Featured New Release: Into the Light by Darcia Helle


I asked my friend, Darcia Helle, the famous Featured New Release question. Ready for her answer? It’s a doozy.

I’ve been asked to name one song that reminds me of my book. Given that I’m a music addict and lyrics have always been my focus, that should be an easy task. It’s not. This is difficult, though not because I can’t come up with one song. I could name many and narrowing the field to one is the hard part. Snippets of songs, one line or an entire verse, will make me think of a character or a scene or a situation from my book. My characters are quite real in my head and I relate music to their lives in the same way I relate it to my own.

But you asked for one song and I have one that is, in my opinion, a perfect fit: This Is Your Life by Switchfoot. The song is simple. You won’t find literary genius or complicated lyrics. What you will find are words that could be the backdrop for Max’s feelings and for what death, and the light, teaches him.

One line that is repeated often in the song sums up the premise: This is your life. Are you who you want to be?

Long before I wrote Into The Light, this song struck me. That one question is powerful. How many people could answer a resounding yes? Life offers no do-overs, as Max discovers all too late.

The song goes on to say: This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be when the world was younger and you had everything to lose…

As I said, the lyrics are simple. Yet, I think for most of us, they strike deep. Max had let the tide of life carry him along. He’d put his dreams on hold, forgotten the passion of his youth. This is a familiar scenario for many of us, though most of us won’t realize it until the end.

You can hear the song here.

But I don’t want you thinking that Max and his story are all gloom and doom. He’s got a goofy side and his personality, even in death, is a lot larger than he realizes. He is not about to give up before he’s ready. We could toss in some Don Henley here:

I will not lie down. I will not go quietly.

And I have to mention one song that makes me laugh. No, the song itself isn’t funny but, as I wrote Into The light, I couldn’t listen to it without cracking a smile. The song is – Is There A Ghost, by Band of Horses: I could sleep, when I lived alone. Is there a ghost in my house?

Max literally haunted my sleep. He kept me awake. He was the most demanding, stubborn character I’ve had in my head so far. (I shudder to think another character could be stronger!) The story had to be written. Of that there was never a doubt. Max also quickly taught me that the story had to be written his way.

Then there’s Joe Cavelli, the P.I. who has both the misfortune and the luck (yes, an oxymoron there) to be the only person alive who could hear Max. Is there a ghost in my house? Yes, that ghost was in my house and in Joe’s. I’ve set Max free now. I’m hoping he’ll be off to haunt other houses for a while.

How’s THAT for an answer??? Wow!

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  1. Darcia Helle

    July 29, 2011 4:22 pm

    Good day, Susan! I was sneaking around your site, stealing a snippet of your bio for our anthology, and stumbled upon my words here. I’d forgotten that I sent you this. Thanks for sharing it with your readers. 🙂

  2. Alice Audrey

    July 30, 2011 3:21 pm

    I youtubed that Band of Horses song and ended up laughing at the pillow fight.

  3. Darcia Helle

    July 30, 2011 3:55 pm

    Alice, that is a comical video. I love the concept of a pillow thief. That pillow fight must have been fun to film!

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