, but Amazon doesn’t own the audio rights to any of the books being read. It’s a problem that needs to be solved by bigger minds than mine. Technology is moving far too fast for the creative rights lawyers to keep up.

  27. Lindsay on February 25, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    To everyone discussing their book buying addictions but I must admit I have one too. I’m trying to convince myself to start exploring my unread library instead of going to the bookstore every couple of weeks because it’s gotten to about 100 unread books now that I own.
    My friends make fun of me for it, but I embrace my addiction. And I tell them about the girl I know that owns close to 800 books she hasn’t read and she’s still buying. 🙂 It makes me feel a lil better.

  28. ronnie on February 25, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    “I embrace my addiction”…………. I love it. We can form a club Biblioaddicts unite!
    Diane I understand what you are saying, but to me if the Kindle is reading out loud to you then it is an audio book even if it is a computer generated voice and not a paid professional. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck……..

  29. Ann on February 26, 2009 at 1:11 am

    I do have a kindle and love it, especially for travel. I alternate reading kindle book – then book with pages! I still buy books and try to visit independant bookstores when traveling as all of them in my hometown are gone. I am glad to know that authors are receiving what they should for the kindle books. I have pre-ordered Diane’s book [not kindle version] that comes out the last of May or first of June. There are lots of books that I want to have on my bookshelf for re-reading and Diane’s are all on there. My kindle is the old kind and does not have the audio ability of the new one. I understand what Diane is saying about that and I hope they make some changes that are fair to the authors.

  30. Denise on February 26, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I’m not a jazz person (especially not instrumental jazz), but I do like Brickman’s piano music.
    Many years ago when I was in Key West, I heard some beautiful violin music being played in a shop there. The artist’s cd’s were only sold in select shops or by mail in those days (I bought the only 3 that were available then). I need to look through my music to see if I can find them because I can no longer recall the artist’s name. I bet you would like them, Diane.

  31. Diane Chamberlain on February 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Hmm, I see I have a bunch of addicts as readers. My favorite kind of reader, actually! Denise, I’d love to know the violinist when you find time to dig through your collection.
    I just got home from Starbucks and found a CD in my mailbox. A friend from my bookclub read about my music search and made a CD with her favorite piece of music on it for me. Wasn’t that sweet of her? It’s Danny Wright’s Phantasies, and I’m listening to it right now. Lovely!

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