Time for with another Music Monday (visit this page to learn more about it and how you can join in)!
Today’s feature is all about DJ Williams and his latest novel, Waking Lazarus, which he has written an accompanying soundtrack for. Read on to learn his strategy for pairing writing with music!
Waking Lazarus Goes Beyond the Page
“A captivating visual story with a colorful narrative. Once I started reading it was hard to put down.” Peter Anderson, Oscar Winner, Cinematographer
When I began writing Waking Lazarus I searched for musical inspiration as the story spanned nearly a century. I scrolled through my iTunes playlists and picked out a sequence of soundtracks to help set the tone and mood to help capture each scene as it played out on the page like a film. Working in the entertainment industry as an Executive Producer and Director, I understand how important a piece music can be to enhance the story you’re trying to tell.
As the months passed, Waking Lazarus came alive on the page and I had a thought…what if we created a soundtrack to go with the book. It was something I hadn’t seen done before. A soundtrack customized for the story, and done in a way that readers of all kinds could use it without being lost.
I reached out to a young composer, Jené Nicole Johnson, and shared with her the vision I had for a soundtrack to enhance the reading experience for Waking Lazarus. Under a tight deadline, she accepted the challenge and broke the code on how best to put the soundtrack together. She created layers of music that not only captured the 1920’s era through present day, but also the mystery and suspense as the story travels from the Southland to the Orient. All of the music tied together with specific chapters so it was easy for readers to follow. I found myself writing to the soundtrack as I worked on the final draft. It was an energizing, creative, experience, one I believe I’ll do again in the next novel of the Guardian Series.
Jake Harris’ life hasn’t turned out the way he planned. Battling his addictions, and the shattered pieces of his family, he is hired to ghostwrite a memoir. From the 1920’s story of a controversial evangelist, to the present day mystery of a former District Attorney, everything changes when his search for the truth leads to an atrocity hidden from history. With a past he can’t remember, he begins to discover that he is not the person he believed himself to be. Rather, he is a threat to a secret society that has remained in the shadows for nearly a century. Jake is drawn deep inside a world he never knew existed that brings him closer to his own extraordinary destiny.
Check out these videos for some behind-the-scenes of the making of this soundtrack:
About the Author: With the DNA of a world traveler, D.J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, has ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East. His global travels have engrossed him in a myriad of cultures, and provided him with a unique perspective that has fueled his creativity over the course of a twenty year career in both the entertainment industry and nonprofit sector.
In this latest novel, Williams has written an epic global adventure filled with riveting characters and page-turning twists and turns. Think Jason Bourne meets Homeland. It is a brilliant follow-up to his previous novel, The Disillusioned, that garnered the praise of Hollywood’s elite, including Judith McCreary, Co-EP, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and CSI, who said, “The Disillusioned is a fast-paced mysery…you won’t put it down until you’ve unlocked the secrets and lies to find the truth.”
With the release of Waking Lazarus, Williams is once again capturing the attention of industry veterans, including Peter Anderson (Oscar Winner, Cinematographer), who has already endorsed this latest adventure, “Waking Lazarus is a captivating visual story with a colorful narrative. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down.”
Currently based out of Los Angeles, Williams continues to add to his producing and directing credits of more than 300 episodes of broadcast TV syndicated worldwide by developing new projects for television, film, and print.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and your process with us, DJ!
I’ve seen soundtracks for books before where readers or the authors will draw together several songs they feel fit the book but never ones that have been designed specifically for the book. It’s so incredible how you can match the tone of the story with music, though that’s really what these Music Mondays are all about!
Watch for my review of Waking Lazarus coming in April!
And don’t forget to join myself and Miri Castor for the next #asktheauthor chat this Wednesday! See this post for more details!