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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Guest Post with Joe Lunievicz author of Open Wounds

Cue Music: Enter Cid…
- Joe Lunievicz,

Practicing and teaching yoga helps me write.

One month I chose to teach my classes around the theme of silence. So for a month every class I taught I didn’t play music – not typical of a vinyasa class and not typical of the way I teach yoga. I thought it would help me stretch as a teacher and it would help my students grow.

Some students didn’t notice the lack of music at all – they just noticed something was different. Most didn’t say a word about it. Halfway into the month I got an email from one of my students asking me how much longer classes would continue without music. “I can’t stand to listen to myself exercise,” she said. “I’m a singer and I need music. It’s too painful otherwise.”

It had never occurred to me music could be so powerful to someone. I should have known better. There are times I can’t listen to music because it will make me feel too much and I just can’t at that moment feel anymore – the tank’s full. Other times music makes me soar.

On the other hand although I love music I don’t have to have it. I also like the sounds of the world around me. It’s a different kind of music. Silence is challenging, but I also like it. When I was younger silence was too hard to hear. Now it draws me in. Sometimes I like to hear myself think.  That’s its own sound – one I’m not sure I could put words to.

As a writer I like silence. I rarely write while listening to music and if I do it has to be without voice, without words. They get in the way of me finding my own. I can’t listen to music when I read either. I like the words to make the inward journey by themselves. There’s no right or wrong to this. It’s just the way it is for me. I wonder how it is for others – both writers and readers.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t music in prose. Some prose sings. Read/listen to this by Andrew Smith from his soon to be released novel, Stick:

What would you hear
if my words could         make

And if                                     they
what                   music                     would I

write for you?

It’s the opening lines.

I’m a big fan of opening lines. They tell you what to expect. Sound is important to the novel. It’s key to understanding the main character. This prose sings.

However, I do think about music after I’ve read a book. I come up with theme music for characters, associate the music with them as if the book had been a movie. Who can think of Darth Vader without hearing his theme music?

For my novel, Open Wounds, I have Cid Wymann’s, my protagonist’s,  theme music in my head: It’s Coldplay’s Viva la Vida. The sound of the strings, the cello, and violin do it for me – a hint of old and new, a wistful sound, a sad sound but one that seems to have triumph lacing its lyrics. Listen to the song if you’ve read the book. Let me know what you think.

The following are some books I’ve read recently that are personal favorites that could have great theme music. What songs would you pick for the protagonists?  

  • Christina Meldrum’s Madapple
  • David Small’s Stitches
  • Andrew Smith’s In The Path of Falling Objects
  • Scott Westerfelds Leviathan
  • Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games

Or tell me your favorite book/protagonist and what his/her theme music would be and why.

You can find Joe here:

And, you can even read the first chapter of Open Wounds HERE!

Thanks so much for your time, Joe! We really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time out of your day to spend with us. As for the rest of you, thanks for stopping by and have a terrific week.

Happy Reading & Arrivederci


  1. Interesting post. While I usually have music playing in the background, classic r&b mostly, I don't really associate any certain songs with any specific book or character. I can see your point though, the Harry Potter movies have the perfect musical introduction that really fits Harry's character.

  2. I'm hopeless at associating music with other people's books (although I love to see what the author has chosen). That being said all of my characters have music that is closely linked to them to the extent that it has often changed them in some way.

  3. Beautiful post. I love how Joe says the music of the world around him. Because that's what it is, really, frequencies, and rhythms.

    When I was young, I worked at a mall. I had a customer who was deaf, and we became friends because I was one of the few people who had the patience to take his order by letting him write me a note.

    One day we were having a conversation (on paper) and I asked him how hard it was for him to not be able to hear music, or the voices of the people he cared about. He put his hand on my throat while we I talked to him.

    It was kind of embarrassing for me as a teenager, but I swallowed my pride and went through it, and it turned out to be a powerful moment.

    We lost touch, unfortunately, but he did teach me that there is vibration in all things.

    I can't write or read to music either. I'm a bit neurotic about it. I can deal with all kinds of other distractions, but not music. It moves me too strongly.