In pop music – rock/pop/indie/country/I don’t care as long as it’s not classical or jazz, and that’s only because I don’t think the same dynamics would apply (although I could be wrong). I was thinking – I’ve got this musician heroine who works as a touring and studio player, and she’s got certain views and habits and lifestyle issues and I figured maybe I should talk to somebody who actually lives this so I can make sure I’m writing her realistically. I mean, I don’t expect to get a lot of female musician readers (or, you know, any) but I’d still like to have a believable character in a believable setting.
It really bugs me when a romance features a heroine who works in a field I know something about — like, for instance, law — and she behaves in a way no sane, employable person in that field would act. A female prosecutor is not going to fall in love with a guy accused of murder and run off with him and if she does, she’ll wind up in prison, even if the guy ends up being cleared or acquitted. Corporate attorneys do not take pro bono criminal defense cases. And so on. Yes, there are sleazy, stupid lawyers. Yes, lawyers do get up to sexual hijinks so bizarre that if I put them in a book you’d never read anything by me again. Yes, attorneys fall in love with opposing counsel, and judges make passes at attorneys, and all that kind of stuff. But if a romance heroine is doing anything that in real life would involve jail or disbarment then I’m sorry, I can’t finish the book. At best the heroine is TSTL and at worst she’s deeply unethical and I can’t stand either type of character.
Wait where was I? Oh yeah – so I like for my characters and their backgrounds to be believable, even if we’re talking about a world with werewolves and brownies. Now that I’m writing a contemporary I’m even more concerned about getting my characters right. If a musician did happen to read my book, I want them laughing at the funny stuff, not at how poorly I’ve portrayed working musicians. [Insert caveat about how any romance novel is necessarily not terribly realistic, blah blah blah.]
So, seeing as how I don’t have the nerve to contact violinist Amanda Shires Isbell, who joined the Texas Playboys at fifteen and has been working ever since, just like my heroine – anybody know any female working musicians?