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I mostly write fantasy, but I write a lot of genres, and I usually use music as my inspiration. I was wondering what music you could reccommend to get me out of my writers-block rut? Are there any songs or bands that you use to inspire you?

Hi, Katherine!  Okay, I've asked some writers I know who both 1) write fantasy similar to yours; and 2) write to music. Here are their suggestions:

1)  I use the music from Evanesence album, "Fallen" for my darker stories.

2)  A couple of others I've used....techno-Mortal Kombat Original movie soundtrack; Loreena McKennett- the mask and the mirror; Enya-"Amarantine." I might suggest too that you log on to Itunes Radio, where you can scroll through a myriad of music genres depending on your scene.

3)  Anything by Enya always sets a mood for me. Or any type of Celtic music. I have a Celtic CD that I play once in a while that works. I also listen to Metallica when I'm about to write action scenes. And I second the Evanescence recommendation. Amy Lee has a very fantastical mood setting voice.

4)  I'm very much into the 'creepier the music, the happier the writer' thing. I have good luck with game sound tracks. (Which may say way too much about my status as a geek.) The Halo soundtracks (1, 2 and now 3) can get a little chilling in places; Myst; Riven; Exile; oh, and World of Warcraft - the Burning Crusade has some incredible music for the Shadowmoon Valley, but I've yet to find it excerpted into mp3 or wav format and it wasn't on the soundtrack released with the game. :P  All good if you can't have words going on while you're trying to write words. If you don't mind words, the XXX sound track has some good stuff for action/violent/ fight scenes - or for heroines with bad attitudes. Depending on how your brain works, you can listen through some of the new agey/chant albums out on Amazon and hear some wonderfully creepy vocal work.

5) I write dark fantasy and I've been very inspired by these dark wave electronica bands: VNV Nation; Covenant; I agree that Evanescence is evocative as well, and I LOVE writing to soundtracks. The "Labyrinth" soundtrack is great, with David Bowie and wierd Muppets, you can't go wrong! :) There were other movies of that genre, like "Legend" and more recently "Pan's Labyrinth"

6)  Don't know if it would make a difference that it's young adult, but I generally listen to celtic music when writing adult fantasy.  You could also try some of the more modernized celtic bands (Brother, Seven Nations, etc.) - might give more of a feel to what you're working on, especially for action scenes.

7)  I'm a huge "gotta write to music" writer! Music sets my mood, and my "pen" just flows from there. I go mostly international. I use Enya and Kate Price for love scenes. Celtic is good for sad or poignant, Nordic is good for unsettling/uneasy/ discordant. Native American is good for reflective, especially wind instruments. I like Axel Rudi Pell for gothic/battle scene imagery. Medieval Baebes and Gregorian chant are good for overall aging/tone/world- building.

Hope those help you out, and good luck! :)


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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