HI FRIENDS!!! IT’S MAY!!! WHEE!!! Well first of all, I didn’t realize capslock was on but then I left it because it fits. Now, I like May a lot. We’re solidly into spring up here, it’s warmer and beautiful out, summer is just around the corner, and guess what? It’s APAHM! “WTF is APAHM, Lime” do you ask? Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! The “S” is for Smithsonian. At ALBTALBS I’ve taken to celebrating the Smithsonian Heritage Months, and I love doing it. I am also excited because we’ve got Bella Andre guesting with us to kick off the month. This is what she has to say. 🙂
Before I began writing romance novels, I was a singer-songwriter who released 4 CDs, toured internationally, and wrote with hit songwriters in Nashville and Los Angeles. Joni Mitchell was my idol, and I know most people would agree that she is one of the best songwriters of all time. Now that my days are completely full writing books, I don’t write songs anymore, but I still listen to music all day long as I write. And the songwriter that I listen to most often is Taylor Swift (although I also often still go back to Joni’s “Midway”, “Amelia” and “The Gallery”). Adam Samberg’s NY city cop character, Jake Peralta, on Brooklyn 99 said it best when he explained why Taylor is his favorite singer: “Her songs makes me feel things.”
Taylor started writing songs in Nashville. We have written with the same co-writer, which is fun, but I digress. Once she started to move away from her country roots toward pop, her songs became much more like Joni’s, joining the confessional songwriting camp.
Confessional songwriting can be a truly magical thing in a talented songwriter’s hands. Can you imagine a world without “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor? Or without “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby Stills and Nash? When men write autobiographical songs about relationships, people say, “Wow, look at how he really opened up to us like that. Isn’t that great and sweet and sexy of him?” But far too often, when woman write autobiographical songs, people say, “Why is she always whining?” and “Boy, she sure gets around a lot, doesn’t she?” and “Why doesn’t she ever talk about anything but boys?”
Few things inspire me more than a great love song. Good love. Bad love. Sexy love. Sad love. Which is why I sure as hell hope Taylor Swift, and all the other great songwriters out there, keep writing confessional love songs–no matter what people say about them. Because I, for one, will be listening. And, most of all, appreciating.
~ Bella Andre
Bella Bio: Several of Bella Andre‘s books draw from her experience in the music business, with rock star heroes and heroines. These books include FROM THIS MOMENT ON (The Sullivans), IT MUST BE YOUR LOVE (The Sullivans) & the upcoming TEMPT ME LIKE THIS (The Morrisons). Bella Andre‘s New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world, with more than 4 million copies sold so far. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Bella also writes bestselling sweet contemporary romances under the pen name Lucy Kevin. To find out more about Bella and her books, please visit her website and her Facebook page.
Bella has also generously offered one lucky commenter a $20 giftcard to the e-retailer of er/his choice! <3 So what are your thoughts? Yes to the love songs? The confessionals? 😀
P.S. You can watch a video of Joni Mitchell “live in studio” singing The Gallery here.