My Mum tells a story about me as a baby that before I could talk, I used to lie in my cot and sing to myself. They werenâ€™t cooing baby sounds, they were actual little melodies. Right then, she knew I was going to be a singer. Music was in my blood, in my soul. It was in me.
But I think music is in everyone. Songs connect people to memories, feelings, thoughts. The Jackson Fiveâ€™s â€˜Can you Feel Itâ€™ takes me back to my first trip overseas with my family when I was thirteen and all the sights, sounds and smells of Italy come lusciously back to me. Jane Oliverâ€™s version of â€˜One Enchanted Eveningâ€™ makes me cry happy tears because it reminds me of times spent singing with my mum, our voices blended together with songs that touched both our souls. Shania Twainâ€™s â€˜From this Momentâ€™, takes me to my wedding and singing it (with tonsillitis) to my husband and him not caring that it was a bit rough because the words were for us. The Little Mermaidâ€™s, â€˜A part of this worldâ€™, takes me to the time I spent in the hospital when my son was born 9 weeks premature. There wasnâ€™t much I could do for him, but my voice singing that song used to calm him down. And I will always remember the little songs and ditties my poppy used to sing to me in his glorious tenor, because even though he never said the words, â€˜I love youâ€™, the love was in his voice for everyone to hear.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I am a classically trained singer and play the piano; have written music for theatre and cabaret shows and performed for many years, from plays to quartets, solos and choirs. But itâ€™s not just about being a singer or musician that makes music special. Itâ€™s the way it touches us and brings us together. And thatâ€™s what I set about expressing when I wrote Killing Me Softly.
Lexi and Daemon are two people damaged by their pasts, and yet their way out of the darkness of emotions too painful to deal with is through their music. At first it brings them together professionally, but then brings them together emotionally, because in their music, they hear each other; the sounds of their hearts, the things they canâ€™t say, the selves they wished they could be. It makes them face truths.
When Daemon plays Lexiâ€™s music for the first time she remembers the song, Killing Me Softly. This scene is a pivotal one between them, because in listening to Daemon play her music, Lexi doesnâ€™t just hear the pain, but hears for the first time the strength in herself she never sees, and it changes the way she views her past, her present, and in the end, her future. Daemon feels understood for the first time because Lexi hears the truth in his music and brings it out in her arrangements and production. It is through music that my characters connect. To misquote Barry Manilow, they donâ€™t just â€˜write the songs that make the whole world sing.â€™ Music makes Lexi and Daemonâ€™s love sing to them and makes them willing to create a new soundtrack of memories for a life together. I hope readers connect to this aspect of Killing Me Softly as much as I do.
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