Country Music and Writing Cowboy-Themed Romance

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallI write to music. Different music makes me feel different and those feelings transpose themselves into whatever it is that I happen to be writing at the time.

When I started writing cowboys and cowgirls (there’s at least one of those coming), I started listening to more and more country music. Whenever I meet someone new, especially if I see a story in something about them, I inevitably get around to asking what music they listen to.

I did that with Twisted Up. As I was getting to know the real Justin, I learned he really, really loved Sugarland. I overdosed on them, to get a feel for him, for them, for whatever it was that got to him. I also listened to SheDAISY a lot. They’re where the title came from.

But there’s something connective in my brain between cowboy books and country music. I know it’s likely a stereotype on my part and I definitely don’t mean to offend anyone or put everyone into one big musical cast iron pan, but listening to it gets me in a specific frame of mind with a specific type of character than say, listening to Nickelback does, or Bon Jovi, or Sarah Brightman, or as I was doing yesterday, listening to some 80’s Duran Duran. Different music gets me differently and country gets me to that place for writing cowboys, cowgirls, and country boys.

I have several cowboy and country boy books planned for this year and so far on the playlists for those are Justin Moore, Tim McGraw, Chris Young, Brantley Gilbert, Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies, Carrie Underwood (especially her newer stuff), Kip Moore, and Kenny Chesney… I’m sure as I get farther along in the stories, I’ll be adding to the playlist.



About Lissa Matthews

author of contemporary erotic romance
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15 Responses to Country Music and Writing Cowboy-Themed Romance

  1. Mary Preston says:

    I actually don’t connect the two at all. For me they have a completely different feel.

  2. Clare O'Beara says:

    If you are setting a scene in a bar it would help you along nicely to listen to the music your characters hear.
    On the other hand if they were riding through deep snow it might seem jarring. But the cowboys used to sing to the herd to keep the cattle calm at night didn’t they? And any kind of celebration always involved a fiddle and a Jew’s harp in the old days.

  3. Ronda Tutt says:

    I totally get it, music can bring out many feelings but also give you many perceptions of a vision especially if you have a great imagination. Sometimes it makes me day dream of things I wish could happen. It reminds me of some stuff I did in the past too. It’s weird how the song is suppose to tell a story but it is not always the same story for every person – kind of like the movies always have a theme song to match their story.

    Growing up my mom was a country singer ( whole freakn’ family sings except me) and all I heard was Loretta Lynn, Patsy Kline, Tammy Wynett, Crystal Gale, and finally some Janis Joplin.. I mean back then they sang about DIVORCE, now they sing about CHEATING – LOL Anyway back to stories, I think my mom sang country because she felt her life in the way she sang and I think when you write you can feel a life or the story of a life in each song. One thing for sure and that is it is always heart felt.

    In my opinion Stories and Music are the same or they derive from the same concept in creation.
    You could get some good stories from Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. I love them and I love Miranda’s husband ole Blake Shelton too.

    It’s funny that growing up I hated/resented country because thats all I heard and so I rebelled and got into the hard/classic rock stage (Jimmy Hindrex, Led Zepplin, Van Halen, AC/DC, Heart, Journey, etc) but now that I am much older I am mellowing out or is it the change of the country sound like a mix of country and pop.

    thanks for the Great post for a great conversation.
    Have an awesome day.

  4. kbranfield says:

    Country music oftentimes tells a story. I grew up listening to old country music, went to hardcore metal, then about 11 years went back to country. I don’t see ever switching back.

  5. DeborahR says:

    I actually do the same thing when reading. The music I listen to sometimes kind of goes along with the book. Add Josh Taylor to your list! Just his deep voice makes me want to drool!!

  6. mawmom says:

    I find that I read cowboy romance in SPITE of country music, I just can not stomach it. I agree that certain music puts you in a certain frame of mind and I am glad you can benefit from it just glad its not me LOL!

  7. tiss81 says:

    You have some interesting country artists listed. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in books. Good Luck. I only listen to country music also.

  8. Eileen says:

    I tend to listen to country music more these days than any other genre. Still love my classic rock and listen to top 40 due to my kids but its country for me most days. Good luck with all that writing. Can’t see what comes next.

  9. jwl321 says:

    I don’t think I’d be able to write while I was listening to music. Kind of like, back in the day, I couldn’t if the radio was playing. I did however have a teacher that played classical music softly during tests. I think that was for his benefit though, not ours! Lol.

  10. JackieW says:

    I’m the same way with my painting. I listen to different types of music depending on what subject I’m painting. I think it helps to keep me in the mood.I’m sure your stories are better for it.

  11. JOYE says:

    I’ve always loved country music. Most of the songs tell stories themselves and are good to listen to. Your books sound interesting…I plan to read one as soon as I can. Thanks for the info.

  12. SheriV says:

    I love country books and country music together. Cowboys are always country music to me. But I also listen to a lot of country anyways. 🙂

  13. Stacia says:

    Try Jerrod Niemann. He isn’t your average country singer. He has a wide range of country music and his new cd “Free the Music” has a lot of horns playing. Plus he is such a great, sweet guy!!

  14. I like singing to music or have it playing while I write my blog.

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