Appreciating the art of Italy includes learning more about the music of Italy. Art, music, and literature inspire.

The creative process:
Incorporating music and writing.

Every writer has a different writing style and specific preferences for how they go about the creative process. Some writers have particular rituals or habits they perform before or during writing to get in the right mindset. For instance, some write early in the morning, while others write late at night. Some need coffee, tea, or espresso to fuel them with energy… and perhaps a chocolate chip cookie or two for extra inspiration. Some writers prefer to write in complete silence, while others prefer to write with music or ambient noise.

I tend to fall into the category of writers who work best late at night and drink espresso (and yes, to the chocolate chip cookie). I’m also siding with the writers who must be enveloped in silence when they work. I’ve tried to write while listening to music while I work. But, after a few minutes, I must switch the music off. I’m far too distracted by the beat and the lyrics and find I can’t focus on my storyline.

I may not listen to music when I’m writing. But music, nonetheless, it is an integral part of my creative process. I need music to inspire and fill me with the emotions I want to capture in my creative work. I plug into my playlists in the moments between the writing. In my after-hours, I listen to music when I walk and let the music take me to new places as I think about my characters and the story. When I return to my computer, I am refreshed and have clarity of mind to continue writing.

For every novel I’ve written, as with every new season, specific music artists accompany me on my writing journey and mark specific periods in my life. They set the mood and helped give a new dimension to my characters and writing.

167 songs and growing!

“Dreaming Sophia”
because dreaming is an art
Francesca Renga

While writing my first novel, “Dreaming Sophia,” I listened to many Italian artists. I mentioned many of them in the pages of my book. I created a playlist of all these songs and listened to them repeatedly. You can find many of them by clicking this link. One of my favorite artists, Francesco Renga, was one of my favorites and his song “Il mio giorno più bello.” I love his romantic ballads and voice, which perfectly set the tone when I wrote the romantic scenes between my protagonists, Sophia and Lorenzo.

From a previous blog post
Francesco Renga Spotlighting Italian Singer new CD Guardami Amore

“Waking Isabella”
because beauty can’t sleep forever

When I wrote “Waking Isabella,” I listened to Modà. The popular Italian rock group has a mellow yet upbeat rhythm and a romantic vibe. I love the songs “E solo colpa mia” and “California.” They hit home and seemed like songs my protagonist Nora would have identified with. That novel was fun to work on because, as part of my research, I tuned in to popular Italian music from the 1940s as part of the story takes place during World War II and when Mussolini controlled Italian radio airwaves.

From previous blog posts

Modà: muscia si sente tutta la volta sulla radio italiana

Swing Italiano – la musica durante il period fascista

“Eternally Artemisia”
some loves like some women are timeless

During the writing of “Eternally Artemisia,” I listened, for the most part, to Noemi’s songs. She is a strong woman with progressive feminist ideas that I found extremely compelling, and I was drawn to the energy of her music. I like her song “Non smettere mai di cercarmi,” “Passenger,” “Sempre in Viaggio,” as they seem to speak directly to the themes of my book and love stories that repeat through time.

From previous blog posts

Non smettere mai di cercarmi –Festeggiamo Women’s Day con Noemi

La luna è storta e alte espressioni

In the last couple of months of writing “Eternally Artemisia”, I also listened to Ermal Meta’s album Vietato morire. There is something lyrical and evocative about his music that fit my mood as I edited and polished my story.

Ermal Meta
The whole album, in my opinion, is really good. Some of my favorites are:

Vietato morire

Ragazza paradiso

New York

From previous blog posts

Piccola Anima

“The Secret Life of Sofonisba Anguissola”
the most famous woman you’ve never heard of

I wrote my fourth novel, “The Secret Life of Sofonisba Anguissola,” in isolation during Covid. The idea to write a story about Sofonisba came to me the summer before the world shut down. Before the pandemic, I had spent months researching my heroine, the artistic climate, and the political tensions that existed at that time between Italy, France, Spain, and England during the 1500s. Then, for a year and a half, I could not travel back to Italy, so I escaped into Sofonisba’s world instead.

As Sofonisba’s story came together and I began to write, I listened to a young singer from Turin named Emanuele Aloia. The first time I heard his song “Il bacio di Klimt,” it stopped me in my tracks. It addresses the issue of loneliness and isolation — the things I was experiencing and that I imagined my heroine had also experienced when she traveled far from home, away from her family, falling in love with a man who then disappeared.

From previous blog posts

Il Bacio di Klimt — nuova canzone di Emanuele Aloia

Quando Dio ti ha inventato

All of Aloia’s songs are melodic gifts that incorporate artistic, literary, and poetic references. He receives letters from young kids who wish to study art because of his music. Like Emanuele, I hope to inspire readers to learn more about art, artists, and Italian history. I also hope to bring back into the spotlight the fierce, determined women heroes who dared to leave their mark on the world.

When I hear any of the songs from my writing playlists in the future, they will always make me think of my books
and the moments spent creating them!

You can find all my novels set in Italy on
Amazon in print, epub, and audiobook.

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  1. I am writing a story about 2 people in love in Italy. I listened to and wrote into the story lyrics from songs that capture the character of a moment. Sofia is very fond of the singing, torch songs, by Mina. A pivotal spark in the story happens when she hears “Se Telefonado”.

    1. Ciao Rob! That’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing. In my first novel, my Sophia sings a lot of Mina and Patty Pravo songs too. Best of luck with your writing! I’m intrigued by your story. A presto! Melissa