Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Blog by Aubrie Dionne and Giveaway - September 12, 2011

Please welcome Aubrie Dionne to The Qwillery.

How a Symphony is Like a Novel

Music has always been the main focus of my life. I teach flute for a living and perform in orchestras and special events through New England. When I started writing seriously, I realized how similar these two creative arts can be.


Both music and stories have themes. The main theme in a piece of music can be several measures long, like the theme to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overature, or just a few notes, like Beethoven’s fifth symphony. The theme is played throughout the composition, tying it together, making the piece make sense and mean something. So are themes in literature: redemption, the healing power of love, success against insurmountable odds. When you start a novel, you must think about your underlying themes and find ways to weave them throughout.

One of the underlying themes in Paradise 21 is free will.

2. Motifs
Wikipedia defines Motifs in the follow way:

A motif in music is a reoccurring fragment or succession of notes.
A motif in literature is a reoccurring element in a story that has symbolic significance.

Motifs are meant to stand out over time, bringing more depth/insight to the story.

A reoccurring motif in the New Dawn series is humankind’s relationship with computers/technology.

3. Dissonance and Resolution

Dissonance in music is clashing sounds that don’t resonant in harmony with one another. I would compare it to conflict in literature. Just as you must have dissonance in music to fully appreciate the resolution, so too must you have it in a story. Without conflict, there is no building tension, and no satisfaction at the end when it resolves.

The conflict in the New Dawn series is the race to find paradise planets after overpopulation, radiation, and zombies (you have to have those, right?) make Earth uninhabitable.

My question to you: Do you listen to music when you write? Does the music affect how or what you write?

About Paradise 21

Paradise 21
New Dawn 1
(Entangled Publishing, August 2, 2011)
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance

Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage.

But Aries has other plans.

When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price.

The life of the man she loves.


“Might as well stay here and make camp for the night.”

His casual tone stung her composure. How could he talk of such mundane things when they’d almost been captured, when she’d touched him so tenderly?

“We’ll let them get farther away,” Striker explained, reasonable as always. “We’re going in their direction tomorrow.”

The sting of rejection grew, burning a hole in her heart. “Why?”

“Why what?”

Her lips trembled. “Why not kiss me like you did before?”

“I can’t.” He shook his head, and the air cooled between them; so much so, Aries wondered if the desert had turned into deep space.

He’d teased her with such affection before, it was cruel to take it away. “I don’t understand,” she said, wishing she didn’t care, wishing she could stop all the emotions he’d started in her heart.

Aries caught a glimpse of pain etched in the wrinkles around his eyes. Striker turned away and started pulling supplies out of his backpack. “I can’t do this.”

“Do what?”

Striker shook his head and Aries prompted, “Can’t kiss me, can’t trust me? What?”

“I can’t allow myself to get tangled up with someone. Not again.”

The thoughts of Striker with another woman confused her. On the New Dawn, everyone had one lifemate and that was it. “You mean you loved someone before?”

Striker’s hand tightened on the backpack. “I trusted someone a long time ago, allowed myself to love, if you will. She hurt me so much I lost my entire life and ended up here. I can’t experience that kind of pain again.”

Aries clasped her hand over her heart. “I’m so sorry.”

He waved her apology off as if it meant nothing. “It’s a tough world, Aries. And it’s dangerous to love. If I were you, I’d keep my heart well-guarded, because you never know when it will affect your decisions, when it will make you weak.”

Aries couldn’t take his advice. Watching him talk about his past made her realize she’d already given up her heart.

He had it.

About Aubrie

Aubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications, A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications. Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school.


The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will an ebook of Paradise 21 provided by Entangled Publishing.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following Aubrie's question:

Do you listen to music when you write? Does the music affect how or what you write??  
 or if you don't write - Do you listen to music when you read?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, September 19, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years old or older.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I do. I have a playlist I add songs to every now and then. And sometimes it does influence the writing, but mostly I just keep a rhythm to it while I'm typing.

    Good reading ~ Escape by Fiction

  2. I don't write but I do listen to music in the background sometimes when I read. I have a kind of crazy playlist with every type of music but I do have specific playlist for whatever my mood is.

  3. Music can enrich a reading experience. I don't listen to music while I read, but sometimes I connect songs to moments in a book and listening to it will bring that moment back.

    GFC follower
    Cambonified {at} yahoo {dot} com

  4. Thanks for having me at the Qwillery today! Great answers so far!

  5. I am a follower and email subscriber. I like to listen to music when I read. Please enter me in contest.

  6. I don't write and I don't listen to music when I read because I tend to like to focus on doing one or the other.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower


  7. I definitely need to focus on one or the other-or else I'd be dancing in my seat while trying to concentrate! GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  8. I listen to music when I do not have to concentrate on anything else. I love it and my toes tap, my body moves, and I will belt it out with the best of them. When I listen to music I cannot write or work, but I can read albeit with some toe tapping going on:) Thank you for sharing today. I would love to read Paradise 21 and appreciate the giveaway opportunity.
    GFC follower Denise Zaky


  9. I'm not an author and I won't probably be one, but I like writing, but I hardly ever listen to music while doing it. And I can't read if there's something noisy :) But that's just me :)
    By the way, the cover is totally hot! I can't wait to get my hands on it! :) So thanks for the giveaway! :)

    +1 comment
    +1 GCF name: mikki-mano
    +1 tweet:

  10. Great comparison and great excerpt!! I like quiet when I need to concentrate. So I would not listen to music when I write nor when I read. debby236 at gmail dot com

  11. I don't write (not books anyway!) but I don't listen to music when I read. I get distracted & want to sing instead. Guess I can only concentrate on 1 thing at a time.

  12. I listen to music when I read only occasionally, most of the time it get so immersed in the story I tune everything out anyway.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  13. I do like to listen to music when I read; something calming and soothing like instrumentals.

    +1 for comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  14. I absolutely listen to music when I write. Sometimes one lyric can spawn a great idea. Or sometimes a musical theme can help push along a tone for my writing. I think music and writing go hand in hand very well.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com