Sunday, June 24, 2012


My Dad's Guitar

Ever since I was a young girl, music has made a difference in my life.  Until I was five, my parents and I lived with my grandfather and aunt.  After that, they lived next door and I was back and forth continuously.  I come from an Italian heritage and my grandfather was an immigrant.  He played the mandolin beautifully.  On weekends, friends would stop by with guitars and an accordion, and he and his friends made music.  That music brought into the house fellowship, fun and a sense of well-being.

Also in my grandfather's house was a player piano.  We inserted what was called a "roll" and a melody magically played while my mother and I would sing along.  She played the piano herself, and I would accompany her, too.  It was natural for me to learn to play the piano.   Although my dad didn't feel he was musically inclined, he taught himself how to play both the organ and the guitar when he was in his fifties. So throughout both my childhood and adult years, I learned to express emotion through playing, and I found joy and inspiration in music.

With this history, I never just listen to a song.  I feel it.  I like all kinds of music from the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Chad and Jeremy, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell to Josh Groban, Il Divo, Charice, Brad Paisley, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Jason Castro, Blake Shelton and Scotty McCreery.  I listen for artists and music which can stir that deep creative part of me, whether it does that by bringing back memories, lifting me to a mountaintop, soothing pain and stress away or urging me to write a particularly emotional scene.  Music lifts me over the writing bumps...and life's bumps.

That is probably why I felt I had to write a novel about the power of music.  I'd wanted to do this for a long time, but the time and plot had to be right.  Recently, it was.  I've written about high school sweethearts who were separated by life.  My heroine Mikala Conti, a music therapist, reunites with Dawson Barrett at their 15th year high school reunion.  There, he asks if she can help with his son who has gone through the trauma of being in an accident with his mother who died.  No one has been able to break through Luke's barriers.  But his ten-year-old loves music and when Dawson realized Mikala is highly recognized in the field of music therapy, he knew he had to ask if she would take on Luke as her client.  This is one of my most emotional plots that surrounds Luke coming to terms with what happened.  Because of Mikala and her love and use of music, father and son heal.

I believe in the power of music to lift us above the pain and reinvigorate our spirits.  I hope you are touched by its power in life...and in this book.

THE CEO'S UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL was just released in print and will be available in e-book format July 1.

©2012 Karen Rose Smith


Karen Rose Smith's Romance Website
Karen Rose Smith's Mystery Website


Ellen Gregory said...

Sounds like a lovely tribute to music. I've had a vague musical fantasy plot bubbling in my head for a while now. I think I'd like to write a bard/minstrel main character :-)

KRS said...

I think anything with music enriches a book. I wrote about a country singer hero last year and wrote a song for that book!

Tami Clayton said...

Music has a way of tapping into so many emotions, doesn't it? Your novel sounds very interesting. Great premise.

KRS said...

Tami--Thanks for stopping by. Music can always tap into those emotions.

Jodi Lea Stewart said...

What a wonderful heritage, Karen! Your childhood was rich with the three M's: Music, Meaning, and grand is that!

KRS said...

It's only in looking back that I realize how sweet it was. Thanks for commenting.

E.B. Black said...

I'm the same way about music. I had to beg my parents to let me play piano though. I learned how and used to compose music all my teenage years. It helped me get through the pain of that time. I was able to express myself and truly feel the pain going away through the sounds I made. It was magical to me.

KRS said...

E.B.--exactly how I feel. When I felt sad or lonely I went to the piano to sing and play. It was another world--like writing. Thanks for sharing.

Cindy Nord said...

WONDERFUL article...enjoyed very much. ☺

KRS said...

Cindy--Thanks so much for your comment.