Before I started to write, I studied music. Classical music, ancient music, and modern; in orchestras (symphonic, chamber, and pit), in bands (marching, symphonic, jazz, and swing), and in trios, quartets, and quintets; as a student, as an amateur, and as a professional; as a violinist, a violist, on the tuba (Sousaphone and miraphone), with bass guitar, on percussion, and as a conductor: I did it all. For the first three decades of my life, music was my sole creative outlet.
When I swapped music for writing, music did not disappear. I brought it with me.
The world is filled with distractions, and it can be a challenge to block them all out so I can concentrate on the world inside my head. Music helps me do that.
Each of my books has a soundtrack. Sometimes it’s related to the subject, building an ethnic backdrop (like the Arabic pop music I played while writing Dreams…) but more often it’s completely unrelated, just providing the beat, the drive, and the mood (like all the Symphonic Metal music I’ve been listening to while writing FC:V). I specifically ignore lyrics—I was never good at picking them out, anyway, so ignoring them works fine. Foreign language and instrumental works are especially well-suited, and movie soundtracks are often the perfect choice, evoking a mood and drama.