Monday, July 29, 2013
Guest Post: If Music be the Food of Love...by Mina MacLeod
Is ... is this thing on? Hello! How are you? This is my very first blog tour post, which is not intimidating at all. Thank you to Pants Off Reviews for having me!
I'm Mina MacLeod, and I wrote Some Rules for Success in the Music Business. It's a short story about a band from Seattle that doesn't fit into any preconceived genres. They dabble in whichever style they please, except for when they don't. This was a story that had been in my head for quite some time, inspired by my own adoration of indie bands that aren't so easy to classify.
I love music, but under very specific circumstances. I like ambient tunes while I'm editing and upbeat indie when I'm driving. O'Death and Matthew Good are a must for busywork at the office, but writing requires absolute silence. I love everything from Rush to Ani DiFranco to Murder By Death. I adore the smooth folk of Girlyman, the alternative rock of Vertical Horizon, and the classic rock of the Rolling Stones.
The paternal side of my family is very musical. My late grandparents played the guitar and organ, among other instruments. My father and many of our uncles and cousins play the guitar and drums. Instruments I've studied include the ukelele, piano, alto sax, and the one I played for seven years: the clarinet. When I was in high school, I was in the jazz band and wind symphony. Music was my Arts elective and I spent many an evening traveling to other schools and malls to perform. Just don't ask me to sing ...
I love music so much, I married a musician. Watching my husband struggle with his own band endeavors was another factor that inspired me to write "Some Rules." He's a ball of raw talent, but finding like-minded individuals who all want the same thing out of a band is an uphill battle. If the group isn't torn apart by creative differences, it's something else -- somebody isn't practicing, somebody just wants to be in a casual garage band, or somebody's job situation has changed. When the formula mixes together to create something fantastic, there's nothing like it. But getting there is a long and difficult road for most.
Creative energy brings out passion in many of us. While drafting "Some Rules," I wanted to touch on the tension in a band with strong personalities. Ben and Alex were inspired by the Gallagher brothers from Oasis, but I wanted to explore the effect of their feuding from an outsider's perspective. Stephen is like my husband--like so many people out there waiting for their chance to make a mark: he's working, he's making ends meet, he's writing and composing in his spare time. Stephen has never been sure if he's good enough to make a splash, and now he's trying to keep himself afloat.
Most musicians want the glory; not as many are prepared for the bureaucracy in the industry. Still, the notion of a successful rock band is a romantic one, and I can definitely see the appeal. Stephen did, too--and as for his own bureaucratic troubles, well ...
Some Rules for Success in the Music Business comes out July 31st from LT3 Press.
You can contact Mina MacLeod at her website, her Goodreads page, Twitter, or Tumblr.
Stephen can hardly believe it when he lands the gig of a lifetime: keyboard and lyricist for hot new sensation Dewdrops in Thunderdome, headed by twin frontmen Alex and Ben McMaster. The dream job, however, proves to be almost more than Stephen can take, between learning new responsibilities, the pressures of the industry, the dangerous lure of countless parties—and finding himself right in the middle of a complicated relationship between Alex and Ben.