‘Night Sighs’ Author Emma Meade stops by to chat about all things Tristan & Alex……

Standard

I am delighted to welcome my very good friend Emma Meade to ‘On The Beat’ today. She has stopped by to chat to us about her excellent series of short stories, ‘Night Sighs,’ and to add the usual musical feel here, how Bruce Springsteen influenced and inspired Tristan’s band The Dead Beats!

I’ve known Emma for a long time, we were primary school friends and up to secondary school where we endured the most painful German classes ever! 😉 But I know this is a dream come true for her to write her own novels and stories and I couldn’t be happier to welcome her here today on ‘On The Beat’ to share with us her characters Tristan & Alex!

So take it away Emma………….

 

Bruce Springsteen & The Dead Beats

I’ve been a fan of Bruce for years. My friend, Grace, who I met in college, loved his song, “Secret Garden” and she got me into him.  One summer’s evening, I happened to be browsing on youtube and came across a performance of “Because the Night” in Paris, in 1985.  The opening notes of the piano really moved me and I got goosebumps. Chills ran down my spine as I listened to this haunting, beautiful melody, and when Bruce started singing – well, let’s just say a cold shower was in order. The electric guitar solo in the middle by Nils Lofgren is one of the most amazing pieces of music I’ve ever listened to.

Rock star, vampire, Tristan was born in my mind there and then. I wondered what it would be like to be the girlfriend of a supernatural being, so beautiful and magnetic.  That’s how Alex came to be. I wrote “The Dead Beats” almost overnight, the first short story in what would eventually be published in the collection, Night Sighs. Four more short stories followed Alex and Tristan through Egypt, England, New Orleans and Ireland.  Check out the video that started it all below.

 


Myself and Laura went to see Bruce & The E Street Band in Dublin this past summer and they were amazing. He played two concerts over two nights, and of course on the second night (which we didn’t attend) he performed “Because the Night”. Murphy’s Law I guess. I’m currently working on Night Whispers, a novel following up on Alex and Tristan. Fingers crossed, it will be out next year.

 

Night Sighs

It’s good to be alive…when you’re dead!

Meet Alex & Tristan, modern star-crossed lovers of the supernatural variety.
Alex is running-on-empty, one year on from the death of her fiancé, and the only thing that keeps her going is her romance with the young vampire Tristan. Tristan, meanwhile, has a serious obsession with Bruce Springsteen, and is battling a ‘can’t live without you’ sort of love for Alex. He’s trying to persuade her to come over to the dark side but so far she’s resisting his efforts.

So come and sing along to Tristan’s band, The Dead Beats, the hottest group in London right now, and walk with Alex as she teeters between this life and the next.  Because when you’re around Tristan, you’ll see, how much fun it is to be alive when you’re dead….

Night Sighs is an adult paranormal romance, following the relationship & adventures of Tristan & Alex through five short stories: The Dead Beats, The Ancients, Until My Body Is Dust, Bourbon & Jazz and West of Forever.

 

Check out Night Sighs on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Sighs-ebook/dp/B00647Y158/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350755321&sr=8-1&keywords=night+sighs

And Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13067064-night-sighs

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=3deeb0c8ae&view=att&th=13a7f53f95e09ee7&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_h8j036yz0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-N7M-FjTcbU4RjbbvUwRTc&sadet=1351104405544&sads=jNDneOAyt4HV0o91VZQgO_D_yYA&sadssc=1 

Find emma at her blog Emma’s Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction emmameade.com
and website: emmameadebooks.com

Thanks for having me today, Laura xx

 

No Problem Emma, very best of luck in the future! Can’t wait to read Night Whispers and much more from you! xx

Advertisements

Dirty Dancing! The secret to its success?

Standard

I often think why is the 1987 hit film Dirty Dancing one of the most popular and loved films of all time?

Yes, there’s the late great Patrick Swayze playing the cool Johnny Castle – a man who is a brilliant dancer, lover, friend but just lacks self-belief.  Women want to reach out (quite literally!) and reassure him that he is enough, and worthy of love.  Step in Jennifer Grey, playing Baby (Frances) Houseman.  An intelligent, caring young girl, but slightly innocent when it comes to love.  Mash these two characters together and you have fireworks! They both fulfill what is missing in each other’s lives – Baby instills confidence in Johnny and Johnny opens Baby’s eyes to a whole new world, a world where she has to question what’s more important in her life – love or family expectations.

A run of the mill, boy meets girl storyline set in 1960s America.  But what makes it stand out, what makes it so special, so memorable?

I believe it’s the music!

A mish-mash of 60’s and 80’s music. Normally a film’s soundtrack reflects the era in which it is set, but convention is broken here.  There are plenty of 60’s hits in the film, ranging from ‘Be my Baby’ by the Ronettes, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, ‘Love Man’  and ‘These Arms of Mine’ by Otis Redding, ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ by the Drifters, ‘Cry to Me’ by Solomon Burke and ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ by the Shirelles.  These songs are very much representative of 1960’s America, a time where Motown music was to the fore and bands like The Shirelles and The Ronettes were created and produced by famous music songwriter Phil Spector.  These songs provide the background to Johnny Castle’s life and his love of dance.

The soundtrack however has a medley of 1980’s hits such as the 1988 Academy Award winner for Best Original Song, ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ by ex-righteous brother Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, ‘Hungry Eyes’ by Eric Carmen, who also had hits with ‘All by Myself’ and ‘Never Gonna Fall In Love Again.’  Perhaps the most notable 80’s tune from Dirty Dancing however is ‘She’s Like the Wind’ sung by the film’s star Patrick Swayze.  This song has remained to this day, a favourite among fans.

The clever mixing of the decades of music – the era in which the film was set, 1960s, and the era in which the film was released, 1980’s – created a diamond in the rough.  The soundtrack to Dirty Dancing is the key to the film’s never-ending popularity.  Every fan of the film knows every word to every song and can say which scene went with which song.  From the very cringe-worthy “I carried a watermelon” to the magnificent “nobody puts Baby in the corner”, we are hooked!

We all wish we had the chance to run and be lifted up high in Johnny Castle’s arms as ‘I’ve Had the Time of my Life’ serenades us, in front of everybody in Kellerman’s, we wish we could dance in his arms and have him mouth to us the words “and I owe it all to you.”

We can dream! Even Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone did it in ‘Crazy Stupid Love,’ so there is hope!

Anyway I bid everyone Adieu

I’ll leave you with the velvety voice of Johnny………….

 

 

Favourite Songs, this is going to be tough!

Standard

Well here I go! I’m gonna try and list my main favourites, no doubt I’ll leave plenty out as I never have enough favourites!

See how many we agree on! 😉

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (& all Queen songs)

Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush

Storybook Love – Willy DeVille

Alone – Heart

Heaven is a place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle (& all Belinda songs!)

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler (& all Bonnie songs!)

Sleeping Satellite – Tasmin Archer

The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel

Don’t Give Up – Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush

Everlasting Love – The Love Affair

She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals

Always – Erasure

A Little Respect – Erasure

I heard it through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

If you ever did believe – Stevie Nicks & Sheryl Crow

Bed of Roses – Bon Jovi (& all Bon Jovi)

Romeo & Juliet – Dire Straits

Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac (& all Fleetwood Mac songs!)

S.O.S. – Abba  (& all Abba!)

Hunting High & Low – A-ha (& all A-ha!)

Fading Like a Flower – Roxette (& all Roxette!)

Stars – Simply Red

Have you ever really loved a woman? – Bryan Adams (& all Bryan Adams songs!)

Paint it Black – Rolling Stones

Sweet Surrender – Sarah McLachlan

Edge of the Ocean – Ivy

I Shall Believe – Sheryl Crow

Crash into Me – Dave Matthews Band

Sugar Water – Cibo Matto

Feels Like Forever – Joe Cocker

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps – Doris Day

Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson (& all MJ!)

Uprising – Muse

You got it – Roy Orbison

Something’s Gotten Hold of my Heart – Gene Pitney & Marc Almond

True Love – Elton John & Kiki Dee

Somethin’ about the way you look tonight – Elton John

Carribean Blue – Enya (& all Enya)

Coming Up Easy – Paolo Nutini (& all Paolo!)

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – The Righteous Bros.

A girl Like You – Edwin Collins

That Man  – Caro Emerald

All around the world – Lisa Stansfield

At Last – Etta James

Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil

Boom boom pow – Black Eyed Peas

California Dreamin’ – Mamas & the Papas

Chains – Tina Arena

China Girl – David Bowie

Magnificent – U2 (& early U2)

Crazy for You – Madonna (& most Madonna)

I wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston (& early Whitney)

Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox (& all Annie Lennox)

Sweet Dreams (are made of this) – The Eurythmics (& most Eurythmics)

In my Arms  – Kylie Minogue

Human Touch – Bruce Springsteen (& early Bruce!)

Fix You – Coldplay

Drops of Jupiter – Train

Fall at your Feet – Crowded House

Fisherman’s Blues – The Waterboys

Free Falling – Tom Petty

Hazard – Richard Marx

Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen

I drove all night – Roy Orbison

How can we be Lovers – Michael Bolton

Animal – Def Leppard

In the Shadows – The Rasmus

Iris – Goo goo Dolls

Love Man – Otis Redding

Cry to Me – Solomon Burke

Love Shack – B52’s

I’ll be your Baby tonight – Robert Palmer

Mony mony – Tommy James & the Shondells

More than a feeling – Boston

More than words – Extreme

My Destiny – Lionel Richie

A Mystic’s Dream – Loreena McKennitt

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship

Only You – The Flying Pickets

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People

Young Blood – The Naked & Famous

Rasputin – Boney M

Postcards – The Blizzards

Poison – Alice Cooper

Dignity – Deacon Blue

Ride on Time – Black Box

Romance – Terri Nunn & Paul Carrack

Runaround Sue – Dion

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder

Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

Spanish Harlem – Ben E. King

Stay – Shakespear’s Sister

Straight Up – Paula Abdul

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Lovecats – The Cure

The Power of Love – Jennifer Rush

Tomorrow’s Paper – Mick Flannery

Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters (& all Drifters songs)

Waiting for a star to Fall – Boy meets girl

When Doves Cry – Prince

Weapon of Choice – Fatboy Slim

Wicked Game – Chris Isaak

Where do you go to my lovely? – Peter Sarstedt

You really got me – the Kinks

You Win Again – The Bee Gees

You’re the Voice – John Farnham

Your Love keeps Liftin’ me Higher – Jackie Wilson

Love really hurts without you – Billy Ocean (& other Billy Ocean hits)

 

Ok people, there’s a lot more I have to share, I could keep going forever!! Add to this ALL Christmas songs as I am known to be a bit of a Christmas nut! 😀 and all Classical and opera music! We’ll get to that another day!

So I don’t know how you would describe my musical taste, all I know is 60s, 80s, Queen, Abba, Aha, Power Ballads & you’ll find me rockin’!

Please share your favourite songs, I’d love to discuss!

I’ll leave you with a favourite of mine……………the late great Sam Cooke’s ‘Wonderful World’ featured in the film ‘Witness,’  the famous scene where John Book and Rachel Lapp dance to this in the barn…………..enjoy! 😀

 

Music + Film = Soundtrack

Standard

I love love love music and I love love love films! Put these two together and what do you get? Soundtracks!

I’ve decided to make a top 5 list of my favourite soundtracks.

1. The Cutting Edge – Great accompaniment to the Ice-Skating rom-com.  Starting with the fast-paced “Ride on Time” by Black Box and “Street of dreams” by Nia Peeples, taking it down a notch to the haunting “Turning Circles” by Sally Dworsky and picking up the pace again to the epic theme song for The Cutting Edge – Feels Like Forever by Joe Cocker (written by the great Bryan Adams & Diane Warren).  I love a soundtrack that lets you picture the film’s scenes as it is playing and The Cutting Edge does not disappoint. The soundtrack brings you on the journey of Kate Moseley & Doug Dorsey’s relationship from it’s hilarious beginning to it’s blossoming romance at the end.  The brilliant instrumental ice-skating music composed by Patrick Williams also lets the listener travel through each stage of the couple’s battle to Olympic gold! A great accompaniment to a great film, highly recommended!

2. Strictly Ballroom – Another favourite film of mine. Baz Luhrmann’s great Aussie film of Ballroom antics. A short but sweet soundtrack! “Love is in the Air” by John Paul Young opens us into the crazy world of “Scott Hastings & paaartna,” followed by the indescribably magnificent voice of Doris Day singing “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.” This song is a classic on its own and cannot be beaten. It is the best song on the soundtrack. It brings us back to the heartbreaking, romantic first dance between Scott & Fran.

 

“Rhumba De Burros” by Ignatius Jones picks up the pace in this great Spanish tune and the soundtrack ends in the excitingly climactic “Scott and Fran’s Paso Doble” by David Hirschfelder & the Bogo Pogo Orchestra.

 

3. Practical Magic – This literally magical film starring Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman has an exceptional soundtrack.  Stevie Nicks & Sheryl Crow open with the brilliant ballad “If you ever did believe”, Marvin Gaye has us grooving to the ultimate party tune, Got to Give it Up (Part.1) and with Lisa Hall’s “Is this Real?”, we can linger in the memory of the delicious but evil Jimmy Angelov played by the delectable Goran Visnjic!  A classic from Elvis, a haunting tune from Joni Mitchell and an upbeat song from country singer Faith Hill makes the Practical Magic soundtrack spellbinding!

4. The Princess Bride – Oh I could go on forever about this film….I love love love it. Did I say that I love it?!!  Music by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame, most of this soundtrack is instrumental music but that does not take from the magical feeling of tracing Westley’s and Buttercup’s steps, from the “Cliffs of Insanity” to the “Fireswamp and the Rodents of Unusual Size” (you gotta love the R.O.U.S.’s) The track named “Revenge” has us cheering as we picture Inigo Montoyez saying those famous words to Count Rugen as he plunges the knife through his heart, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoyez, you killed my father, prepare to die.”   The soundtrack concludes with the theme song of the film, the hauntingly beautiful, slow, gentle, romantic melody composed and performed by the late Willy DeVille – “Storybook Love”.  The Princess Bride soundtrack is one of the most cherished CD’s in my collection.

 

 

5. Chocolat – Music by Rachel Portman.  The whole soundtrack is instrumental music, it transports you to the little town in France where Vianne, played by Juliette Binoche, makes her wickedly tempting chocolate in her chocolate shop.  Here, she meets the community and slowly changes their lives through her chocolate but unexpectedly changes her own life most of all.  Johnny Depp + Chocolate = a powerful combination! 😀 Anyway, I’ve veered off in another direction, to get back on track, Chocolat is a must have! The music is mystical, stirring the different characters of  the film together through the music-the gypsys, the community, the stern and miserable town mayor.  It sounds like a slowed down version of Latin-American band, The Gypsy King’s music.  It has a very relaxed, chill-out feel through the use of wind-pipes and guitars.  Johnny Depp plays the guitar in the film in the scene at the party on the boat, however on the soundtrack, the same tune “Caravan” is played by Duke Ellington & Juan Tizol.  The highlights for me are “Minor Swing”, “Vianne sets up shop” and “Caravan” as they embody the film as a whole.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong…..I know there are millions of other absolutely brilliant soundtracks out there like, The Godfather, The Last of the Mohicans, The Piano, Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, The Mission, You’ve Got Mail, Dirty Dancing, Empire Records…..I could go on and on, but these are my favourites! I might do another batch at a later date.

Tell me, What are your favourite soundtracks/film songs?