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Why a book?

I've been a musician my whole life. I've made my living as a singer/songwriter for the past two decades. Many people ask me, "so why a book?" Or when they hear about me writing a book, they initially assume it's a memoir or some non-fiction self-help book about my story. Why did I decide to write a book?

On a flight back from Louisiana for a gig as a composer for an animated feature film, an idea hit me. A story and setting that, as far as I knew, had never been fully depicted in any medium. I spent the three-hour flight with my laptop, writing vigorously as the ideas flowed faster than I could type. 20 pages later, the plane landed and I considered what I had created. Was it just some fun and therapeutic rant, or did I have something? I decided to sit on it for a while and revisit it later.

The ideas of this storyline and setting kept resurfacing to the forefront of my mind. I couldn't ignore it. So I decided to take a stab at fleshing out the story and dive deeper into world-building. Reaching out to a few author friends of mine, I approached them with my idea and asked if they'd be open to finishing it. They came back and said the storyline is still too vague - I needed to detail it out as much as possible before they could consider taking it on as a project.

So I went to work. I researched and built it out. Masterclasses by Brandon Sanderson and Neil Gaiman were particularly insightful in this process. Their words of advice pointed me in the right direction. I suddenly knew where I wanted this story to go, and I realized I was the one who needed to take it there.

As I went through this process of writing out an entire novel, I started to find a new passion I never knew was there. Developing characters, learning about them, hearing their voices, stylizing their dialogue--this process became my new catharsis. I found myself constantly listening in on conversations to pick up on possible dialogue. Any time someone said something curious or interesting, I wrote it down in a little notebook I carried with me everywhere--Neil Gaiman's idea.

Listening to Brandon Sanderson's lectures on plot, characters, and world-building, I became more and more excited with what I could create. As I incorporated music and acoustics into the story and prose, I continued searching for other books that might have grazed past similar ideas. I still have yet to find one. There were a few books that used songs as a magic source, but that was still a stark contrast from my material.

Four years later, the book is finished. Accomplishing such a big feat is fulfillment in and of itself. Now, it's time to take it to the masses and see who finds my story as entertaining as I do. This is my passion project - it's the book I always wanted written, and since no one else had ever done it, the task was left to me. Someone had to create it. It was a very stimulating journey, and it's just beginning. As I tour to take this book to potential fans, I begin Book Two, and my next writing adventure.

Paradise Planets book cover
Official Book Cover for The Paradise Planets


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