Fan Girl Friday – The Soundtrack of My Life by Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell 43970006Hi Paula! Thank you for inviting me to your Fan Girl Friday! I think this is such a fantastic idea for a series of blogs. It’s always fascinating to see what gets people excited, isn’t it? And I don’t mean in a romance novel sense – or not completely!

I’m a music maven from way back. Pretty much any sort of music. I’m not fussy. I started playing the piano when I was five and even had mild delusions that I might make a career in music at one stage in my young life. I still find great joy in thumping out a show tune or two on the piano (the neighbours don’t find quite so much joy but, hey, they can always move!).

Today I thought I’d rave about some of my favourite music – soundtracks!

I write to music. There’s something about music that places me right in the world of the story. However, because I’m an auditory writer (I hear VOICES, call for psychiatric aid!), I can’t handle words to go with the music. As a result, I listen to a lot of classical music – thank goodness for ABC Classic FM in Australia, 24 hours a day, ad free, and you can stream it on your computer – and a lot of movie soundtracks.

Epics 4There’s some great music out there in the movies. Where would Lawrence of Arabia be without that haunting theme? Would Dr. Zhivago’s miserable love life be half so miserable if he hadn’t stared longingly into space to Lara’s Theme? Would Judah Ben-Hur move right over into the realm of Judah Ben-Really-Girly if that lush, dramatic music by Miklós Rózsa hadn’t scared the horses?

You’ll probably gather from the above list that I have a soft spot for music from epics. Somehow those BIG stories seem to bring out the best in composers. All the conflict, adventure, tragedy, romance and excitement. All those HUGE emotions and scenes.

epicsPlaying pretty constantly on my CD player these days is a fabulous compilation called Epics: The History of the World According to Hollywood. It’s got pretty much everything, including a lot of music I’ve tried to buy but failed to find like Taras Bulba and The Robe. For less than $40, this is more music than your average film buff can handle! Here’s the Amazon link.

Epics 3Other favourite soundtracks include Gladiator, Braveheart, The Big Country, and The Magnificent Seven. Not to mention my all-time favourite, The Last of the Mohicans. I’ve often screamed out “I will find you,” when I’m looking for that one!

Epics 2There’s one more soundtrack I’d like to talk about because it relates directly to my latest release, an e-novella called These Haunted Hearts: A Regency Ghost Romance. One of my favourite movies is an old-timer called The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Gene Tierney and a very sexy Rex Harrison as the ghost. It has a heartbreakingly romantic score by Bernard Hermann who wrote the music for many of Hitchcock’s films.

Here’s a YouTube video with stills from the film and some of the gorgeous music full of the sound of the sea and the deep, unfulfilled longing that invests this lovely story.

I tried to invest These Haunted Hearts with something of that same mystical yearning – although my story has a MUCH happier ending!

So do you like soundtracks? Any favourites? I’ve got a download of These Haunted Hearts: A Regency Ghost Novella up for grabs today for someone who comments!

THH low resQueenslander ANNA CAMPBELL’s sweeping, emotional historical romances have been published internationally and have won numerous awards including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Aspen Gold (twice) and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s most popular historical romance (five times). She has twice been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award and three times for Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year. The Australian Romance Readers Association voted Anna their favorite Australian romance author of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Book 2 in the “Sons of Sin” series, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS, is out in September 2013. Visit her via her website (where you can also read an excerpt for These Haunted Hearts), Facebook and Twitter.

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38 comments on “Fan Girl Friday – The Soundtrack of My Life by Anna Campbell

  1. Oh my God Anna. The Ghost and Mrs Muir. It was an afternoon serial on abc when I was growing up and I loved it! You have completely transported me. I had major hots for the ghost and I recall my friends thinking it was disgusting because he was soooo old. Off to google a little to see if it was the same cast… Thanks for the blast from the past. Oh, and I’m sure the score was the same, or at least a chopped-up part of it. X

  2. Hi Ros! Lovely to see you here. Thanks for swinging by! TGAMM, the TV show, was really good (yeah, the ghost was hawt!), but not quite as hot as Rex in the movie. Very different feel – you’ll have to get the movie out and have a romantic wallow one Sunday afternoon. I know you get SOOOO much time off, LOL!

  3. I love movie soundtracks! Current fav is ‘Song of the Lonely Mountain’ from The Hobbit. Then of course there’s the Star Wars soundtrack.

  4. Fab post Anna – I also love the music from soundtracks 🙂

    How magnificent is the music from Lawrence of Arabia?? Absolutely beautiful. And thanks for posting the Ghost and Mrs Muir clip. I loved that movie when I was younger. How stunning is Gene Tierney?!

    I don’t listen to music when I write however, I do when I walk each morning. I try to use this time constructively and think about my mss. A funny thing happened the other day when I got this brilliant idea from listening to a song. I virtually sprinted home so I could write it down, lest I forget it – LOL.

  5. Michelle, isn’t it great when music really crystalises something or inspires a new idea. When I was writing MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION, Muse’s UNDISCLOSED DESIRES really crystalised the relationship between the hero and heroine for me. And so glad you’re a fan of the L of A soundtrack. It’s really haunting, isn’t it? And GT was gorgeous. Mind you, I’d rather be haunted by Rex. I thought he was wonderful in that part.

  6. Ack, shouldn’t type when I’m on the downward slide. JOANNE!!! No idea where I got Michelle from. Shoot me now! 😉 And thank you for coming round to comment, JOANNE! x

  7. Hi Anna, and welcome to my blog! I love movie soundtracks and used to collect them quite veraciously – Amadeus (my first!) Pretty Woman, The Big Chill, Empire Records, 10 Things I hate About You, Dirty Dancing (that one got a workout!) Music and Lyrics, Rocky, Sweet Home Alabama, Jewel of the Nile, Something Wonderful, Lost Boys, Pretty in Pink… It wasn’t until later that I started getting into the ‘non-pop’ ones and Gladiator has to top my list. Oh, and one of my all-time favorites that isn’t technically a soundtrack – The 1978 War of the Worlds musical. I love that CD, especially when Justin Hayward sings Autumn Leaves. Gosh, it’s just made me want to listen to them all over again!

  8. I find the emotion of soundtrack music perfect accompaniment for writing. When I first “crossed the border” to write Scottish set historicals, I leaned on the music from Braveheart and Rob Roy to get me in the proper frame of mind!

  9. Hi Anna. OK, it all makes sense now! I see you often commenting about music and wondered about that. I love a good score as well. Favourites are Out Of Africa and The Mission. And you have taken me back to the most romantic movie of my childhood – The Ghost and Mrs Muir. What a classic! I loved it and can’t see a rotting pier these days without imagining a wave crashing over it and the passing of years

  10. Hi Anna,
    can’t believe you are listening to the same movies OSTs. Love Gladiator, the last of the mohicans, Braveheart. Do you have the second CDs as well? More Gladiator, more Braveheart music? I so love Soundtracks. I have a whole lot of them. Love Ladyhawke (movie with Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick). I used to get up early in the morning and listen to it in the dark before I would go to work. Gave up that habit when I got married. Should get back into it, but at the moment I prefer to turn around again and sleep till I really have to get up. LOL
    I do listen to soundtracks when I do housework. It is invigorating and keeps me going. A lot of soundtracks are motivational for exercising Rocky (I – XXVIII), Highlander (by Queen), Iron Eagle. I have even a few Disney movie soundtracks (a classical would be Mary Poppins).
    Have you tried to listen to Clannad? I have almost all their CDs. Love ’em. They do a lot of music for TV series and movies. (Not only TLoTM but also Robin Hood, Harrys Game and others).
    I don’t have the Ghost and Mrs Muir as OST but as a DVD, so I can listen to it while watching. 🙂
    I could go on and on and on, but I don’t want to bore readers by just listing what I like. It is good to know we do have something in common. 😉

  11. Paula, I remember loving that War of the Worlds record when it first came out (and I”m old enough to remember it as a record not as a CD or anything more techie!). Love Justin Hayward’s voice. LOVE Nights in White Satin. Actually geek moment – as a diehard historical type, I always think that song is KNIGHTS in White Satin. I had a very elaborate version of Alice through the Looking Glass with beautiful illustration and the White Knight was in white satin. Always think of him when I hear that song.

  12. Blythe, I hear you on the Scottish music. Braveheart is gorgeous – that rising theme they use for the Freedom music is just gorgeous. Last of the Mohicans has a very Scottish feel too, if you don’t know that one. Must check out Rob Roy. Actually just thought of another great soundtrack – the music from the Kenneth Branagh Henry V. The Laurence Olivier music isn’t bad either! 😉

  13. Louise, how can I have forgotten Out of Africa and The Mission? Two of the best soundtracks out there! Great choices! The Mission is just heartbreaking, isn’t it? And Out of Africa is so lush and romantic and beautiful. Actually another lovely John Barry soundtrack is Dances with Wolves.

  14. Ooh, Manuela, MORE music from my favorite soundtracks? I didn’t know such a thing was available. Thank you for letting me know. Anna rushes to Amazon! I think one of the reasons soundtrack music is so great to write to is that it’s written to elicit emotion and establish atmosphere – that really helps when you’re writing.

  15. Blythe, must check that out. I didn’t see the movie – I’ve got a rule that if I like the book, I won’t go to the movie. Too many disappointments when what’s in my head doesn’t match what’s on screen. Actually another really lovely soundtrack with Joshua Bell playing violin in Iris. Do you know it?

  16. Yeah, Anna, I figured it out after Gladiator because I loved that guitar play when he rushes home to his wife and son and rides that poor horse into the ground. It wasn’t on the original and loh and behold they made a second CD. The same happened with Braveheart. Lots of score was missing so they brought out the rest. People ask and they are given what they want.
    Interview with a vampire is a very good ST. Did I mention that?

  17. Keziah, I missed your comments. Were you trapped in moderated comments hell. Love that music from Rebecca – I didn’t know it. Well, I saw the film when I was about 18 but I hadn’t remembered the music. You’re right about Out of Africa! John Barry was such a superb melodist, wasn’t he? Love that North by Northwest music. Alex North who wrote it also wrote Unchained Melody. Did you know that? Such a beautiful song! Love the Mount Rushmore climax of that film. So suspenseful!

  18. Anna, there are so many brilliant sound tracks, aren’t there? One I haven’t played in a while but love is Ennio Morricone’s music for ‘The Mission’. Beautiful but, if you’ve seen the film, sad. So many of my other favourites have been mentioned that I won’t recap.

    I envy you being able to write to music. I find myself humming along instead of listening to the voices… Good luck with the release of ‘These Haunted Hearts’ – a fab story.

  19. Manuela, I’ll check out Interview with a Vampire. I remember seeing the film when it came out – don’t remember the music! Ooh, lots of new soundtracks for me to explore.

  20. Hi Annie! The Mission is one of the best soundtracks out there, isn’t it? Noticed that this year, the ABC Classic FM top 100 is music for the movies – they must have been reading my blog! 😉 So glad you enjoyed Haunted Hearts. Been a few hiccups on the way to release but it looks like it hits the stands next week.

  21. You’re welcome, Anna! (sorry about WP jail, Keziah – you’re free now!) And damn, I forgot one of my best composers of all time – John Williams! The musical genius behind Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ET, Superman, Close Encounters… so many classic tunes.

  22. Paula, John Williams also did the score (as Johnny Williams) to one of my favorite films of all time, How to Steal a Million. It’s a hoot (both musically and cinematically) if you haven’t seen it.

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