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Music & Laid Bare by Lauren Dane

Laid Bare - large

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is where my ideas come from. Each book springs from a different place. Sometimes it’s a snippet of dialog I hear at the grocery store, or a song on the radio, traveling is a great source of ideas as well.

With Laid Bare, it was a vivid scene of my heroine, Erin, that started the story for me. Here’s this woman, she’s young and confident, she owns her power and her ambition and most definitely makes no apologies for who she is and what she likes. This scene turned out to be the opening of the book and it frames who Erin was ten years ago:

Music, raw and hard like sex, pulsed through the speaker stack, caught the people in front of the stage as much as it had her in its grip.

The bass line throbbed through her like a second pulse as the scent of beer and sweat settled into her system. Sweat slicked her forehead and slid down the line of her spine. The muscles in her forearm corded as she played, her fingers finding their way as they had time and again. A secret smile marked her lips as her half lidded eyes focused on something not visible to anyone else.

Yes, it was a man’s world up there, but she’d kicked down the door with her Doc Martens and she wasn’t giving her spot to anyone else. She loved making music, and it fit her like a second skin.

It made her alive.

Her dreads swung forward, partially obscuring her face—adding, she knew, to the overall effect. Her belly, glistening with sweat, slid against the back of her bass where her shirt ended and her low-slung jeans began.

Up there, under the blue lights, she didn’t have to work at it. She was. She was exactly where she wanted to be, a guitar strapped to her body, calluses on her fingers from playing. The muscles in her upper arms were well defined because she hauled equipment around for gigs. There wasn’t any doubt, any self-consciousness. She lived the life she wanted.

Erin Brown had stopped apologizing for wanting things. She grabbed experiences with both hands and gobbled them down.

The book is firmly rooted in music. It’s how Erin communicates her pain, her rage, her joy, her grief. All my books have soundtracks I listen to while I write and edit. I use music to create a feel, so that I can easily slide back into that story when I start writing each day or if I get interrupted to go back and get into the book again after being in another story for a while.

As we return to Seattle ten years after this opening and a super hot fling Erin finally broke off with Todd, her sexy next door neighbor, we see she’s changed and so has he. He’s back and accepting of who he is inside, of what he wants from a woman and she’s not the same, self assured woman she was before. Yes, she still owns her desires, but something horrible has happened to her, it’s dulled some of her boldness.

There are parts of the writing process with this book where it was very dark. Lots of Tool, Deftones and Kittie. Other times it was more emotional and I broke out the singer songwriters like PJ Harvey and Ani Difranco. This sort of framing helped me keep Erin’s state of mind, her heart and what she was struggling with, really clear in my head (and I hope, in the book).

 And along came a story element I hadn’t actually envisioned at all when I wrote the synopsis and proposal for my editor. Ben. This book was not meant to be a ménage when I imagined it. But Ben would not let go. He wanted to be in the story and I fought it enough to run into story problems as I tried to adjust here and there to give him a bit more page space until finally I just gave in and let him love Erin. Once that happened, it was like the story simply flowed from me onto the page.

The book was totally unexpected in many ways as I wrote and I’m very pleased with how it ended up. Sometimes you have to whip your characters back into shape and not let them wander around, but other times, you need to listen to the music, to open up and give the characters and the story a bit of a lead, let them roam a bit because sometimes there’s a hidden bit you hadn’t imagined, but that works really well for the story.

This book is about music and music helped frame this story. It’s gentle and sweet in places, hard and dark in others. I hope, like my tracklist, the rising and falling, the ebb and flow of Erin’s life and the lives of her two men will click with readers the way it did in my head!


For more information on Lauren and her books you can visit her website at: http://www.laurendane.com/

**** UPDATE: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Laid Bare from Lauren. Good Luck 🙂


65 Responses

  1. I love hearing about the music that inspired and sustained authors as they write! I think Charles de Lint was the first author I remember mentioning what he listened to as he wrote particular books.

  2. I believe music can be even more expressive than the written word in some cases. Some authors post a playlist of music on their websites of music they listened to while writing their books.

  3. It’s always neat to hear about the different inspirations that help shape a book or story–thanks for giving us some insight into Erin’s story!

  4. Thanks Lauren — can’t wait for tomorrow!!!
    Happy release day!


  5. Is it Tuesday yet? I NEED this book!

  6. The cover is AWESOME! Thank you for sharing how this story came about. I love to read about the inspiration.

  7. Music can really set the mood. I’m glad that you let Ben love Erin. It sounds like he fought hard for her. I can’t wait to read this!

  8. Thanks for sharing – I love music, its a huge part of my life. I think its fascinating that you use it like you do for your writing. This book sounds totally intriguing – congrats on the upcoming release!

  9. Congrats on the upcoming release tomorrow Lauren!

    I love reading posts where the authors lets us know how music inspires them.

    Thanks for a chance to win a book!

  10. I like reading how authors are inspired to write stories and I love how music plays such a huge part in this one. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I’ve been told I need to read this book because it rocks (and other good stuff). Also apparently it’s about me (or so I choose to believe. Or at least pretend that my life could be so interesting – or naughty *g*)

    ~Erin the Innocent

  12. Please count me in.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  13. I’ve started listening to the songs you picked for the soundtrack, Lauren, and am totally getting the mood of the story from the beat and the lyrics of the songs you picked. Can’t wait to start reading Laid Bare. Happy Release Week!

  14. Been reading excerpts & reviews for this book so win or lose this will be my first time with Lauren *blush* I can’t wait!

  15. Hi Lauren and Greta!

    Wonderful post, I so love the fact that Erin is strong and that her story is firmly rooted in music.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway chance Lauren.

    Best to you both.


  16. I love hearing where author’s inspirations come from. I understand that most times it’s very hard to pinpoint or put into words where their muses take them but it’s still interesting.

    Thanks for sharing Lauren and for the giveaway!

    😉 VampFanGirl

  17. I really really want to read this book!!!!!

  18. I absolutely love the cover of this book and I can’t wait to read it.

  19. What a great cover! I really want to read this book!

  20. You can’t blame Ben for falling for Erin! That cover is amazing. I’m looking forward to reading this book.

  21. Hi Greta and Lauren,
    It’s amazing how songs help us out in life and I’m happy that it helped you out in your story. Great cover love her tats.

  22. i’d love to read this.

  23. Hi Lauren! I would love to win a copy! I wish me luck!! ;>

  24. congrats on the new book cant wait to read it im a music junky so the more books about music the better off both of my addictions gets fed and i agree the cover is hot

  25. This book’s plot reminds me a little of Undercover, at least loosely in the reunion/menage set up. And as one who is also inspired by music in all areas of life, it’s fascinating to hear how it can influence an entire story.

    Looking forward to this book. Thanks, Lauren and Greta!

  26. Love hearing how you come up with your ideas. Music is on in my home more than the TV. Looking forward to reading your newest release and thank you for the contest too.

  27. I am also in love with the cover of this book, I cant wait to read whats inside it. The tats are beautiful. thank you for ths chance to win a copy. COngrats and I hope you ahve great success with it.

  28. Laid Bare sounds soooooo good. I hope that I win the copy but will have topick up the book for sure.
    lexeetoste at sbcglobal.net

  29. Laid Bare is in my MUST READ list. Can’t wait. Count me in. Thanks

  30. Hey, Lauren!
    It really is easy to “hunt you down”, ha ha, when you tell us where you are! I hope you’re having a great time today. Thanks again for offering such great contests for your current and future fans!
    Hi, Greta!
    Thanks for having Lauren. She’s one busy lady!

  31. this sounds like a great book.I like how it involves music as a main element.I can’t wait to read it.

  32. It’s always interesting to hear/read about the little insider tidbits from authors. Looking forward to this book and seeing how these 3 characters work it out!

  33. I’ve been waiting patiently for this one to come out.

  34. Congrats on your book coming out.I would love to win this book crossing my fingers.

  35. Thank you for sharing your inspiration for Laid Bare. I’m envious of authors and I always wonder how you find the story and what inspires its growth. I love music, all kinds of music. When I’m rocking out to a song I often wonder if it’s a piece of a bigger story and what that story would be. Thankfully you have a gift of telling those stories and I can’t wait to read this book:-)

  36. I love how integrated music is in your books. I was first turned on to this with Megan Hart’s books and loved the playlists that she would publish with Itunes for her books. I was surprised how they seemed to really embody the mood of the book, and I guess that makes sense since you listen to the songs as you write.

    Love the cover, and would love to win this book!

  37. Interesting post! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  38. This looks like a really good book. I can’t wait to read it!

  39. I love listening to music while reading It add to the story for me….
    the best is when the Author has a set list of music the goes with the book that s heaven…..

  40. This book sounds like a must read for me! I’m putting it on my list! 🙂

  41. I love hearing about how music plays a part in the writing of a book. I think that in our everyday lives…we all use a bit of music to help us get those emotions out.

    Another great cover and I would love to be entered.

  42. Music really helps me write, also. I usually listen to piano, so I’m not distracted by the words. But other times, loud music is the only way to get me in the mood to write.

    I love the cover, Lauren. Its stunning!

  43. It sounds Fantastic and I can’t wait to read it!!!!

    Loved, Loved, Loved…’What happens in Vegas- After Dark” and ‘Relentless’!!!

  44. love thei cover and am looking forward to reading this one.

  45. Hi Lauren – i thought I posted already but guess there was a little operator error going on!

    I don’t recognize any of the music from your playlist. Is the song on the trailer one of your playlist songs?

    lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

  46. I love the cover of the book and it sounds awesome!

  47. Thanks for sharing your writing process Lauren. It’s fascinating to hear how you get your inspiration, and how music helps you with the rhythm of the story. I can’t wait to read it.

  48. This book sounds like it could easily move close to my heart. I don’t know how many times I have tried to explain that music & dance are a part of me, something I have to do…

    Thank you for sharing.

  49. Please sign me in! The cover is so attractive o.0
    I know we’re not suppose to judge book by their covers but I can’t hold back lol

  50. Can’t wait until this book comes out. I don’t get to listen to music often at work, but I always listen tomy mp3 player doing house work or mowing the lawn! oh and working out I have a whole playlist for working out.

  51. Great post – music is so influential in most people’s lives I believe. would love a chance to read this.

  52. Love the cover and I’ve been lloking forward to this one!

  53. Oh la la. Me likey the cover:)

  54. I can’t wait to read Laid Bare!

  55. Congratulation on today’s release of LAID BARE!

  56. Happy release day! I love the cover and I really can’t wait to read this book.

  57. Happy Release Day! I can’t wait to read this book.

  58. Happy release day!

  59. Congrads and good luck.

  60. Happy Release Day

  61. I love Lauren Dane’s books and would love the chance to read this one!

  62. I’d really like to get my hands on this one…

  63. The cover is beautiful and hot! Love the colors and thee story outline. I would love to read this one!

  64. You know, if I hadn’t already wanted to read this book, this post would have so converted me! Music and books are such a big part of my life and I absolutely love the fact that music is such a big part of this book.

    I know I’ll really enjoy it =) Thanks!

  65. gooooood

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