Music Behind The Story with Kelly Farmer!
Greetings and Salutations! I'm thrilled to bring you today's guest, but first...
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I'm so pleased to welcome a very special author pal Kelly Farmer to the Rock 'n' Romance Blog today! About a year ago Kelly reached out in an author group we belong to and asked for beta readers for a F/F romance. I'd just finished writing Pinups and Puppies and I wanted to read more F/F myself. I absolutely loved Out on the Ice! It's such a great story about balancing career and love, taking chances and risks both in life and love, and having the courage to fight for what you want in life. I asked Kelly to visit the blog this week to talk about her musical inspirations behind the book, so take it away, Kelly!
Music Behind the Story Guest Post
Some writers need complete silence to write. Others need music to set the mood. And others just need background noise to drown out distractions. I’m in the second and third camps. Each book has its own mood and feel, and music helps get me into the groove. It also blocks out neighborhood yard work, cars and trucks, and anything that makes my easily distracted brain go, “Squirrel!”
As I do pre-writing and slog through those messy early manuscript pages, I tend to have my iTunes on shuffle. Then, something will catch me. A song, or an artist, or an album, or a particular genre. And then I start gravitating toward that. And then it becomes the soundtrack for that book. They have varied a lot, from The Cure to Dave Matthews Band to 80’s hair bands. My time travel series has huge playlist that heavily features the Killers.
For my debut novel, Out on the Ice, Brandi Carlile fit the bill. Her music just embodies this story. The most obvious connection is her songs about women loving women. My book is a female/female hockey romance. It was completely by chance that one heroine is named Caro (short for Caroline), and Brandi has a song called “Caroline.” Clearly meant to be!
Her voice is rough-edged and speaks of late nights and whiskey. Songs about longing, lost love and family are filled with emotion. There’s no bland autotuning. Just Brandi, wearing her heart on her sleeve for us.
If this book had a theme song, it would be “The Story.” I wanted to quote some lyrics, but it’s basically the whole song. Caro has had to deal with a lot of crap in her life and stays private and detached. Amy struggles with doing what she wants versus pleasing other people. They slowly open up to one another. They compliment each other so perfectly, they were truly made for each other. Nobody knows them deep down the way they know one another. They both have to break through internal roadblocks to be together. It’s absolutely worth the struggle to be with the person they’re meant to be with. I love this song so much. The whole album (also called The Story) is my favorite of Brandi’s.
If I could pick a secondary theme song, “Wherever Is Your Heart” would have the honor. Amy and Caro are in a long-distance relationship. While Caro lives and works in the Chicago suburbs, Amy plays professional women’s hockey in Boston. The line “Wherever is your heart I call home” articulates how they feel. Amy’s heart belongs in her hometown with Caro, and she needs to find the courage to go after both her personal and professional goals. For Caro, being with Amy makes her feel like she’s finally found a home.
Now I’m writing a new book and have a new musical muse with Alison Krauss. Thank goodness for music! It adds such richness to our lives and our stories. So when you’re reading Out on the Ice, feel free to put on some Brandi Carlile in the background. Imagine Caro saying to Amy, “I was made for you.”
Back Cover Copy (Synopsis):
Caro Cassidy used to be a legend.
During her career, Caro was one of the best defense players in women’s hockey. These days, she keeps to herself. Her all-girls hockey camp is her life, and she hopes it’ll be her legacy. Sure, her new summer hire is charming and magnetic, but Caro keeps her work and personal life strictly separate.
Amy Schwarzbach lives life out loud.
Amy’s as bright and cheerful as her lavender hair, and she uses her high-profile position in women’s hockey to advocate for the things she believes in. Ten weeks in Chicago coaching a girls’ training camp is the perfect opportunity to mentor the next generation before she goes back to Boston.
Letting love in means putting yourself out there.
When the reticent head coach offers to help Amy get in shape for next season, her starstruck crush on Caro quickly blossoms into real chemistry. As summer comes to an end, neither of them can quite let go of this fling—but Amy can’t afford a distraction, and Caro can’t risk her relationship becoming public and jeopardizing the one thing that’s really hers.
About the Author:
Kelly Farmer (she/her) has been writing romance novels since junior high. In those days, they featured high school quarterbacks named Brad who drove Corvettes and gals with names like Desireé because her own name was rather plain. Her stories since then have ranged from historical and contemporary male/female romances to light women’s fiction to LGBTQ+ romance. One theme remains the same: everyone deserves to have a happy ending.
Kelly was a 2015 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Finalist in the Contemporary Romance category. She is past president of the Chicago-North Romance Writers and is also a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association.
When not writing, she enjoys being outside in nature, quoting from 80’s movies, listening to all kinds of music, and petting every dog she comes in contact with. All of these show up in her books. She also watches a lot of documentaries to satisfy her hunger for random bits of trivia. Kelly lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she swears every winter is her last one there.
To connect with Kelly, talk about Schitt’s Creek and RuPaul’s Drag Race, and share photos of your adorable pets, please head over to:
Big thanks to Kelly and congratulations. I really loved the book and it was fun to read a book in its early stages and then see an author pal receive an offer for publishing! I hope you'll check it out.
That's it for today... Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance...