The Lost Love Song Author, Minnie Darke Talks about Writing About Music: It’s an Absurd Thing to Try

The Lost Love Song Author, Minnie Darke Talks about Writing About Music: It’s an Absurd Thing to Try

What inspired the idea behind this book?

Although I’m ashamed to say I don’t play any musical instruments, music is – and always has been – a huge part of my life. When I was a kid, my father didn’t really talk about how he felt (still doesn’t …), but he lived out his emotions through the stereo. I could always tell how he was feeling by the vinyl record he slid onto to the turntable. I learned as a child that music can soothe us, rouse us, give us a chance to cry, and allow us to vent our anger. I suspect it can even make us fall in love. Someone once said, ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture’, meaning that it’s either an impossible thing to do, or at the very least that it’s an absurd thing to try. But, I didn’t let that deter me. Since I’m always up for a challenge, I decided to write a book about music anyway!

Like my first book, Star-crossed, The Lost Love Song is a book about fate. In Star-crossed, it’s the stars that are (or might be?) the mysterious force that make love happen. In The Lost Love Song, it’s a song. The song is written by a woman, for her lover. For … reasons … she never plays it for him. But the song has a life of its own, in a way, and it begins a journey across the world, travelling from ear to ear, and heart to heart, influencing all kinds of love stories on the way. When I started this book, I wanted to see if the song could make its way back to the person it was always meant for, and also to find out what it could achieve on its travels.

What was the most challenging part of writing this book?

Just as a lot of good love songs have two parts, The Lost Love Song tells a story with two parts. In order to tell the first part, I had to put the characters – and, hopefully, readers – through some very big emotions. But I then had to find the best way to help readers transition into the second part. When I was trying to meet this challenge, I took heart from the 1998-2000 Australian television series Seachange. In the first series, I fell deeply in character-love with the character of Diver Dan (David Wenham), so much so that when the actor left the show, I didn’t believe Laura (Sigrid Thornton) could ever love again. Or that I could ever love again on her behalf! But, then came Max (William McInnes), and somehow he found his way into my heart after all. So, I knew that it could be done, if only I was equal to the task…

What is something that has influenced you as a writer?

Like a lot of people, I’ve been doing a bit of Marie Kondo-esque decluttering in recent years, which has brought me face-to-face with things I’ve forgotten, and objects that hold certain meanings from my past. I found a box of the Sweet Dreams romance books that I read when I was a very young teenager in the early 1980s. Just looking at the pictures on the covers of books like PS I Love You and Love Match brought back memories of being twelve and thirteen, curled up on my bunkbed at our family’s summer house, consuming volume after volume. I remembered both how much pleasure these books had brought me, and the vague sense I’d felt: that I was doing something that was somehow a bit naughty, or clandestine. During that same time in my life, I was also reading books like Z for Zachariah, To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984 (which I read for the first time in 1984). Those books took on huge issues and really made me think, but now I can see that those simple, sweet, innocent love ‘Sweet Dreams’ books actually influenced me quite strongly as a writer as well. There was room inside me for all kinds of stories, and there still is. Love stories provide a very particular kind of emotional journey, and it’s one that I really enjoy taking – over and over again.

What’s some great advice you’ve received that has helped you as a writer?

It’s not so much advice, as role-modelling. One of my dear friends is the award-winning author Heather Rose; we also write children’s books together as ‘Angelica Banks’. Heather is a little older than me, so she was ahead of me on the path of trying to combine a writing life with the business mothering and having a demanding job. Watching her determination to keep all the parts of her life going taught me that it could be done, if I was strong enough. I picture her walking ahead of me through a jungle, with a machete, and I am incredibly grateful for her leadership and her strength.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have a full library of ideas in my head and I’m waiting to see which one of those ideas takes hold of my heart most strongly. I have a feeling that the box of ‘Sweet Dreams’ romances could play a part, and I have a suspicion that my next book will explore the complicated territory of the relationship between a mother and a teenage daughter.

 

Reviews

The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke: Your Preview Verdict

Review | Preview

3 March 2020

The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke: Your Preview Verdict

    Preview Reviews: The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

    Review | Preview

    2 March 2020

    Preview Reviews: The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

      Take a Sneak Peek at the Deliciously Lyrical, The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

      Review | Extract

      2 March 2020

      Take a Sneak Peek at the Deliciously Lyrical, The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

        The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke is Utterly Charming

        Review | Our Review

        2 March 2020

        The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke is Utterly Charming

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                      Publisher details

                      The Lost Love Song
                      Author
                      Minnie Darke
                      Publisher
                      Penguin
                      Genre
                      Fiction
                      Released
                      03 March, 2020
                      ISBN
                      9780143792307

                      Synopsis

                      The Lost Love Song is a bewitching novel about love, second chances and the power of music, from the author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling Star-crossed . . .This is the story of a love song . . . And like any good love song, it has two parts.In Australia, Arie Johnson waits impatiently for classical pianist Diana Clare to return from a world tour, hopeful that after seven years together she’ll finallyagree to marry him.On her travels, Diana composes a song for Arie. It’s the perfect way to express her love, knowing they’ll spend their lives together . . . Won’t they?Then late one night, her love song is overheard, and begins its own journey across the world.In Scotland, Evie Greenlees is drifting. It’s been years since she left Australia with a backpack, a one-way ticket and a dream of becoming a poet. Now she spends her days making coffee and her nights serving beer. And she’s not even sure whether the guy she lives with is really her boyfriend or just a flatmate.Then one day she hears an exquisite love song. One that will connect her to a man with a broken heart . . .
                      Minnie Darke
                      About the author

                      Minnie Darke

                      Minnie Darke - Gemini with Virgo Rising, Scrabble cutthroat and knitter, lover of books, freshly sharpened pencils and Russian Caravan tea - divides her time between her kitchen table and a rather cute writing studio in the backyard of her home in Hobart, Tasmania.

                      Books by Minnie Darke

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