https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/82996         http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/he-came-for-mine?keyword=he+came+for+mine&store=ebook

Sunday 15 September 2013


Today, I have invited Mara Valderran to my site to share with us the music inspirations and influences which helped her build her characters, and the inspiration to write her new release, Heirs of War.

I myself, am a strong advocate for using music to write, as I have found that it allows the creative juices to flow freely, as you become enveloped emotionally into the lyrics and musical depth of songs.

So when Mara suggested that she write about the music which influenced her writing, I of course found the idea perfect. Please wish Mara the best for her new release and send her your thoughts on her guest post by making a comment below or contact her personally. (Find her details at the bottom of this post).

Soundtrack Series Part 1: Finding the Inspiration to Kick Some Ass

Music is such a huge part of my writing process. So much so that I had to split this topic up into four different guest posts (and that still doesn’t cover all I have to say!). Today I am focusing on what type of music inspires me to write battle scenes.

Skillet, Within Temptation, Breaking Benjamin, Finger Eleven…these are the bands that flooded my playlist. In fact, I’m pretty sure every song Within Temptation has ever put out has a place on my soundtrack with some scene or character in mind. I have a very eclectic taste (my proclivity to listen to only Within Temptation aside), but the songs that inspire me all have a certain energy behind them that appeals to me. I’d love to get into guitar rhythms and drum tempos, but I’m not a musician by any stretch of the imagination (Does karaoke in the shower count?). There’s nothing really technical behind the music that draws me in. The songs have to be fast paced (like you would expect a battle to be) and with “Hell yeah!” kind of lyrics. It also helps if I can pretty much see a music video of my books in my head when I listen to the songs, which I do with the three examples below.
Within Temptation “Final Destination”

“It’s waiting, always trying. I feel the hands of fate, they’re suffocating. Tell me what’s the reason. Is it all inside my head? Can’t take it no more!”
This song has a great build of intensity, starting off with light piano before throwing in the guitars and drums. To me, this is a great chase scene. I can see it in my head. The lyrics also echo what my characters go through on this journey, and the chorus definitely brings to mind the destinies these girls can’t escape.

Skillet “Hero”

“Who’s gonna fight for what’s right? Who’s gonna help us survive? We’re in the fight of our lives, and we’re not ready to die. Who’s gonna fight for the weak? Who’s gonna make ‘em believe? I’ve got a hero living in me. I’ve gotta fight for what’s right. Today I’m speaking my mind. And if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die. A hero’s not afraid to give his life. A hero’s gonna save me just in time.”
This song starts off intense. You are basically thrown into it, which I love. The whole entire song could be told from any of the girls’ POVs. These are just normal girls thrown into this crazy world of magic—a crazy world full of people that either want more than they know how to give or want them dead. And they are struggling to be heard and to figure out how they belong. This song, to me, represents the buildup to finding the heroes in themselves.

Katy Perry “Who Am I Living For?”

“I can feel a phoenix inside of me, as I march alone to a different beat. Slowly swallowing down my fear. I am ready for the road less traveled. Suiting up for my crowning battle. This test is my own cross to bear, but I will get there.”
Don’t judge! Yes, Katy Perry is on my rocking out list. And this song is sort of the theme song for the entire span of the books from Zelene and Ariana’s points of view. Each of the girls is discovering their own powers and their own strengths. They have literally been thrown into this war, and to think they won’t be faced with battle after battle and loss after loss is naïve, which is exactly how the Duillaine seem to think.
I view Zelene to be the phoenix from the song. She is rising from the ashes to be a leader, whether she means to or not. She’s not the likely choice. Ariana would be the obvious choice for that since she is already so charismatic. But Zelene has the passion—the fire. And that’s going to move her to the frontlines of this war sooner than she thinks.
Ariana is the light in this song. Everything she does touches the people around her, and it’s a lot of pressure to put on a young girl. She’s learning that there are going to be sacrifices along the way and she has to find it within herself to make those hard choices.
“It’s never easy to be chosen, never easy to be called. Standing on the front line when the bombs start to fall. I can see the heavens but I still hear the flames calling out my name.
I can see the writing on the wall. I can’t ignore this war. At the end of it all, who am I living for?”
In the end, that is the question they all have to ask themselves. Are they willing to die to save others? But more importantly, are they willing to truly live in order to lead others?
There’s a lot more that goes into this song, but it would spoil subsequent books, so I’ll keep my lips sealed for now!
Thank you, Carolyn, for allowing me the opportunity to geek out over the music that inspires me. And thank you, readers, for taking a peek into my writerly world. I’d love to hear more about yours! Tell me, what inspires you to write battle scenes? Is it music, or watching some of your favorite showdowns (Harry vs Voldemort, anyone?) from movies and TV?

(Book One)

New Adult/Upper Young Adult Fantasy

Amazon: Not Available Yet
Barnes & Noble: Link TBA


Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn't believe in magic or prophecies. When she's told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can't argue with reality.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

About the Author:

Mara Valderran has been coming up with stories pretty almost since she could talk, often commandeering her brother's G.I. Joes to play out her fictional tales alongside her Barbies. Once she hit adolescence and realized playing with dolls wasn't cool anymore, she started putting her ideas to paper. And she hasn’t stopped since.

Mara has worn many different artistic hats throughout her life. She has dabbled in screenwriting, plucked guitars and basses, toyed with singing, retired from acting, and drawn some pretty mean stick figures in her time. However, writing books seems to fit her best as she finds nothing more fulfilling than creating worlds and characters she can lose herself in.

Mara is more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She lives in the south with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or spending time at her favorite local coffee shop.


Mara Valderran said...

Thank you so much for hosting me, Carolyn. I think I could talk about how music inspires me all day long! I agree with you--it gets my creative juices flowing. =)

Unknown said...

I don't like music when I write, but realize I'm among the minority here. I like it completely quiet.

Music aside, your book sounds amazing- love the cover and the concept of the story.

Mara Valderran said...

Thank you! I have times where the music can be distracting, so I completely understand the need for silence for some writers. I have a hard time writing to the soundtrack of life--like at a coffee shop or something like that. =)

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