Guest post: Words and Music – Linda Robertson

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JOVIENNE: A horrific car accident put Jovienne in a coma. When she awakened months later, she learned that her family had died in the crash…and that she had been altered.

Raised by a stranger who trained her to use her new quintanumin abilities, she excels at every lesson and longs for her mentor to become much more. But after completing her final test — a death-match against a demon — she is transformed yet again. Having become a monster’s monster, Jovienne seeks a way to rescind this immortality and uncovers a terrible truth about the man she trusted. Her efforts to escape lure demons ever closer, and one of them claims to know a secret about Jovienne. A secret she doesn’t even know herself.

 

While working on Jovienne, a story much darker and horrific than anything in my Persephone Alcmedi series, there were times when getting what I thought was the right tone or feeling for a scene proved troublesome. Typically, I listen to movie scores while I write. If a scene isn’t flowing I’ll cue up a song with the emotive feel I’m aiming for, but this time it was different: I had melodies playing in my head that were unique to these characters.

Long ago I’d sold my upright piano to purchase a Yamaha PSR 740 which has built-in 16 track recording and hundreds of optional sounds, like a cello or a flute. So, I started expanding those melodies on my keyboard. As one song after another developed, so did the corresponding scenes.

You might be wondering how I got to the point of writing music. Let me take you back a bit…

I had my first piano lesson at age six, but the teacher kicked me out saying I wasn’t ready. I returned when I was eight. She taught me until I was fourteen, when she said she couldn’t teach me anymore. Not that I was great or anything, or that I’d surpassed her skill. But I was starting to ignore the rules. I’d see the notes, see they were meant to be quarter notes or half notes or what have you, but all those dots had become suggestions. I played them as I heard them, creating new songs out of what was already there as I changed tempo, time signature, and rearranged the patterns and progressions. Which is a nice way of saying I probably frustrated the shit out of her. Imagine you’re teaching some kid to play the songs in the John Thompson piano book. There’s no companion cassette (yes it was the late 70s). This kid has never heard any of these obscure songs, so you play them for her first. She learns those before the next lesson, but she also works ahead and comes in playing something entirely new, having changed everything up and despite your best effort to show her how it is supposed to be played, she’s not having it because she likes her way better.

After the piano lessons ended, I lost the structure and drive for piano. About a year later, I got my first electric guitar. It was early summer and I was 15. It became my world. I made myself a chart of what every note on the neck of the guitar was, then took all my sheet music, and started figuring out how to play those songs. But I wanted to rock, not pluck every little note. Something was missing. My folks listened to country music. It seemed that chords were what I was looking for, but trying to figure out and remember the precise finger positions for dozens of chords was daunting, and this still wasn’t rock. Then a friend of a friend told me about Barre chords.

Suddenly, I could play anything and everything AC/DC ever did. I was going to be a rock star.

I took ‘band’ lessons at the local music store. They put kid guitarists, bassists and drummers together to form a rock band, but we of course had our own ideas. Eventually some of us broke away from the store and started our own band with other, older local musicians. The summer I was seventeen, my band was the house band for a local bar. We played every Thursday, and we had first option to open up for acts they brought in from out of town. If there was a cancellation, we filled it. It was a great time.

Now, fast-forward almost thirty years. The drive to tell stories with words may have overshadowed the drive to tell them with melodies, but both pursuits have come into the light.

Anticipating the release of Jovienne, my husband gifted me with AVID ProTools for Christmas, then a subscription to EastWest for my birthday. Together these tools had the capacity to import my songs and kick up the quality, while giving me total editing control as the songs were formatted for digital and CD sales. It’s my first attempt at producing, mixing, and mastering.

Music and soundscapes are subjective to the listener, much as writing is subjective to the reader. The difference is, with the novel, I had an editor—and I truly enjoyed working with my editor Gwen on the book. But there was no editor for the CD, just me. I shared a few tracks with friends for feedback, but ultimately, it’s all me and it’s all how I thought it best. I know my skills will grow as I learn more about the program and about mixing and mastering, but as it is, I’m very proud of the music offered on the CD.

You can listen to samples of each track from the CD here: http://www.authorlindarobertson.com/buy.html

 

Early praise for Jovienne:

Linda Robertson’s JOVIENNE is a unique and twisted journey of action, horror, and urban fantasy, packed with cool ideas.  In a genre where so much feels the same, it’s a pleasure to encounter a writer who has found a different muse.”  Christopher Golden, NYT Bestselling Author

 “Linda Robertson has created an intriguing world, a compelling narrative, and a strong, canny heroine you’ll be cheering on from the first page to the last. JOVIENNE rocks. Enjoy the ride.” — David B. Coe, author of The Case Files of Justis Fearsson

“Linda Robertson has written a masterful example on using religious lore and legend as inspiration for damn fine storytelling! JOVIENNE is both soul-soaring and heart-wrenching, a fresh take on high-octane Urban Fantasy.”

James R. Tuck – author of the Deacon Chalk series.

A horrific car accident put Jovienne in a coma. When she awakened months later, she learned that her family had died in the crash…and that she had been altered.

 Raised by a stranger who trained her to use her new quintanumin abilities, she excels at every lesson and longs for her mentor to become much more. But after completing her final test — a death-match against a demon — she is transformed yet again. Having become a monster’s monster, Jovienne seeks a way to rescind this immortality and uncovers a terrible truth about the man she trusted. Her efforts to escape lure demons ever closer, and one of them claims to know a secret about Jovienne. A secret she doesn’t even know herself.

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**ALSO: LOOK FOR THE CD FEATURING

 AN ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCORE

WRITTEN, COMPOSED, AND PRODUCED

BY LINDA FOR THIS NEW NOVEL!!

 

Contact Information:

Linda Robertson (Reinhardt)

P.O. Box 23503

Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023

330.410.5293

Email:        lindabookbusiness@yahoo.com

Website:     http://www.authorlindarobertson.com

Facebook:

Interact:   authorlindarobertson

Fan page: lindarobertsonbooks

Twitter:     authorlinda

Goodreads: /LindaRobertson

 

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 Bio:

Linda Robertson is an internationally published author. She won first place in the OSU/Mansfield Florence B. Allen writing competition (2006). Since then, she’s earned a cum laude Associate of the Art’s Degree in English and published several novels and short stories.

In addition to the Immanence series, she is the author of the Persephone Alcmedi series. A lifelong musician, she also wrote, performed, and produced a musical score/CD for Jovienne. When not writing or composing, she finds time to dabble in costuming/sewing, crafting, and furniture renovation.

She attends various writing conventions and book festivals, blogs, and gives workshops about the craft of writing. A mother of four boys, Linda is married and lives in Northeast Ohio.

 SIMON & SCHUSTER / Pocket Books

 

     PERSEPHONE ALCMEDI SERIES:

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VICIOUS CIRCLE  

ISBN 978-1-4391-5428-1

**REMAINDERED/OUT OF STOCK at S&S

ISBN 978-1-4391-6363-4 (ebook)

Being a witch doesn’t pay the bills, but Persephone Alcmedi gets by reading Tarot cards, writing a syndicated newspaper column and kenneling wærewolves in the basement during full moons. Everything changes when one of Seph’s friends is murdered. The high priestess of the local coven offers Seph an unbelievable sum to hunt down the killer, and Seph enlists the help of her wærewolf friends–including Johnny, the hunky 6’2″ leather-clad singer for the techno-metal-goth band Lycanthropia. The attraction between them is

dangerous, but nothing could be as lethal as the showdown that awaits them.

 

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HALLOWED CIRCLE 

ISBN 978-1-4391-5678-0

ISBN 978-1-4391-6657-4 (ebook)

Persephone has been persuaded to compete for the position of High Priestess, mostly to keep snooty Hunter Hopewell from ending up in the winner’s circle. However, there are a few problems. The epic struggle she’s just survived has left her with some highly unusual powers–ones that could be dangerous to reveal. Can Seph keep her secrets, including her connection to the master-vampire Menessos, from the terrifyingly wise judges? Once the competition begins, a finalist turns up dead. It looks as if one of the contestants is willing to do anything to win.

 

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FATAL CIRCLE

ISBN 978-1-4391-5680-3 **OUT OF STOCK at S&S

ISBN 978-1-4391-7694-8 (ebook)

There once was a time when Persephone thought her life was hard to manage, what with work, a live-in grandmother, a foster daughter, and a new wærewolf lover, Johnny. But that was before the fairies started demanding the death of Seph’s frightening, unpredictable ally: the ancient vampire Menessos. Her mostly secret bond to Menessos not only causes serious strain on the budding relationship with Johnny, but, worse, if the other witches knew about the connection they could demand she be Bindspoken, locking away all her power–and a showdown with the fairies is growing more and more inevitable…

 

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ARCANE CIRCLE

ISBN 978-1-4391-9025-8

ISBN 978-1-4391-9026-5 (ebook)

After facing down the fairies in mortal combat, Persephone Alcmedi is still dealing with the aftermath. Not only does she possess deadly secrets she must hide from the arcane and mundane world alike, but the dozens of magical creatures who’ve taken up residence behind her cornfield need food and shelter, and there’s still her foster daughter Beverley’s tenth birthday party to plan. ​ Johnny has revealed himself as the Domn Lup, and the ruler of the wærewolf world is coming from Romania to see if he really is the “king” he claims to be.

 

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WICKED CIRCLE

ISBN 978-1-4516-4695-5

ISBN 978-1-4516-4699-3 (ebook)

Want a little alone time with your man? It may be too much to ask for if you’re Persephone Alcmedi, foretold Lustrata of the witches, and your lover is Domn Lup of the wærewolves. The ancient and incredibly sexy vampire Menessos comes bearing bad news: the vampire council fears he is plotting a power grab. To hunt him down, they have awakened a trio of truth-seeking vampire sisters so dangerous they are usually kept locked in stone. ​ Menessos needs Seph more than ever. And she find that she needs him.

 

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SHATTERED CIRCLE

ISBN 978-4516-4893-5

ISBN 978-4516-4892-8 (ebook)

It’s tough being a modern woman but Persephone Alcmedi has it worse than most. Being the prophesied Lustrata has kicked her career as a witch into high gear, and juggling a werewolf boyfriend who is about to become king of his kind and a seductive vampire who bears her magical Mark isn’t easy either. Still her beloved foster daughter is causing more trouble than the two men put together. The young girl has been playing with a magical artifact that’s far more dangerous than she realizes. Seph, Johnny and Menessos face threats from all sides–and a few from within. Will the forces of destiny cement their tenuous supernatural union, or shatter it forever?

 

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Persephone Alcmedi Prequel, self-published KDP

SMOKES & MAGIC   ASIN B01K23IUPG

Featuring Persephone Alcmedi’s Nana, this short story explains exactly why Demeter Alcmedi was ousted from the retirement community and ended up living with Seph.

INFORMATION & NOTEWORTHY NEWS

THE IMMANENCE SERIES

JOVIENNE, trade paperback, approximately 424 pages, list $17.95

NOTEWORTHY — a second title is in development, slated for May 2018 release

 

THE PERSEPHONE ALCMEDI SERIES

 

  • VICIOUS CIRCLE ) ARCANE CIRCLE
  • HALLOWED CIRCLE ) WICKED CIRCLE
  • FATAL CIRCLE ) SHATTERED CIRCLE

 

All mmp list as $7.99; approximately 400 pages each; some titles may not be available or may not be available at that price as some have been remaindered or are out of stock with no mmp reprint scheduled; it appears that Gallery Books (1826) does POD trade paperback size and their prices vary; ebooks are available at amazon.com,  simonandschuster.com, and all typical digital outlets.

 

(Prequel) SMOKES & MAGIC, $1.99  short story, ebook, available only on Kindle https://tinyurl.com/k23qcq6

**or the author has limited quantities of print version

 

NOTEWORTHY #1– This series is set in and around Cleveland, and uses/sites many truly existing places such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the May Co. building, the William G. Mather, the rotunda of the Richland Trust, the now destroyed Cleveland Cold Storage building, and much more.

 

NOTEWORTHY #2– Although Simon & Schuster’s imprint Pocket Books has no interest in completing the series, books 7-9 are in developmental stages and have just been approved for publication by a new publisher, likely to be scheduled for late 2018 and 2019 releases.

 

Q & A with Linda Robertson

Tell me a bit about Jovienne, beyond the cover copy.

Jovienne is a dark Urban Fantasy that spins religious lore and legend on its head. The main character, a young woman named Jovienne, is transformed into an angel, not truly understanding what that entails. Her dissatisfaction with the circumstances leads her down a dangerous path of secrets and self-discovery.

 

What do you think is the appeal of the Urban Fantasy genre?

To me, the greatest appeal in this genre is the stories that take ordinary people and makes them extraordinary…and while they have these epic destinies, some of their problems remain very human at the core. Whether they are vampires, witches, angels, demons or whatever, they are all just people searching for love, acceptance, and success as they deal with jealous peers, demanding bosses and friends that stumble and let them down amid life-shattering events.

 

Do you have any writing rituals or things you do to prepare for you daily writing?

Coffee is definitely a ritual for me! {laughs} The creamer and a shot of flavored syrup go into my oversized Star Trek mug and get warmed a bit in the microwave. Add the coffee. If I’m feeling whimsical, I’ll add whipped cream and purple sugar sprinkles too. I usually sip on it all morning while I work. It’s a good barometer of how engrossed in the writing I get, seeing how long it takes me to drink that cup.

 

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I dabble in so many hobbies! Sewing and costuming, crafts and faux finishes, upcycling furniture…but my first go-to will always be music. I was a musician before I was a writer. I’ve played piano since I was eight and picked up a guitar at fifteen. The summer before my senior year of high school I was the lead guitarist in a cover band—we played all that wild 80’s hair-metal. My bandmates were older than me and we had actual gigs in local bars. Incidentally, I composed a score for Jovienne when I was writing it as a means to help me set the tone of the scenes. While waiting for the editing and such to occur, my husband got me a music production software which I’ve learned, but far from mastered—there’s so much to it! That said, I have a 7-song cd available. I composed, performed, edited, mixed, mastered and produced it. Start to finish it’s all me and I’m really quite proud of it.

 

 

 

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