Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Special Guest Blogger Edition!

Something new for 2010 - my FIRST EVER GUEST BLOGGER!

A little about JR Turner (Pictured @ left): Born blonde and Polish, Jennifer Turner writes action adventure thrillers and romances. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband Eddie, a red-headed Texan, and her three children, Dustin, Molly and Matthew. Raised by an eclectic assortment of artists and musicians, her upbringing helped shape and hone her imagination and dedication to the romantic arts. Between her commitments to family and writing, she actively pursues three things–white chocolate, dark chocolate, and more chocolate.

And that's it for me until Friday; take it away, JR!

Rockin' and Writin' with J.R. Turner

I love music and I love to write, so it seems natural to me that I would do both at the same time. I'm always looking for new tracks for my 'writing' playlist and hunting up old favorites I'm reminded about—usually in a soundtrack as I'm a big film fan too.

Since my forte is high action, I tend to go for the harder, more pumped up music groups. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Powerman 5000, Seether and Korn. In particular, for a novel that I'm finishing about a female soldier who dies and is resurrected to fight mutants has made "Living Dead Girl" by Rob Zombie a favorite.

When I'm working on my Extreme Hauntings series, I tend to throw in a few softer tracks. Uninvited by Alanis Morissette is a great theme song. The first, DFF: Dead Friends Forever, introduces Kaylee. She's a resilient kid, forced against her will, to solve a century old murder and free a trapped soul from the demon responsible for her death. Yeah, definitely uninvited!

I think what makes this series different from some YA horror novels are the consequences she endures. Often, teens do incredible things to avoid being eaten or to escape the beasties, but never get busted. I didn't want to go down that path and instead, had Kaylee stand trial for arson and grave robbing.

In the second book, School's Out 4-Ever, she's sent to a haunted reformatory where things really get bad. Drowning Pool's album "Sinner" and Disturbed's self-titled album kept my fingers typing through that novel. There's something about their rhythm that allows me type like a deadline is chasing me. (Oh, wait, there usually is! ;))

When it came to choosing tracks for the trailers, I wanted to support emerging artists. For DFF: Dead Friends Forever, The Etiquette gave permission for their song "One Fine Day." This captured the transition I wanted—from the seemingly upbeat sound, to the darker lyrics and their message. The same is in the book—a seemingly 'normal' life underscored by a far more sinister reality.

For School's Out 4-Ever, I needed something much heavier. This book is very dark compared to the first one. Between the multiple deaths and the intensity of Kaylee developing 'abnormal' powers, giving up the hope of ever having a normal life, the themes demanded a hard-hitting track. Rotor, a fabulous band fronted by the very cool Kelly Marlow, had just the track—"Beat The Clock." Not only did this give me tone I wanted, but it perfectly fit the race to stay alive while doing her time.

Music is such a large part of my writing life, I can't imagine working without the sound of bass thumping in the background while the story unfolds across the page. Every great film has a great soundtrack and I doubt I could dig deep enough to find the greatness living inside every story without my own.

J.R. Turner is the author of the Extreme Hauntings series. The first book, DFF: Dead Friends Forever is available at, Kindle, Fictionwise, and Echelon

Doing Time Is Deadly:
School's Out 4-Ever


J.R. Turner said...

Thanks so much for having me, Steven! It's great to be here! :)

Nick Valentino said...

I do the same thing, often turning up the music to ear splitting volumes. In general, for me it looks like this:
Fight scenes/Horror = Cradle of Filth or Wolves in the Throne Room
Tension = Made out of Babies or Battle of Mice
Sadness/Longing = Sigur Ros
Thanks for the wonderful post!

Steve Karmazenuk said...

As do I!

Just about everything I write is written with the help of music; good fodder for a future blog post!