Music and Noveling: the (not so) hidden secrets of writerly rituals

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Many writers, when asked, claim that they listen to music while writing.

“It puts me in the right frame of mind,” one will say. “I use it to keep myself motivated,” another insists.

Some people start off their novels with some easy listening: a few delicious love songs, maybe the latest pop ear-candy tune. Others begin with death metal… they’re writing a horror and really, you can’t drop into that kind of narrative riding the waves of elevator musak, right?

I am not one of those writers.

I can’t listen to music at all while writing. It distracts me. I can’t handle the gobs of words heading for my auditory sensors—not and type coherent sentences. However, that doesn’t mean music has no influence on me at all. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Music is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to writing: it’s inspiration, motivation, relaxation, and illumination all rolled together into one nifty package. During the writing of Disintegrate, just before I put fingers to keyboard, I played a song that best expressed the atmosphere of the chapter I was working on. As a result, I have a fantabulous mix of music for the entire book.

Curious? Here is the list—there’s a song for every chapter:

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Chapter One: Sit Down, Stand Up (Snakes & Ladders) by Radiohead
Chapter Two: The Time Is Now by Moloko
Chapter Three: Caught a Long Wind by Feist
Chapter Four: Little by Little by Radiohead
Chapter Five: Driven to Tears by Sting
Chapter Six: Runaway Train by Brandon Boyd
Chapter Seven: Trap Doors by Broken Bells
Chapter Eight: Don’t Blow It by Cliff Martinez
Chapter Nine: Sad by Maroon 5
Chapter Ten: Love Come by Sarah McLachlan
Chapter Eleven: Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles
Chapter Twelve: I Need to Know by Kris Allen
Chapter Thirteen: Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye
Chapter Fourteen: Trespassing by Adam Lambert
Chapter Fifteen: Closing In by Imogen Heap
Chapter Sixteen: The End of the Game by Sting
Epilogue: Lights by Ellie Goulding

Night Owl Reviews loved Disintegrate!

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“I loved this fast paced YA story and I couldn’t put it down.

There was plenty of suspense that kept me turning the pages frantically as I was trying to figure out if they were going to be alright when they discovered that someone was after them. I loved their relationship together and I wanted them to be there for each other no matter what it involved. I’m new to this author and her writing, but she has made a new fan in me now.”

 

 

Disintegrate

editors

BestsellerIcon100X100

To read an excerpt, click here.

  • Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
  • Word Count: 51,000
  • Published By: Evernight Teen

Description:

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.

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Where to Buy: 

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Evernight Teen Summer Kick Off Blog Hop is here!

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Welcome to the Evernight Teen Summer Kick Off Blog Hop! I hope you’re ready to jump into the ocean with us…

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Evernight Teen is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite to one lucky hopper!

How to Enter?

Leave a comment on this blog and Like and Follow Evernight Teen on Facebook and you will be entered to win the Kindle! Please be sure to mention that you’ve liked and followed Evernight Teen in the comment.

Every book blogger/reviewer site is giving away one free eBook from Evernight Teen (winner’s choice of any eBook from Evernight Teen’s website). Plus, each author offers their own unique prize! So visit each blog hop stop for a host of fabulous prizes to win.

Home base for the hop is the Evernight Teen Blog. Hop there to find more participating bloggers and authors, and for more chances to win!

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How to Enter?

I am giving away one digital and one print copy of my novel, Disintegrate. In order to win, answer the question below, and remember to follow this blog!

The digital copy of Disintegrate is valid anywhere and the print copy will go to someone in the USA.

Hint: read the excerpt for the answer!

What happens when Emily and Jax hold hands after they use their powers?

a. Jax kisses her.
b. Emily slaps Jax for his presumption.
c. Silver sparks arc between their hands.
d. Emily thinks: Wow, his hands are clammy.

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Disintegrate

  • Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
  • Word Count: 51,000
  • Published By: Evernight Teen

Description:

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.

editors

Excerpt:

“I … think you’ve got the wrong impression of the two of us,” she mumbled. “We’re just friends.” And that’s all we’ll ever be, Emily told herself.

The woman shook her head. “No. I don’t think I do.” She wiped at the bar, nodding once as though making up her mind. “He’s a good kid.” She moved off, pouring a beer as she made her way down to the other end of the bar.

Emily blinked, confused by the bartender’s confidence. Jax sang on, oblivious to the conversation they were having about him only a few feet away.

And then the wall by the door exploded.

Emily froze for a split second while the bartender looked stupidly at the mess, then rushed for the stage, shoving through the few people beginning to realize something was very, very wrong. Jax hadn’t reacted and her first instinct was to get him to safety. She knew they were there for her, and she also knew they wouldn’t hesitate to destroy anyone near her in an effort to get to her. The best thing to do was get out.

Heart pounding, she grabbed him by the sleeve and dragged him down and off the stage. His guitar strap broke and the instrument hit the floor with a harsh twang. She winced, knowing it was his dad’s guitar, and important to Jax, but she didn’t stop. She couldn’t afford to do anything about it. Her skin was jumping and buzzing and she yanked—

Jax fell over her, hands raised, and Emily chanced a look back. There were three of them, huge and intent. Their faces were covered. One had a shotgun, oh God…

“Get down!” Jax yelled, shoving her over.

She ignored him, pulling until he had no choice but to follow. It was that or step on her. He still had his hands up. Something went boom—the gun, she thought—and then the staccato crunch of wood splintering around her bled through her panic. She shoved Jax ahead of her, hard. The door behind the stage hung ajar, and she stumbled for it, skin prickling as static arced around her fingers.

“Get back!” she panted, and Jax tripped. She tried to pull him up, but his muscular frame was too much for her thin frame. “Jax, you’ve gotta get up.”

He stared at her from the floor, dazed. A trickle of blood ran from a cut near his eye.

Was he hit? “Jax, get up!” she hissed.

Finally, he shoved off from the floor and staggered to his feet, falling against her. Not shot then, she thought, relieved. He wouldn’t be standing if he’d been seriously injured.

She tugged him down the dark hallway. When she looked back, she couldn’t believe they hadn’t been followed. Or at least not yet. Swallowing hard, she grabbed his hand, ignoring the electric tingle of his skin, and dragged him into the wall. He oofed as his head hit the paneling, but she had no time to worry about it. She pressed her fingers to the dirty surface and pushed, concentrating on dissolving the bonds of matter in her body and his. It wasn’t easy. She had to sort of push her energy into it, harder than she’d ever had to before. It felt a little like juggling upside down. She needed to hang onto him and release everything else, simultaneously. She had to keep his hand solid in hers while phasing their bodies out. For a moment, she thought she would fail or go mad, and then something clicked—

Thank God.

—her hands sank into the wall. She shuddered, hating the sticky feel of molecules sliding into her like this. One finger, one hand, no problem, but her entire body? That was creepy and weird. What she was doing wasn’t natural. Humans weren’t supposed to be able to shove pieces of themselves into pieces of other stuff, and here she was trying to shove her entire body, and Jax’s too, into the filthy inside of a bar wall. She almost sobbed … it was taking too long, they were coming—

—and then Jax’s fingers tightened around hers and it felt like electricity shooting into her bones. He gasped and then they fell into the wall together, their matter pressed into and within the wood and concrete and insulation.

Nausea rose. She fought it down. No time for that, she snarled to herself. No damn space for barfing.She gripped Jax’s hand, trying to keep still and quiet and think while also somehow conveying to him the need for calm. He could freak out later.

And he would, she knew. They were completely hidden, existing half in reality and half in the shadowy space between atoms that she’d been able to manipulate since forever. He would want to know how she did it. He would want do know why she’d dragged him into this.

A short, sharp boom echoed weirdly through her. They’d made it to the hall, though she couldn’t see them. She couldn’t see anything. Her eyes didn’t work inside the wall. Jax’s iron-willed calm filtered slowly through her veins, as if she could feel his emotions. God, this was completely horrible, she thought, willing the men to just go away. She needed to run—

—and then there was silence. She didn’t know how long it had been quiet, but Jax was pulling at her. She forced herself to think move and let go and enough and she stepped forward and out—

—and they fell into the hall, coughing. She stifled a gag, her right hand burning from the rough flooring. She’d just caught herself before her head hit the opposite wall.

“Jesus, what—” Jax choked, turning to her. He wouldn’t let go of her hand.

“We need to see if they’re gone,” she managed, rubbing her face on her shoulder. Her knees hurt. She felt filthy, as if she’d ingested the dirt that penetrated every portion of the wall.

Jax leaned down and put his free hand flat on the floor. He closed his eyes.

Emily stared. What was he doing?

A second later he shook his head. “Everyone is gone.” He grimaced. “Or dead.”

“How—” she began to ask, but then the skin on her hand prickled, the one he still held. Jax looked at her arm. She looked at his palm. Tiny sparks arced between them, silver stars that made no sense.

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Where to Buy: 

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Home base for the hop is the Evernight Teen Blog. Hop there to find more participating bloggers and authors, and for more chances to win!

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My favorite superpower?

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I have a really fun interview up at Books in the Hall today! Want to know what I’d write in a letter to my teen self? My favorite Halloween candy? Click on over to Books in the Hall to find out! Here’s a teaser:

 What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I have always said that I would love to have telekinesis. I want to be able to turn of the lights without getting up! And I’d love being able to get myself a drink or a snack without having to put my book down. On the other hand, I bet having the power to harness electricity would be cool. I have no idea what I’d do with it… maybe make my own fireworks? Out of lightning? That would be cool.

 

Author Appearance: Christine Klocek-Lim book signing and dance!

Foxtrot Dress

Victory Dance Center is featuring Christine Klocek-Lim and her young adult novel, Disintegrate, during the intermission of its yearly recital. If you would like Christine to sign your copy, please feel free to bring it. If you’d like to purchase a copy of the novel, Christine will have several available.

Also available will be copies of Christine’s latest chapbook: Ballroom — a love story. Christine wrote this chapbook for her husband as they learned how to dance (from first steps to a routine and recital) and dedicated it to her teacher, Lynn Kettenburg.

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This year, Christine and her husband, Terry, will be dancing a foxtrot routine. If you mention that you’re there for the book signing, you will get a discount on tickets to the show: a bargain at $10 per ticket! (door price $15)

Come on out to Upper Perkiomen High School for a night of dance and celebration!

What: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
When: Saturday, June 8, 6 pm.
Where: Upper Perkiomen High School, 2 Walt Road, Pennsburg, PA 18076
Who: Victory Dance Center Recital with owner/instructor Lynn Kettenburg

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Announcing Christine Klocek-Lim’s blog tour!

All tour dates are in June:

3 – Interview @ Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews

4 – Spotlight & Excerpt & Review @ Out there Reviews and Stuff

4 – Spotlight & Giveaway @ New Age Mama

5 – Interview @ Books in the Hall

6 – Spotlight & Review @ Indie Authors Books and More

7 – Review & Spotlight & Giveaway @ Fictional Candy

8 – Review  & Spotlight & @ Jez Jorge

10 – Spotlight & Extended Excerpt @ Karen Bynum

11 – Interview & Giveaway & Spotlight @ Deal Sharing Aunt

12 – Interview @ Sizzling Hot YA Books

13 – Guest Blog @ You Gotta Read

editors

BestsellerIcon100X100

To read an excerpt, click here.

  • Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
  • Word Count: 51,000
  • Published By: Evernight Teen

Description:

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.

14+ for brief violence and adult situations

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Where to Buy: 

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The writing process-words, imagery, outline… huh?

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Upper Rubber Boot interviewed me about my writing process! Here is a little bit of that interview:

1. What is your writing process?

If you’d asked me that question ten years ago, I would’ve said that I collect words. I wrote only poetry at that time so my focus was on imagery and metaphor. When I had enough words, I formed them into a poem.

Five years ago I would’ve said I think of a theme (astronomy, clouds, angels) and go from there. Three years ago I’d have told you that I write an outline, then work on a book chapter by chapter.

Now that I’m focusing so much on novel-writing, I begin with my characters. I give them names and a history and something that affected them greatly in their past. When I’ve figured out who they are, I put them into a situation of conflict. The characters decide where to go from there.

2. What’s some writing advice you’ve received, that works for you?

Just keep writing. I don’t recall hearing this at some point in time and having some sort of realization. Rather, it’s the advice that everyone says over and over again. The more you write, the better you get at it. It takes a long time to grow comfortable with your voice. If you want to improve your skill, the only way to do it is through practice.

If you want to read the rest, click here: Upper Rubber Boot, Intermittent Visitors – a multi-author blog tour

I’ve been interviewed… by my heroine Emily

Ever wonder what your characters think of you? I do. For a change of pace, I decided to ask Emily to interview me. Here is a taste of how it went:

Emily: Why did you think giving me this weird power would be cool?

Christine: Manipulating matter is the superpower I wish I had. I thought it would be fun if you could put your hand through a wall or reshape a piece of metal. Think of the possibilities! You can make jewelry, you can hide at parties, you can play tricks on your friends…

Emily: Yeah, it’s really not that cool. It kind of freaked me out when I was little, you know?

Christine: Well, your ability saved your life, didn’t it?

Emily: Hmmm. True. Even so, it’s kind of weird. I accidentally put my thumb through my phone once. That sucked.

Christine: Oops. Sorry about that. You figured out how to fix it though.

Emily: Yeah, but it was never the same. The autocorrect thing doesn’t work right anymore. Every time I text LOL it changes it to BOB. Ugh. Anyway, someone *cough—your son—cough* told me that when you get bored with writing you blow stuff up?

Christine: Not literally! He means that when I get stuck or lose my momentum when I’m writing, I tend to add some action to the story. I like to do unpredictable things with the narrative, like have the bad guys attack or a volcano explode or something. I like to shake things up. That way I don’t get bored and neither does the reader.

Emily: There are no exploding volcanoes in my book.

Christine: Hmmm. Well, maybe I’ll have to write a sequel—

If you’d like to read more, head on over to ARe Cafe and check out the rest! –> Emily Weaver from Disintegrate interviews her author: Christine Klocek-Lim

Two free copies of Disintegrate!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Disintegrate by Christine  Klocek-Lim

Disintegrate

by Christine Klocek-Lim

Giveaway ends May 18, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

I’m giving away two copies of my bestselling young adult novel Disintegrate. If you’d like to win a free paperback, login to Goodreads and enter the giveaway!

If you don’t succeed this time, never fear… I’ll be doing more giveaways during the summer months. Here’s what people are saying about Disintegrate:

“The relationship between the two main characters, Emily and Jax, is marvellously dynamic and evolving.” — Brigita

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book in one sitting. Honestly, this is the only book I can think of that I read in one sitting. Awesome book.  …

1.) Awesome book!
2.) I’ve never actually read a book where the main character can manipulate matter, so that was a fun, new plot to discover.
3.) Holy shuck Jax marry me.” — Madison

“It’s a briskly paced and deftly plotted adventure of two teens with extraordinary powers. Strong characterizations, especially that of the female protagonist, Emily, give the short novel an emotional anchor. I particularly appreciated Emily’s decidedly un-Bella Swan blandness.” — Lyrics

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If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you can always buy it! It’s a bargain at $4.99 ebook pricing, and if you like print better, it’s $12.99.

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Where to Buy: 

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Description:

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.