Music has ruled my world since birth. I shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever. I came by it honestly: my mom, a 40’s glamour girl, gave up her dancing career to marry my dad and have a family. My two older brothers are both musicians. LP records played nonstop during my childhood, introducing me to the many melodies and rhythms of human emotion.
My first record was Disney’s The Story of Thumper’s Great Race. As far as I was concerned it was a masterpiece of pure joy. Who could resist Thumper? I played it over and over, until I memorized every word. I learned about melancholy from Del Shannon’s “My Little Runaway.” The haunting melody of my mom’s “Goldfinger” opened my eyes to danger and mystery and the Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” introduced my six-year-old heart to young love.
My love affair with words began with listening to lyrics. Mom bought me an album with a collection of poems set to music. I loved “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, by Lewis Caroll. I still remember the tune to “My Grandfather’s Clock,” which I just discovered was written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work, a British author. Even then, I was drawn to historical writing. Who knows? Maybe that’s why my first novel is a historical romance. Once I could read, I consumed lyrics like candy and even now, lyrics keep me writing.
In college I studied creative writing and danced and sang professionally. Ah, college! Fast forward to disco in all its glory: every Friday night my small liberal arts college held a disco. It was joyful and liberating. After all, who can think about their problems while doing “the bump” with your dance partner to the Commodores’ “Brick House?”*(See below.) Certainly there was nothing profound about the lyrics: “She’s a brick house/ She’s mighty mighty/Just letting it all hang out.” Whatever! Disco wasn’t deep, but for me it was joyful and liberating. Dancing meant freedom, giving myself up to the bass beat and letting the music and lyrics fly me away.
Thirty years later, my fingers dance on the computer keyboard, creating romance novels. For me, writing and dancing will be forever linked. In the choreography of language, I find the freedom once found in dancing as I work to create plots with rhythm and characters with the range of emotions, in stories that I hope will entertain and satisfy.
In my column, I will share my thoughts on writing romance novels, my daily hustle, if you will, toward better writing and publication and the connection between my two loves, words and music. Just so you know, every so often, my body gets the “Boogie Fever” and I must get down with my bad self. Welcome to Boogie Writes. I hope you enjoy it.
*(For those of you too young to know what “the Bump” is, the dance consists of bumping hips with a partner, with various degrees of creativity and bad taste.)
She spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she is still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She has a degree in Human Services and worked as a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator and a stay-at-home mom.
Music has ruled Jennifer’s world since birth. She shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever, but soon fell in love with the lyrics, how the words fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Jennifer has dreamt of writing romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and now lives that dream, using music on a daily basis to uplift and inspire her writing. It’s no coincidence that Ian, the hero in Mercy of the Moon, uses music to win heroine Maggie’s heart.
She lives in rural Florida with her husband and Great Dane puppy, and enjoys frequent visits from her three grandchildren and three grown children. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would really love to see her husband of thirty-five years in a pair. Jennifer can be found online at: JenniferTaylorWrites.com