Welcome! I’m delighted to welcome author Virginia Wallace with a ‘Music Monday’ themed guest post!
‘When the White Knight Falls’ Promo Video:
Music and writing, writing and music…
By Virginia Wallace
Music and writing, writing and music…
For me, the two have always been inseparable.
I learned to tell stories by the playing the legendary role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. My friends and I would put on a CD at a low volume as we sat around the table, rolling dice and telling our (in our minds) epic stories. The soundtracks chosen were generally hard rock or heavy metal, usually something with a slower tempo so it would enhance the mood without being distracting. Some of our favorites were Alice Cooper, post-thrash Metallica, Type O Negative, and Rob Zombie.
I didn’t begin actually writing until I was well into my twenties. But I instinctively followed the same approach that I’d learned from playing D&D: Listen to music. It keeps one’s mind from wandering, and – if the right music is selected – sets the mood for the manuscript.
When the White Knight Falls (originally entitled Kilbride) had an extensive and varied soundtrack, but there were five albums that remained in almost constant rotation as I wrote: The Angel and the Dark River by My Dying Bride, The Wall by Pink Floyd, Dreaming Neon Black by Nevermore, Mutter by Rammstein, and Fallen by Evanescence. Those albums perfectly embodied the angst, the intensity, and the surreal pathos that I envisioned for my story.
When the White Knight Falls is set in the world of hard rock and heavy metal, but I deliberately avoided setting a time frame for the story; I wanted the tale to be as timeless as heavy metal itself. From Black Sabbath to Avenged Sevenfold, metal doesn’t belong to any one decade. That having been said, anyone who knows music will realize that the story takes place somewhere between 1998-2002. Grunge rock was winding down, and ‘NuMetal’ (as defined by bands such as Disturbed and Godsmack) hadn’t quite taken off yet. Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, and Metallica were still in their respective heydays, and the venerable Black Sabbath had begun doing reunion shows. That was also the last age of massive concert tours, before the likes of Napster and Spotify pretty well destroyed the music industry.
It was a magical time, a time during which hard rock had finally come into its own on an overwhelming scale.
It is a daunting task to capture the energy and intensity of a metal show with words, but I gave it my best shot. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts, from small bar shows to all-day events featuring the demi-gods of metal. A live concert cannot be replaced by YouTube, HDTV, or any other high-tech medium; some moments in life just have to be experienced.
Those were the memories that I brought to print with When the White Knight Falls. I hope that older readers will fondly remember those incredible concerts, and younger readers will feel a spark of dawning curiosity. I’m grateful to have grown up a more epic era, an era in which the music industry was prosperous, profitable, and huge! An era during which one could gather with tens of thousands of others and ‘rock out’ for mere twenty-dollar ticket.
Maybe that era will return, or maybe it won’t…
But I can still write about it!
When the White Night Falls ~ Music Blurb
By Virginia Wallace
The lovely and talented Kate McCoy once thought that her future was predictable, and secure. Classical music was her passion, and she was inarguably the mistress of her craft.
Then she met Alec Murdenson…
Alec knows nothing of orchestras; he’s a rocker, through and through. The ferocity of his music seems out of place when viewed alongside his easy smile, and his sense of humor… not to mention his handsome face, and striking green eyes.
But there is something else lurking behind his riveting gaze, an entity that is both Alec and yet not Alec at all. That phantasm is more than a little disturbing; perhaps it is even a cold-blooded monster.
As Kate becomes tangled within Alec’s web, she is forced to re-think everything she once thought she knew. In so doing, she must make a horrific choice: Either run for the hills…Or embrace a man who understands human depravity better than she ever could.
EXCERPT (PROLOGUE) –
Vinyl car seats…
Vinyl car seats aren’t comfy, not at all. They’re not like old couch cushions, resting upon worn-out, well broken-in sofas, into which one can comfortably settle. No, vinyl seats are cold and unforgiving. They don’t conform to the human posterior; they swelter in the summer and radiate winter’s chill like a cowhide icicle. Kate hated vinyl cushions of any kind. They reminded her of the leather seats in her father’s chauffeured Bentley, and she hadn’t liked those either.
Shifting uncomfortably in her seat, Kate tried desperately to find a position that wouldn’t make her behind ache. She was rather tall for a woman, and this backseat was, as Dr. Seuss would have put it, “three sizes too small” for her frame. And this whole situation would have been much, much easier without the handcuffs!
Giving up on the prospect of finding an accommodating position, Kate leaned back and stared at herself in the rearview mirror. The police officer assigned as her “babysitter” was sitting coolly in the front, listening to the radio. The Los Angeles Police had ordered a female officer to arrest her. Smart move, thought Kate sourly. The last thing the LAPD needs is the famous Kathryn McCoy suing them for sexual harassment.
Kate met her own brilliant sapphire gaze, hoping against hope that this was all just a bad dream. Just a little while ago she’d been going about her business; she still had her makeup on, for crying out loud! Not that most people thought she needed it. Her long, straight, jet black hair and porcelain complexion were usually adornment enough.
This can’t be happening, thought Kate. But the flashing police lights belied her wishful thought. The street upon which the police car was parked was inarguably picturesque; palm trees lined the thoroughfare, and the surrounding cityscape was defined by beautiful stonework. This part of L.A. was no place for horror … but here she was, living out a nightmare.
Hanging her head in despair, Kate entertained a brief fantasy of suicide. She’d just suffered a death in her family, and her exhausting career had pushed her to the breaking point. Relationship issues had caused her personal life to become an emotional roller coaster. She’d been on the edge for quite some time … and now this.
The police car was rather stuffy. Kate wondered absently if her makeup had melted enough to expose those stubborn freckles across the bridge of her nose. She had been pampered and spoiled her entire life, from her upbringing in Long Island to her current situation in California. Being cuffed and rudely shoved into a cruiser was not something to which she was accustomed.
Kate lifted her head as a detective approached the car. He motioned to the officer in the front seat and waited outside the rear door. “I can exit myself, thank you,” said Kate as the officer opened the door. She was in no mood to be rough-housed out of the backseat. Stepping primly from the vehicle, she balanced carefully on her high heels, adjusting the back of her evening gown as best she could manage with cuffs on.
“May I help you?” she asked the detective coldly.
“Is this yours, Miss McCoy?” asked the detective calmly, reaching into an opaque evidence bag.
Please don’t, pleaded Kate inside. I don’t want to see it. She turned her gaze away as the officer held up something upon which she couldn’t bear to look: a violin bow, broken in half and covered in blood.
“Is this yours?” repeated the detective.
Kate bit her lip, remembering vividly the words of her Virginian friend, old Jerry. If you’re forced to defend yourself, NEVER talk to the police! One misspoken word, and they can hang you. Shut the hell up and wait for a lawyer!
“Miss McCoy,” said the detective, assuming a patronizing tone. “I need to know what happened in there. If you don’t tell me what he did to you, I can’t help you. I’ll have to book you on the charge we arrested you for.”
A police officer can’t help you, Jerry had said. They work for the district attorney, and the district attorney’s job is to convict you. Resolved to keep her cool, Kate just stared defiantly at the detective.
“Miss McCoy—” began the detective.
“If you’re going to grill me for the third time in four hours,” said Kate between clenched teeth, “then by all means call me ‘Kate’!”
“Kate,” re-started the detective, “I need your story.”
“Ask my lawyer,” retorted Kate.
“Then, Kate, you leave me no choice,” sighed the detective. “Your ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ friend is dead, apparently by your hand. This is your violin bow, and there was no one else on the scene. You have blood on your hands and your dress, and your prints are all over the place.”
“Lawyer!” said Kate firmly.
“I heard you the first time,” said the detective.
Kate waited for his next words, knowing that they would spell out her doom.
“Kathryn Leigh McCoy,” said the detective, “I’m going to charge you with murder in the second degree. Are you sure you don’t have something to say?”
Kate looked away, half-amused by the detective’s last-minute attempt to coerce a damning statement out of her. “Yes, sir,” she said contritely. “Yes, I do.”
“What is it, Kate?” said the detective, assuming a falsely intimate tone. Kate looked daggers at him. “Kate?”
“May I get back into the car, please?”
“That’s it, Miss McCoy?”
“No!” spat Kate.
“AND,” screamed Kate at the top of her lungs, “I WANT MY LAWYER ALREADY!!!”
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Virginia Wallace is a native of the Chesapeake Bay region, on the Southeast coast of the United States. Nomadic by nature, Virginia has lived all over, from the mountains of New England to the rolling hills of the American Heartland.
She began her creative career during her late teens and early twenties, working as a freelance portrait and commercial artist. She slowly transitioned into writing, eventually self-publishing three novels for the ‘indie’ book market.
As a writer, Virginia Wallace has always worked at meshing modern stories with a lush style reminiscent of 19th-Century American and European literature. Her novel ‘When the White Knight Falls’ marks her debut into the mainstream book market.
I’ve also chosen to cross post my Monday “Movie” Book Trailer Swap with the lovely lady Lauren @AlwaysMe (blog) @SunSoar25 (Twitter), the English gentleman, fine and dandy Drew @The Tattooed Book Geek (blog) @SarcasticEnigma (Twitter) and musical maestro Mischenko @readrantrockandroll.com (blog) @J_Mischenko (Twitter). Here are the rules:
Every Monday share one or two of songs you’ve been enjoying lately. It doesn’t have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favourites – just something you’d like to share with others. If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).
SONGS/BANDS MENTIONED IN WHEN THE WHITE KNIGHT FALLS
My Dying Bride: ‘The Angel and the Dark River’ album
Ozzy Osbourne: ‘Mama, I’m Coming Home’
Black Sabbath: ‘Cross of Thorns’
Pantera: ‘Cemetery Gates’
Black Sabbath: ‘Iron Man’
Metallica: ‘Whisky in the Jar’
Pink Floyd: ‘Comfortably Numb’
Guns n’ Rose: ‘Patience’
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9 thoughts on “#MusicMonday #Guestpost with #Author Virginia Wallace ~ @VirginiaKWalla1 @BVSbooks”
Great post, Sassy! Hope you’re doing well. ❤️
So many great songs here. I love Ozzy’s Mama I’m Coming Home. I also have a soft spot for Iron Man as my son sang that one for a talent show when he was in school.
Great blog Virginia and Brit. I loved reading When the White Knight Falls. You should all pick up your copy today.
You picked one of my favorites Pink Floyd: ‘Comfortably Numb’. And I can’t leave out Ozzy Osbourne: ‘Mama, I’m Coming Home.’
Guns n’ Rose: ‘Patience’ was the perfect love song for White Knight.
Great post Brit and Virginia. Yes. Nothing beats a live performance. WTWKF conveys that message very well. It was a great read.
Nice to see another author who loves having music on while they write. I bought a paperback copy of this book and am looking forward to reading it. It sounds amazing.
What a great blog, yes music in stories… as a reader I love music references. As a former pro DJ I love music, and confess I am listening to the Dave Gilmore comfortably numb clip posted,(big Floyd fan) as I type this. As a publisher, it always makes me twitchy when song lyrics appear in scripts, music publishers can be a bit litigious. I love Virginia’s story, it worked for me on so many levels. Thanks Virginia and Sassy for a Great blog.
Those songs bring back the memories. I was more of an alt rock fan myself, but metal could be heard up and down the dorm hallway. Crazy Train was a big hit back then, and I find it funny that it’s often played at NFL games during the kickoff now. Great blog.
Fantastic post Brit and Virginia! I loved the music in When the White Knight Falls, it’s like a key character in the story.
When The White Knight Falls is an amazing story – I listened to Patience when reading one of the scenes. Yes, I’m a Gunners fan 🙂
Virginia Wallace’s book is unforgettable.