Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sharon Donovan: Music Sets the Scene for the Unworldy

Good Evening!

Those chilling words still send shivers racing down my spine from the old television show.


Nothing could come close to the images the master story teller conjured in my mind. Just the sound of those words in barely more than a whisper made my skin crawl. The anticipation of the story he was about to tell sent chills racing down my spine. I remember glancing around the room to make sure all the curtains were drawn, all the doors locked. My family and I would gather around the television on a Friday evening, lights out with a big bowl of buttered popcorn. And the second the master of suspense’s face would appear on screen, my brother, sister and I would scream loud enough to wake the dead.

Alfred Hitchcock packed it all in his books and movies—chance meetings on a train, murder and mayhem, voyeurism, ice-blondes, debonair actors with a touch of quirky humor and rakish charm, espionage, romance and lost love. And who better befitting to portray the femme fatale of that era than Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Kim Novak and Janet Leigh? They were a perfect fit with Hollywood legends as Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, two of Hitchcock’s favorites.

Thinking of some of these old plots that linger in my mind, I write stories of romance and suspense to hopefully give readers just a hint of that old Hitchcock magic. Second to imagery, the first thing I focus on is music. Think about a scary movie. Right before a murder or something dangerous, the chilling music clues us in and has our hearts racing. This being said, with a fetish for peeking on guests as they shower, Janet Leigh is about to find out just how twisted Norman Bates is. Voyeurism at its peak. Just the sound of that screeching violin gets my blood pumping!

In my latest suspense Her Biggest Fan, I chose Moonlight Sonata to haunt the reader. As you read, you’ll swear you can hear the eerie spiking of piano keys because I have planted them in your head. Recalling the old thriller The Wax Museum, I used wax gargoyles with wings as props in the ballroom. To please my many muses, I combined my love of a psychological thriller with Classic Gothic and old Hollywood glamour.

In Mask of the Betrayer, the childhood nursery song Heigh Ho the Dairy-o sets the scene. I promise, these chilling lyrics will haunt your nightmares, the lyrics that have been programmed in Michael DeVeccio’s head, prompting him to kill.

"a hunting we will go, a hunting we will go. Heigh ho the dairy-o, a hunting we will go. We’ll catch a fox and put him in a box. Heigh ho the dairy-o, a hunting we will go."

You can hear the chilling music here



And find Mask of the Betrayer at Whimsical Publications

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