The Playlist for Blood Harvest

September 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Librarian ShushingI hate libraries…

…Or, at least, I used too.

Now I realize that the initial shock of that admission may shake the very foundation of some people’s core. Admittedly, even as my eyes glance up and take in those three words at the top of the page, it does seem an extreme opinion over an otherwise intellectually beneficial institution, especially for a writer of books such as me.

Please allow me to elaborate.

It isn’t the library building itself, the concept or ideals of libraries in general that ignite my abhorrence. It isn’t the fact that books, periodicals or other products are generously made available to the public at large. Nor is it the people partaking in the library or its staff that maintain such a noble institution that inspires the odium within me.

It is the absence of sound.

Every time I found myself within the hallowed halls of a library I have experienced a very surreal, and somewhat Hollywood cliché, “it’s quiet in here… too quiet!” moment. As a student I had been repeatedly “forced” to sit for hours inside a library in order to study or read which, as you may have guessed by now, was impossible for me. The strictly enforced cessation of sound would trigger a kind of panic attack within me and continued immersion ultimately would result in hallucinations where demons or monsters would glare at me from every shadowy corner while the frail, blue-haired librarian’s stare would become as one with Torquemada’s faithful.

“Would you like to confess dear?” her wordless gaze would sound in my head like a serpent’s hiss, “Would you like to confesssssssssssss?”

So powerful was the sense of dread that accompanied this sensation that I would get the overwhelming urge to run screaming from the building like Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray had from the New York Public Library in the opening scene from the movie “Ghostbusters.”

Thank God for the invention of the original “Walkman” and these days, the iPod. Now I always have sound running between my ears warding off the quiet with, at minimum, some kind of ambient noise.

That isn’t to say this came without it’s own share of problems. Writing with sound or music can be inspiring, but it can also be distracting. If you like the music too much, then your brain focuses on it and you find yourself singing along as opposed to concentrating on what you are supposed to be doing. Disliking the music will have you focusing on fumbling with the music player for something you do like, and so forth.

My solution was to find music without words or in a language that I don’t understand. For the exciting moments or action sequences in Blood Harvest, I would listen to the pulse quickening rhythms of Spanish Guitar by Jesse Cook ( or Rodrigo y Gabriella ( For the romantic, erotic or eerie scenes I’d listen to Enigma (, but most of the time I’d have a combination of Andrea Bocelli, Pavorotti & friends ( or Broadway Showtunes I loved and could find in foreign languages (the French album of Les Miserables being a particular favorite).

That was the music that cut the silence, inspired and allowed me to write the award winning books Blood Harvest (2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist) and the sequel, Madman’s Monster (2013, Winner Best Paranormal Book). I doubt I will ever write anything without the presence of sound and music around me. Blissful noise that calms and clears my mind such that my fingers can fly over the keyboard keys while my feet gently tap the floor under my table. I suppose that means libraries can still be “verboten” to me, unless I can lower the volume in my ear buds enough to sneak me through.