Does music play an important role in your writing? by Michael Leon – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Does music play an important role in your writing?

I often listen to music to inspire me. Surprisingly, I don’t mind noise around as I write. A lot of my first drafts are penned in public places, such as cafes, beaches and parks. However, music that is special to me, summons some of my best creativity. I often say to myself and other writers, if what you write draws out strong emotions in you, it is usually good writing. All art can have that effect on me, writing, music, film and theatre.

Listening to music is a wonderful way to tap into your creativity. I cannot imagine a day without music or film to entertain and motivate me creatively. Writing Chandelier, I mainly listened to the operas by Guiseppi Verdi.

Music is a great way to evoke mood and thus enhance the dramatic impact of scenes. There were also a number of contemporary songs as well as operatic that influenced how I wrote Chandelier. Here are my top three.

The song that most impacted on my novel, Chandelier, also influenced the name of the novel! I listened to an Australian version of the hit song, Chandelier by Damien Rice and immediately imagined the scene where Benny is playing to an audience in a nightclub. Click on the link to hear the song.

Another haunting song by Melodie Gardot allowed me to imagine the finale where Viola is singing at the Garnier. It evoked emotions of a life that soared early but felt the bumps of tragedy and loss, then rebirth. Click on the link to hear the song.

Of course, Verdi’s opera of La Traviata was the backdrop for the whole novel. I chose that opera because it told the story of the downfall of a strong woman, Violetta. The atmospheric prelude evoked just the right emotions for my novel. Click on the tour banner to hear the song.

CHANDELIER is the genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy-romance novel follow up of Michael Leon’s 2019 fantasy-romance book, PHANTOMS. A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge. They reside in a virtual Earth, free from the ravages of an environmentally damaged Earth where humans and post-humans live under AI’s qualified governance. CHANDELIER follows one AI sentient’s journey, Benny, whose loyalty for a famous opera singer, Madame D’Arenberg, sets him on a dangerous course, entangling him in The Phantom of the Opera’s deadly web.

Enjoy an Excerpt

A human whistling sound, distant but growing louder permeated the chill of the room. An unearthly chilled breath wafted over his face. He opened his eyes and looked up to its source, but he was alone, until light formed on the wall behind Gaston’s bed. Shapeless light swirled as if blown by that same breeze. The foggy disturbance slowed, allowing the swirling shape to take form. It was human but completely covered in black, bar the shape of a smooth ghost-like face. As the contours sharpened he realised it was a mask. Was he looking at the phantom? If he was, Gaston’s stories had all been real!

Fear gripped him to the seat. He wanted to flee but dared not move. Before the apparition suddenly looked Flynn’s way, turning his fear to terror.

“Who are you?” He asked feebly, but the apparition remained silent.

Flynn went to stand but a second shape appeared from behind him. A man dressed in white walked toward Gaston’s bed, making no sound as it glided across the room. Both apparitions studied the body for a time, ignoring Flynn before vanishing through the bedroom wall, leaving Flynn alone. He immediately stood and left the room, fearful they may return, not daring to look back. Whatever he witnessed, he didn’t wish to see again. Flynn was a scientist who staunchly refuted Gaston’s ramblings about ghosts as the product of a vivid imagination. They had spent many years arguing over their existence. Perhaps this was his friend’s final wish, to show him that everything he had written and said was true.

About the Author:Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. His next novel, Chandelier, will be released in 2022. Michael has travelled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.

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Cubeball by Michael Leon – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC by entering the Rafflecopter below. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_CubeballA naturally gifted ex-national champion and a savant with a computer-like mind compete against the world’s best in the 22nd century’s most popular sport – CUBEBALL – the chess-like, technology-enhanced, snooker of the future where the world stage is dominated by gambling, drugs and massive audiences.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jules’ gaze emboldened Mickey to reveal his special gift to her. He strode confidently to the cue-ball and lined up one of the most difficult shots in cubeball. Then with little thought, he cracked the cue-ball with a force that matched the passion he was feeling. The curve on the first line was more pronounced than the programmed line set by the computer.

Mickey had struck the perfect shot. Sam and Riley sat staring at the console, mesmerised by what they had just seen and eager to re-capture its perfection on replay. Only champions could play this way and it was clear to all that Mickey was developing into one.

“Fucking incredible,” said Johnnie. His eyes were wide. Filled with awe for Mickey’s skills and expectation with how much he could earn from it.

Mickey didn’t hear his appreciative manager. He didn’t see the small tear that had formed in his kid sister’s admiring eye. His gaze remained on Jules. She brushed her hair back on to her shoulders before resting her slender hands on her hips. Her mouth was wide open, breathing in her excitement for what she had just seen. Then her eyes revealed that there was more to her feelings than that of an adoring fan. Her gaze began to fill with a stirring hunger. Fate was beginning to move into Mickey’s life like an evening moon tide.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_CubeballI worked with national and international organisations as a business analyst in Australia and overseas. I authored many business books analysing the foodservice and food retail industry in Australia, Europe and Asia, as well as agribusiness global trends. I also ran a consultancy business that assisted Australian enterprises to develop new markets in Australia and overseas.

I commenced writing science fiction novels full time in 2009. It was a life-long interest of mine. I have written five novels – all exploring contemporary social issues in future speculative worlds. They are: Shadow Dance; Extinction; Cubeball; Titan Sages and Alive. My novels blend speculative science, new age and poetry. Readers of novels such as Carl Sagan’s Contact would enjoy my novels.

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