Saturday, April 28, 2012

Music ~ inspiration for life

Music is my greatest inspiration and especially when writing. I don’t’ have any particular favourite musician or band or even a type of music I listen to. I can be in a mood for anything, from classical to rock, even some rap and hip-hop. And today I’d like to talk about the music in my novel. Since the majority of the story is set in Croatia, naturally I added a bit of a local flavour with Croatian songs mentioned in the book. Kate, the heroine, is also a huge fan of Abba. The idea for that came from watching “Mama Mia” and the fact that I too am a die-hard Abba fan.
Part of the story is set in Canada, so to sprinkle some Canadian flavour in, I had Kate and Matthias dance to the cover of Michael Bublé’s “Save The Last Dance For Me” 

Originally, I wanted to have this song in the story right after the above one. My editor asked for the title of the song, but the meaning of the title was lost in translation, which would read “I still can’t stop loving”, however, I found the melody and the lyrics very touching. 

So I chose a different song. The title translates to “I’ll leave the light on” and it is performed by the same  group who sings “I still can’t stop loving”. The group is called Klapa Iskon, Klapa meaning the band and Iskon is the place they are from, plus a female singer, talented Jelena Rozga: 

And now I’ll leave you with the video depicting the town of Zadar at night. The town is named as one of the most romantic cities in the world by popular magazine National Geographic, in a list released to coincide with Valentine's Day. After watching this video, you’ll know why and how easy it would be to fall in love here. The music is performed by talented Croatian pianist Maxim Mrivica. Enjoy. 

Of course there I couldn’t leave you without a short excerpt from my novel. Here’s the scene with all the music minus the last song.

They strolled through the narrow streets of the medieval town and arrived at the old hotel by the sea. Waiters bustled around the tables on the terrace. A few couples twirled on the dance floor as the band played a version of Save the Last Dance for Me. Her feet stopped, and she stared at the dance
floor, longing to be in his embrace and move her body in sync with his.

As if on cue, he cocked his head toward the patio. “Shall we?”

She wrapped her hand around his bicep. Thrilled as she was he wanted to dance with her, she was nervous, sure that she would be clumsy and awkward. Suddenly, scaling the medieval wall had seemed easier.

He led her though the maze of tables and chairs on the hotel’s terrace. When they reached the clear area in front of the small stage, he slipped his arm around her waist. “We can do better than these other couples. Come on, let’s us show them how dancing is done. Just relax and follow my steps.”

His left hand pressed on her hip, pulling her close as the fingers of his right hand wrapped around her left. When she placed her free hand on his solid shoulder, her fingers fumbled, but his warm, reassuring smile eased her tension. Her feet wouldn’t cooperate for the first few swings. A funny frown appeared on his face when she stepped on his foot for the third time. She glanced at her feet. God, he must think she was terribly uncoordinated.

He squeezed her hand. “Look at me.”

Their eyes met. Lost in his mesmerizing gaze, she forgot what her feet were doing and her nervousness disappeared, replaced by a sense of peace as she picked up his rhythm, following him with ease. Even when he twirled her under his arm, her feet didn’t falter. Before she knew it, the song had come to an end.

“We were good,” she said, joy and wonder filling her voice.

He hugged her. “We were.”

The band leader strummed the guitar and stepped up to the microphone. “And now, it’s ladies’ choice.”

He turned back to the band and they joined in with his song. Many left the dance area with the slow melody. But Matthias wrapped his arm around her waist. “I hope I’m your choice,” he murmured

When the vocalist joined in with the three guys from the group, Kate turned her attention to the lyrics. Every single word of the song “I’ll Leave the Light On” struck a nerve. Memories she had suppressed for years flooded to the surface as the band played on. Her chest tightened, constricting her breath. Tears stung her eyes. Matthias stopped his feet, but kept his body swaying. Kate stared at his shoes. Sobs spasmed her shoulders, betraying her attempts to hide her emotions from him. Four hours earlier, she had boldly stood up to an enraged bull, but the words of this song reduced her to a wimp.

His hand inched behind her neck and pulled her head onto his chest. She prayed the tune would end, but the band kept playing.

When the beat of the next song sped up, and people poured back onto the dance floor, Matthias kissed her hair and led her away from the loud music. “We should sit this one out.”


  1. Lovely videos, Zrinka! Thanks for posting. And I really like the new look of your blog.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Liv. I'm glad you like this look. I think it says this is blog of a romance writer. I'm enjoying your "A Vampire's Deadly Delight" I love how Viggo Morrtessen (sp?) replaced her image of Arangon. He did that for me in Alatriste.

  2. Hi Zrinka. Loved the videos. I want to go to Zadar. I enjoyed the excerpt. I wanted to be Kate dancing with Matthias.

    1. Hi Bev,

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it, both the videos and the excerpt. Maybe some day the road will bring you there and I'm sure you'll love it.