Sleigh Bells & Ink Wells Blog Hop

I'm in fine company with a dozen fellow authors for the Sleigh Bells & Ink Wells Blog Hop. At the end of this post, you will see a link to the other authors participating in the hop and I hope you will visit and discover a world of new writers and books.

For this hop, I wanted to share some of my inspiration for my brand new mystery/suspense novel, Remain In Light (which is out now in eBook format and will be available in paperback mid-January). Remain In Light is the second book in The Venus Trilogy, preceded by Conquering Venus. I'm working on the outline for the third novel now. My goal with this trilogy was to write each book so that it could stand alone, yet connect a larger story and characters together.

The story that links the trilogy is this: In 1968, Irène Laureux's husband was murdered during the Paris riots and his body dumped near Notre-Dame cathedral. Thirty years later, she finally catches up with his killer. With the help of American writer Martin Paige, Irène will illuminate decades of secrets and lies only to discover that her husband's death is part of something far more sinister.

As a writer, I'm influenced by books, films and music that I love. The spirit of Lewis Carroll, Marcel Proust, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Carl Jung and good old Agatha Christie are alive and well in my novels. There's gumshoe detectives, a hint of the paranormal, Jung's theory of synchronicity and wayward Americans who discover that  Paris has a dangerous underworld that most tourists never see.

If you're a music fan, you'll probably notice that chapters in both Remain In Light and Conquering Venus are named after some of my favorite songs. The music of Miles Davis, Kate Bush, Vanessa Daou, Massive Attack, Samuel Barber and Bjork was constantly playing while I was writing.

The trilogy has a purposeful cinematic quality because I've been greatly influenced by directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Wim Wenders, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Sally Potter, Louis Malle, Jane Campion, Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. If you love those old black and white New Wave films, mixed with an edge of danger and menace, chances are you'll get into The Venus Trilogy.

The next stop on this hop is at Sharon Heath's blog, which you can access by clicking this link. For further proof of synchronicity, Sharon happens to be a Jungian analyst. I wonder what she'd make of Irène and Martin?

The other bloggers taking part in the hop: Smoky Zeidel, Patricia Damery, Debra Brenegan, Malcolm R. Campbell, T.K. Thorne, Anne K. Albert, Elizabeth Clark-Stern, Melinda Clayton, Ramey Channell and Leah Shelleda.

Comments

Anne K. Albert said…
What a fascinating description of the elements of Remain In Light, Collin. I love how you've combined your passions!
Sun Singer said…
What a power gang of influetial artists! Mine list, which includes some of the folks on your list, has over time become so much a part of me, it's often hard to remember where some of the ideas and germs of ideas came from. However it works, who we are--combined with who and what we love--blends into our storytelling and makes it deeper and richer than we alone could ever accomplish.

Malcolm
Melinda said…
Love reading about your influences during the writing process. A chicken-and-egg question: As you write, does the music help you develop the characters, or do the characters influence what you want to listen to during the process? I think it's the former for me. I sometimes hear something within the music that sparks an idea for a specific character.
Collin Kelley said…
Music is mostly a mood-setter for me, but I do incorporate lyrics into my novels when I can get permission. Vanessa Daou kindly let me use the lyrics to her song "Near the Black Forest" in Conquering Venus and Barber's "Adagio for Strings" is a connecting thread through all the books since it's Irène's favorite piece of music. The title of Remain In Light was, of course, inspired by the Talking Heads album.
Patricia Damery said…
Your help from the music muse reminds me of mine! My novel Snakes has a "sound track" , a surprising one for many! (Deep Breakfast) For a long time I told no one as I feared many of my sophisticated musician friends would scoff! They didn't! I still love to listen, the images pouring before me that flowed into the writing.
Debra said…
It's true that artists glean their inspiration from many places -- you've illustrated that perfectly! And your list of influences reminded me of some of my favorites (love Jung's theory of syncronicity).
Smoky said…
Collin, you're in great company on this Blog Hop with your affinity for Carl Jung--we have a handful of Jungian analysts here! I loved Conquering Venus, and Remain the Light is high on my to read list. Why does that list never shrink???
Leah Shelleda said…
I'm a mystery book lover, and your detailed, enticing description has seduced me!
Sharon Heath said…
Well you might wonder, Collin, what I'd make of Irene and Martin! I'm a mystery fiction addict, fan of Wenders and Truffaut and Kate Bush (speaking of synchronicity, did you notice I included her in today's Sleigh Bells blog?), love how you artfully weave your catholic interests in and out of your post, and am about to order Remain in Light right now!
T.K. Thorne said…
What intrigued me the most was learning about Paris' underworld. Have you spent time there? I've never been, but everyone I know who has, loves it.
Collin Kelley said…
Synchronicity abounds on this fun blog hop. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I've enjoyed reading all your posts.

Sharon, we sound very simpatico. Looking forward to reading and interacting with you more, and would love to speak with you after you've read Remain In Light and I've finished The History of My Body.

T.K., I've been to Paris three times. I had the amazing opportunity to actually write some of the final chapters of Remain In Light in Paris last summer. It was truly a magical time and the city (even with it's often hidden gritty side) is one of the most amazing cities in the world.
desitheblonde said…
me book ilove i do not care of gene or what kind i read and blog on them
desi the blonde @ msn.com

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