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It is my honor to host the incredibly talented Roseanna M. White. We share a love for writing historical fiction! Here’s a brief summary of her newly-released novel, A Song Unheard: Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I–to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales. Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won–until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed.
Writing Music…For A Book
By Roseanna M. White
One thing I’ve always loved about being a novelist is that I can simply say something is so. I don’t have to know all the mathematics involved in codes to have a cryptologist break one. I don’t have to know the chemical properties of invisible ink to have my chemist-character develop one. And I don’t have to be a musical composer to have my violinist-character create a melody.
But what about when I want to?
As I was preparing to write A Song Unheard, I knew that I wanted my heroine, Willa, to eventually compose a piece of music. I knew it was going to be pivotal to the plot. And I wanted to be able to describe it. More, I thought it would oh-so-fun if I actually had this music and could link to it somehow. For once, it didn’t seem enough to just describe a thing. I wanted to actually share that thing with the world.
To someone accustomed to dealing mostly in words, that posed a bit of a challenge.
After hosting a contest in which people could submit their original songs and the public could vote on a winner, I was stoked to have a keyboard recording of my winning melody, “Willa’s Song.” It gave me what I needed to be able to describe it in that key moment of the book—the way the notes move up and down the scale, repeat, pause. Being able to hear it as I wrote that scene was a huge advantage for me. And having it in mind throughout the entire writing process let me try to frame my character in a way that would make sense with the music.
We’ve all had the experience of hearing a piece of music that speaks something to us—joy or sorrow, fear or boldness, praise or anger. In “Willa’s Song,” I got to interpret that experience into words for my readers. I pray that I did so in a way that makes those violin notes whisper in their hearts…as it did in hers.
After I finished the book, I turned my attention to bringing the song to life. With the help of a friend from high school who turned the piano recording into sheet music and a violinist friend to record it for me, I could finally share “Willa’s Song.” You can hear it in the book trailer here!
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Here’s the Stop #3 Skinny:
Clue to write down: you
But wait! Before you go, I’m giving away three signed copies of my debut novel, Freedom’s Ring! All you have to do is sign up to receive my quarterly e-newsletter below, or note in the comments that you are already a subscriber. Winners will be announced here on March 5th (which just happens to be the 248th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre, a major historical event in the novel).