Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sugar coat it.

First, don't forget to vote for Zachary Moore for the YA Crush Tourney. Voting begins at 9 am EST here. Also, visit Jeri Smith-Ready's blog for what will happen if Zach wins. Go #TeamKilt!!

Music, as you know, is a huge inspiration for me. Certain songs create certain visuals, and if a song hits me the right way, an idea or scene will knock me over. I do listen to music for pleasure. Usually, a catchy beat gains my attention. After that, I listen to the lyrics. What's this song about? What's the artist trying to say?  You know, typical stuff. I really find it interesting when an artist takes a mind numbing catchy beat and puts some dark lyrics underneath. In a way, sugar coating it. Now, don't get me wrong, I like 'the tell it like it is.' I just find it interesting when this is done.

The Smiths did it. "Girlfriend in a Coma", "Unhappy Birthday"...They have very uplifting beats, but the subject matter not so much. I love the Smiths and Morrissey so clever and plain out awesome.

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There's a more recent song I can't get out of my head is by Foster the People. "Pumped up Kicks."

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If you watch this, please note they have a commercial before the video.
Now, I like this song a lot, and, well, the lyrics have a lot to say. From what I get it's about a boy who is bullied and he brings a gun to school to shoot those who bully him. Catchy tune and dark lyrics. Interesting. I like it, but some of you may not and that's okay. In a way, the music doesn't fit what the lyrics really are about, at least what we think the music should sound like to lyrics as dark as they are.

In books, I have not found this so much. I just read The Radleys by Matt Haig (adult). Me, being a huge vampire fan, I had to check it out. Yes, it's about vampires. See Blurb below.
This witty vampire novel from British author Haig (The Possession of Mr. Cave) provides what jaded fans of the Twilight series need, not True Blood exactly, but some fresh blood in the form of a true blue family. Dr. Peter Radley and his wife, Helen, have fled wild London for the village of Bishopthorpe, where they live an outwardly ordinary life. The Radleys, who follow the rules of The Abstainer's Handbook (e.g., "Be proud to act like a normal human being"), haven't told their 15-year-old vegan daughter, Clara, and 17-year-old son, Rowan, who's troubled by nightmares, that they're really vampires. A crisis occurs when a drunken classmate of Clara's, Stuart Harper, attacks her on her way home from a party and inadvertently awakens the girl's blood thirst. Peter's call for help to his brother, Will, a practicing vampire, leads to scary consequences. The likable Clara and Rowan will appeal to both adult and teen readers.

It's dark, but the wit that is written through it actually lightens the dark side of the whole vampire thing. Yes, there is killing, but, believe it or not, is less creepy. Weird I know. BTW--The dialogue is fantastic. I do recommend this book.  

So my point, I tend to be drawn to things that are dark, in fact, most of my writing is and I like it. I haven't figured out how to sugar coat it, and right now, in my writing, I don't want to, I want it out there, but sometimes it's interesting to read or hear it in a way you wouldn't normally expect.

Sorry long post, and hopefully it makes sense.

Do you have anything that you have read or heard that's seems sugar coated?

Have a great day!


  1. I love books that aren't quite what you'd expect, and adding a lighter side to a creepy story is always appealing to me!

  2. I voted for Zach. I just saw that Jeri was was agreeing to post teasers, and that was enough :)

    I love the sugar coated stuff. You're so right about The Smiths. I had 'Asleep' marked down as a children's story for my musical genres feature until I checked the lyrics to the whole song and not just the bit I remembered - yeah,that sweet little song is about suicide!

  3. I hear ya and completely get it!! :D

  4. Don't like sugar coated books or songs. And for some reason, the videos aren't appearing...

  5. Wow, I come I've never heard of The Radleys???