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Maria Veloso
Tel. No.: (323) 571-9431 or (323) 842-9956
E-Mail: maria@thinkoutsidethebook.com

Multimedia Storytelling:  The Advent of the Novel with Its Own Music Soundtrack

Los Angeles, CA -- In a world where multi-media is king, cell phones come equipped with built-in cameras, and websites are outfitted with streaming audio and video, it was only a matter of time that a novel would come around with its own music soundtrack.  This new innovation may bring storytelling to uncharted heights and usher in a bold, new genre in book publishing. 
“I came up with the concept of combining a novel with music because I asked myself the question, ‘If a movie can come with a music soundtrack, why can’t a novel?’” says Maria Veloso, author of the multi-media novel titled Midwinter Turns to Spring, the first-ever to incorporate a music CD album of the same title, also created by the author.  “Music is the ultimate way of enriching the fiction reader’s experience because it intensifies the emotional involvement of the reader, much like a film score intensifies the emotional appeal of a movie. 
“Prose and music, when combined together, form a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit.  The reader’s enjoyment of the prose is magnified in the context of the music, and vice versa.” 

Writers of prose often possess creative skills that crossover to other areas of writing.  The writing of song lyrics, for instance, is a natural extension of literary writing.  This was evident in a recent collaborative effort, wherein seventeen of North America’s bestselling and prize-winning authors contributed original song lyrics (and in some cases, their musical skills) to a music CD by Brooklyn lit-rock band, One Ring Zero.  The book-cum-CD combo titled As Smart as We Are, released in 2004, included an anthology of songs written by literary authors including Jonathan Ames, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, Rick Moody and Dave Eggers, in collaboration with Michael Hearst and Joshua Camp of One Ring Zero
As for the musical ability of novel writers, one need only look at Robert James Waller, author of Bridges of Madison County, who after selling 12 million copies of his novel worldwide, went on to write and perform the songs on the CD album titled The Ballads of Madison County, introducing the listener to the landscape and the people of Madison County in both music and lyrics. 
Book-cum-CD combos are not new, but they’ve often been seen only in non-fiction and children’s books, but never in fiction -- until the debut of Midwinter Turns to Spring last November. 
“It all starts with a good story well told,” Ms. Veloso emphasizes.  “The elements of music and lyrics simply add a tantalizing depth to the storyteller’s art.” 
“A novel with its own music soundtrack is distinctly different from films with music soundtracks.  In the case of the latter, oftentimes the soundtrack consists of songs with themes totally unrelated or minimally relevant to the theme of the film.  In a novel like Midwinter Turns to Spring, all the tracks of the music album are woven intricately into -- and form a significant part of -- the novel’s plot.  None of the songs are gratuitously included.  Instead, the music and lyrics correlate to specific scenes in the novel, and underscore the emotional sentiment that pervades the entire novel.” 

More and more authors are expected to rise to the challenge of writing music and lyrics to accompany their prose.  Likewise, songwriters are expected to rise to the challenge of writing a novel as a vehicle through which their music can be contextually enjoyed, as in the case of recording artist, Jimmy Buffett, who wrote the novel, A Salty Piece of Land, which came with a bonus CD containing one of his songs.  The whole endeavor represents a win-win-win scenario for everyone involved.  It allows the author (or songwriter, as the case may be) to expand his/her creative boundaries, reach as wide an audience as possible, and move their audience more deeply; gives the publisher a previously untapped revenue source; and provides readers and listeners with the enjoyment of multi-media storytelling. 

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Midwinter Turns to Spring
by Maria Veloso
Copyright © 2005 Maria Veloso