Expected publication: July 3rd 2017
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kate McMurray here today sharing her thoughts and inspiration behind her latest story,What’s the Use of Wondering? (WMU #2). Welcome, Kate.
Write Music You Know by Kate McMurray
Logan in What’s the Use of Wondering? is my second violinist character. (The first was Everett in The Silence of the Stars.) I don’t think it’s a secret that I am also a violinist, so I had some first-hand experience I could lend to the characters.
My experience is different from Logan’s, though. I started taking lessons when I was nine. I loved playing but hated the pressure my parents put on me to practice all the time, which I realized as an adult was what held me back from becoming really great at it. When I took lessons again in my twenties, and I was grown up enough to actually want to get better, there was a noticeable improvement in my playing when I practiced regularly, and my teacher could totally tell when I’d slacked off.
I think we generally have this perception of artists that they’re just born with their talent without appreciating how much work it takes to be excellent. So I wrote a character, Logan, who works. He’s the concertmaster (lead violin) of the university orchestra. So he’s extraordinarily talented, but he’s taken lessons since he was five, he practices daily, he attends rehearsals and classes and special one-on-one sessions with his teacher. In fact, all that work is cutting into his social life, and at the beginning of What’s the Use of Wondering? he’s starting to wonder if maybe all that work isn’t worth it, because he’s missing out on what he thinks are normal college experiences. It’s making him question this whole plan he’d had to become a professional musician when he graduates.
I played enough in college that I could pull from my experiences when writing Logan. I auditioned and played with small ensembles and then went to music school again after college. But I like doing research anyway, so I would have tried to lend a certain amount of realism to the situation.
I always try to strike a balance between embedding the characters deep in their setting while also still keeping things accessible. So the book is a peek at what it might be like to be a serious musician in college. But even if you aren’t a musician yourself, you can sympathize with Logan’s growing unease that he’s committing all this time to doing something he’s not even sure he wants to keep doing.
And certainly you can relate to what happens when I guy he doesn’t like—who also happens to be really hot—ends up as his roommate.
What’s the Use of Wondering?
WMU: Book Two
Violinist Logan has spent most of his life training for a career in music. But as the pressure mounts during his junior year, he questions whether playing in an orchestra is the future he wants, or one chosen by his parents. His new roommate—that annoying jerk Peter from last year’s production of Guys and Dolls—complicates matters. Crammed into a dorm room with the overconfident but undeniably hot accounting major, Logan can’t stop snarling.
Then Peter sprains his ankle building sets, and Logan grudgingly agrees to play chauffeur. But instead of putting further strain on their relationship, spending time together reveals some common ground—and mutual frustration. Logan discovers he isn’t the only one who doesn’t know what he wants from life, and the animosity between him and Peter changes keys. But just as the possibility of a happier future appears, Logan gets a dream offer that will take him away from Western Massachusetts University—and Peter. Now he has to decide: will he live the solitary life laid out for him, or hold on to Peter and forge his own path?
About the Author
Kate McMurray writes smart romantic fiction. She likes creating stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. She advocates for romance stories by and for everyone. When she’s not writing, she edits textbooks, watches baseball, plays violin, crafts things out of yarn, and wears a lot of cute dresses. She’s active in Romance Writers of America, serving for two years on the board of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter, and three—including two as president—on the board of the New York City chapter. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with two cats and too many books.