Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Inspires Me?

I wanted to write this post on the 20th, but had to wait.  So why did I write Fan Girl?  Where did the inspiration come from?  To explain that I have to give you a look into my crazy head. :) 

At age... we'll say 12 I think, is when Hanson came out.  I KNOW I KNOW.  Cue the groans of disgust.  I loved them.  Had the posters all over the walls.  Taylor was my man.  My best friend loved Zac and we talked about them literally nonstop.  One late night jam session to Mmmbop lead to the question, "What would you do if..."  and the scenarios of all of the seemingly practical ways we could meet these guys, then logically they would fall in love with us, kept us up all night.  It started a four year long running dialogue (we called it day dreaming) of romance stories with JTT, Sam Huntington (Jungle 2 Jungle), young Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Nick Carter, AJ McLean and Heath Ledger, among others. 

This lasted through a move across the country, where we wrote letters back and forth of 20 pages or more of a story.  When it got boring we would switch to a new idea.  Finally 16 came, and after reading all four of the Harry Potter books that were out at the time and making up scenes in Hogwarts where we wore cool old fashion dresses and had makeup charms I got a car and that was that.

Now my mom was the coolest mom ever.  I'm 12 and obsessed with Hanson?  She takes me out of school to sit in the blazing sun, so that I can get into the standing room only Hard Rock Café in Orlando Fl.  My first concert was Garth Brooks at age 8 and I swore I was going to marry him.  A few years later I was at the concert where Faith Hill and Tim McGraw came out as a couple for the first time, in Jacksonville FL.  I had seventh row seats for a Backstreet Boys concert in New Haven CT. 14 and mom couldn't get enough tickets so she let my friend have hers and paced the front door of the arena in Boston for another Backstreet Boys concert.   At 15, O-Town was doing a meet and greet at the Wal-Mart two hours away, so mom surprised me by taking me out of school, and we met the band.  Then she sped down the highway after their limo in our periwinkle Ford Aerostar all the way to their concert.  My mom was is so cool.

I've been to a lot of concerts.  Music is a huge part of my life.  My last concert was at 18, right before I got married.  I went with my mom to a Rascal Flatt's concert and leaving it, I realized for the first time what she was doing.  Concerts give me the biggest high.  It's endorphins that build you up, and screaming out lyrics stripping away your frustrations.  I come out of concerts blissed out.  Consequently, I was completely mellow and not a raging teenager for about a month afterwards.

Fast forward. I'm in Germany, four kids, husband is on his third deployment.  I start watching The Voice.  It's the third season, my mom LOVES Blake Shelton so I know about the show, just never watched.  We have 10 channels on AFN and they choose what's played.  The Voice is the only show on TV and I need to hear another adult talk.  A few episodes in I'm thinking man that guy Adam is funny.  Then I start thinking man that guy is really pretty cute.  Then I start thinking where do I know Maroon 5 from?  Google search leads me to YouTube and I suddenly remember all of my MTV and VH1 stalking, waiting for MmmBop or Where's the love? to come on.  Maroon 5 had their Harder to Breathe and She Will Be Loved videos out.   

YouTube brought the concert footage.  The concert footage is epic these days.  You can go to a concert and if your speakers are loud enough, it's almost like you're there.  However, your kids might think you're nuts for jumping around the house.  I found out that Maroon 5 was coming to Europe for a tour that summer, right around my wedding anniversary.  The closest they were coming to me is Amsterdam.  I mention it briefly on Skype one night to my husband, and he tells me I have to get tickets to that show.  I tell him there's no way, the tickets are 150 euro a piece for the pit, and there's no way I'm sitting any farther away when I can be that close.  He insists.  I buy the tickets, book the hotel and find a sitter.  I AM PUMPED.  I buy a new camera, plan out my outfit, everything. 

My husband comes home from the deployment and I have him listening strictly to the set list of Maroon 5's American tour.  Why?  Because when I was at my first Backstreet Boy concert in the 7th row, I didn't know a word of their songs except what was on the radio. To this day I swear Nick pointed at me and laughed.  We are not going to a concert unless we know all the words to every song.  Told you I'm crazy.  Husband is game, he's bopping around the house and doing the dishes to Lucky Strike and Hands All Over. 

Maroon 5 postpones their European concert six months.

I almost cried.  My mom kept laughing, saying since it had been almost 10 years since I had been to a concert I was probably going to go into a coma afterwards.  I wanted to.  LOL.  I was ready for that release. 

Ever since I started having kids I have reverted back to the 'day dream' somewhat.  If I can't go to sleep at night I dream of having enough money to go to Babies R Us and picking out every single thing I want.  Weird, I know.  But it puts me to sleep every time.  But this time I thought of a story instead.  I wrote about a girl who loved music, knew the guy before he was famous and how they could meet later in their lives.  I went to sleep within five minutes of thinking on the story so it took me a while but I eventually got stuck.  Over and over, every night I couldn't get past this one scene, it was keeping me up.  So I thought I would write it down, and try to work out my problem.  And it kept going until it was a full novel.  Over 100,000 words of rock and roll, love, hardships and life choices. 

Fan Girl for the name was a no brainer.  My beta readers have loved them, unless they lied and I'm screwed.  But I've heard a lot of good things about this book and had a lot of constructive criticism that has helped me immensely.  My editor has had to take out all of the 'and then' s from the book, which is hysterical to me.  I never realized I was doing it but that's how my bestie and I would continue every story, whether on the phone, in person or in a letter.  And then... ?

 I pictured a more masculine Adam Levine as Deklan, Ali is this badass chick with tattoos.  They developed and shaped into some really cool people and I can't wait for everyone to meet them!

But first, a video.  We spent the returned concert money on a Wii U for our son.  The rescheduled date was last week.  Here's a video from where I would have been standing.  :(

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