Welcome Guest Author Judi Fennell!

I'm excited today to welcome author Judi Fennell to Cheeky Reads! Judi writes a super fun paranormal series with Mer Men and I'm pleased to have her with us today. Judi's even been kind enough to offer one lucky reader a set of the first two books in her series, In Over Her Head and Wild Blue Under!

Welcome Judi!

Thanks so much for inviting me on Cheeky Reads! I love to think my Mer series falls under the heading of "cheeky," but I have yet to come up with appropriate music to score the stories.

I love reading about soundtracks authors have for their stories. It's like the story collage idea - both of which I think are really cool, but both of which I don't do.

I will say that Microsoft's OneNote has changed the story collage idea somewhat for me. I now take the research that I used to mark as "Favorite" on my Internet Explorer toolbar and copy and paste it into a OneNote document, so I can go back and look at the buildings/maps/etc. when I'm working somewhere offline, but the soundtrack thing still eludes me.

I do write to music, but I use it more as white noise than any kind of inspiration. Oh, I started out with an ocean sounds CD, hoping to get inspiration from the seagull and dolphin song, but, more often than not, I'd find myself getting lulled to sleep by the wave action. I love listening to the ocean, but when you're writing action/adventure/life-and-death scenes, the last thing you want to do is fall asleep. Makes for a pretty boring action scene if it puts the author to sleep.

So I uploaded a bunch of classical and new age music. Instrumental as opposed to lyrical because I can't write new scenes with lyrics be-bopping around in my head that I start to sing to. (And if you've heard me sing, you'll know why this isn't a good thing—especially for those around me. Okay, I'm not that bad, but Simon Cowell definitely won't be calling.)

There's no rhyme or reason to the music I listen to. I like to listen to anything I won't get caught up in. Some songs are slow, some fast, some loud, some soft, some well-known, some not so. Beethoven, Yanni, Tchaikovsky, Irish Step Dance music, the soundtrack from Robin Hood… a very eclectic list that I've created on my iTunes list. I have a playlist titled "Writing Music" that goes on right after I upload the most current edition of my WIP.

I guess that is a soundtrack of sorts, but to me, a soundtrack signifies songs that fit the mood of your story. The tone and rhythm. If I wrote to the rhythm of what I listen to, I think I might make readers (and myself) seasick, as I just hit "Shuffle" and what comes out, comes out. It basically becomes something to block out sounds around me so I can focus on what's in my head. I find that I don’t even notice the music after a while, that the characters' voices become easier to hear. Although, when I do take out the earphones, it's amazing how quiet everything is.

That being said, when it comes time to editing (around the third pass through) I can listen to music that I can sing to - but I have to listen to it for a while before I can get beyond the words. Case in point, I watch the show Real Housewives on Bravo and one of the Atlanta Housewives recently released a dance song, "Tardy for the Party." It's a catchy little ditty and I've found (now that I've played it a gazillion times) it's upbeat enough to read through action scenes and I'm no longer singing along, so it's perfect background music.

But after listening to it for five hour stretches, I have to say, it's looking to be replaced. Soon.

I'd love to hear what other people listen to. How do you write/read a story if there are lyrics playing in your head at the same time? How do you choose which songs you'll write/read to?

And while you're listening to your favorite writing music, feel free to stop by my website, http://www.judifennell.com/, and register to win one of two remaining romantic beach getaway weekends (the first has already been awarded), to either the Atlantis Inn in Ocean City, NJ (http://www.atlantisinn.com/) or the Hibiscus House in West Palm Beach, FL (www.HibiscusHouse.com).

Answer Judi's question regarding what kind of music you like to listen to while reading or writing and you'll be entered to win In Over Her Head and Wild Blue Under! Check back tomorrow morning to see if you've won!

Bonus: +1 for being a follower of this blog / +1 for Tweeting about this post and giveaway

Contest is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.


  1. Good morning and thanks, again, for having me!

  2. Welcome Judi! So glad to have you here.

  3. Well I've found a new and interesting blog, thanks to Judi. I ran across this mention on Twitter and thought I'd check it out. Nice blog. As for music while reading, I change between classical and old rock and roll.

  4. Hi Judi,
    I'm looking forward to reading these books!
    I like quiet while I read.

  5. Hey girls...I really don't listen to any music when I read. I usually have children running around like chicken's with there heads cut off. I prefer to read in the quite. I have not read any stories about Mer Men, but they sound like hot reads.

  6. It's according to what type of book I'm reading, but usually I have the TV on when I read. Sometimes if it's a darker book, I'll play some old Blues.

  7. I'm usually reading books w/lots of smex, so I have a 'sexual chocolate' mix of slow and sexy songs playing low in the background. :)

  8. Ok Felicia, that is just awesome! "Sexual chocolate"! LOL :)

  9. I usually go deaf to moment I start reading a book. It has something to do by being absorbed by the story, the character's voices and the events that take place. it so weird, hubby sometimes talks to me about the news or any other topic and then 5 minutes later I look at him and go: huh, did you say anything? That threw him off in the beginning but he is used to it by now.

    I'm not from the US or Canada but just wanted to leave my comment ;)

  10. I mainly listen to Owl City when I read!

    I'm a follower!

  11. Good morning, Judi :)
    I don't think I"ve heard 'Tardy for the Party' but it sounds interesting, heh :)
    I like to listen to music while writing... the singing will sometimes fade for me, so I don't worry about singing along :)
    When reading, I might sometimes play music, but usually I'll have the tv on for white noise... though, now that I think about it is a little distracting and music works better. Will have to remember that :)

  12. I like total quiet while reading! I practically have to zip the hubbys mouth evenbecause he loves to bug me when I am reading. grrrr

    I am a follower

  13. Hi Judi. I like to listen to country and classic rock.

  14. Hi Judi,
    I don't listen to music when I read,I find it too distracting..but I do read during commercials on tv and don't find the tv noise distracting :)

    +1 I'm a follower

    +1 tweeted https://twitter.com/elaing8/status/5628696071


  15. I dont listen to any music while reading, if I do I wind up having to reread everything because I was paying more attention to the music than the book

    I follow
    I tweeted http://twitter.com/alicia0605

  16. Hi Judi,

    Glad to have found another interesting blog!

    I would love to read these books and thanks for the great giveaway!

    I listen to 80's music, pop or rock when I'm reading.

    I'm a new follower!

  17. That cover is very nice! I like it quiet when I read too.

    I'm a follower

  18. Hi Judi, nice to meet you here. I rarely listen to music when I'm on my own in the house, but sometimes I'll be reading or writing and a song will come to me and start playing in my head. It stays there till evening then. Can be anything, but somehow it always has something to do with the characters and situations I'm reading or writing about.

    I'd love to win your books - maybe if I keep trying I'll either succeed or persuade my husband to buy them for me.

    I follow.

    sdeeth at msn dot com

  19. Lots of familiar names! Great to see you all and thanks for following me around cyberspace! Here's hoping if you can't win 'em, you get the chance to read them! You'll have to let me know what you think!

  20. Hi Judi,

    First of all congrats on Wild Blue Under. I have to say I've heard so many great things about this series and the whole idea behind it has me hooked ;)!!

    I don't usually listen to music when I read actually. I like the peace and quite and totally start getting into whatever book I have in hand (or on screen). When I do though I prefer something light and airy (instrumentals maybe) or soft and sensual (Marvin Gaye)?

    I am a follower (pams00@aol.com)

    I tweeted the giveaway -

    Pam S

  21. Hi Pam - and look at you with the puns! ;) Everyone likes to get in on the act! And I love it!!!

  22. Hi Judi :)
    Thank you for taking the time to write this post.
    I enjoyed reading it.
    I don't like to listen to music while I am writing and I have never listened to music while reading.
    Thanks again,
    All the best,

  23. What a gorgeous cover! if I'm not reading in bed at night I like to put background music on - usually something without words or at least not something that compels me to sing along - Braveheart, Gladiator or The Rock come to mind :)


  24. I can't listen to music and read at the same time...it is just too distracting.

    +1 follower

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  25. I often listen to classical music, but it depends on what I am writing. When reading it really makes no difference.

  26. I love listening to music while I read. I like all kinds of music except jazz. I'm more likely to be playing pop music or country.

    I am a follower.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  27. When Im reading I can only listen to movie soundtrack scores. I can't listen to songs with words it distracts me.


  28. I actually don't listen to any music because pretty much anything will divert my attention. Occasionally I'll have Yoko Kanno or Yuki Kajiura, but only because I've listened to their stuff so much I can hear my favorite songs inside my head without the music XD

    ::crosses fingers:: here's hoping Judi!! Persistence pays off!! Though I'm also finding some new bloggers to follow...

    +1 I'm a follower!


  29. *waving hi to the familiar "faces".

    Thanks for stopping by. Can't wait to see who wins!

  30. I like to listen to classical music while I read.

  31. I just became a follower of your blog.