I have a file of music with the title Valentine. Originally, it was a collection of upbeat tunes that I played loudly throughout my house on cupid-day. I have added many songs since then, an eclectic group to be sure. My kids laugh because my Valentine file now has angry, breakup tunes, plus music about death, disease, and addiction. I wasn't really trying to be ironic—it was a convenience thing. What do all these songs have in common? They're very well-written and they make me feel some strong emotion.
When I'm writing, I need inspiration to get into the flow. Music does this for me. It's like a hit of chocolate or caffeine. Lately, I've been listening to vintage--Billy Joel, The Eagles, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke. And modern—Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and Melody Gardot. I wouldn't turn away a dash of Whitesnake, Journey, and AC/DC, either, and Johnny Cash and Keith Urban are also pretty awesome.
So there you have it. My Valentine list, my sound-muse. They're not Daniel Craig, Diet Coke with lime, New York pizza, or my dog Matilda, but they're always there, at the touch of a button.
Do you listen to music when you write? Who are your favorite musicians?