Thursday, 6 June 2019

Music, DJs, and the biggest party in the world... The inspiration behind The Superstar DJ Series.

After eight long months, I've finally released a brand new book! But not just a book, it's really the launch of a whole new series of books. The Superstar DJ Series kicked off yesterday with the release of Book #1 - Before Today (find out more about that HERE) - and will continue in a couple of months time with the next book in the series Don't You Want Me.

The Superstar DJ Series is a series of stories all connected by certain characters, places, events, and although some of those characters, places, etc. will be mentioned in all of the books, they are all standalone stories and can most definitely be read separately!

So, how did this new series of mine come about? Well, that's a story in itself. And it all began last year when my husband noticed a link on his Facebook feed that one of his friends had posted. A link to a YouTube video of Cherry Moon playing a set at a festival. But this festival... it didn't look like any festival either me or my husband had ever seen, so we did a bit more research, checked out a few more YouTube videos, and then we came across this one...

Tomorrowland - We'd never even heard of it! This HUGELY popular EDM (electronic dance music) festival that's been held in the small Belgian town of Boom (and I LOVE that that's where this festival takes place!) since 2005; a festival that's been called the biggest party in the world, and we'd never heard of it! I'm ashamed to say that now, I really am, but it had completely passed us by, but just watching that Aftermovie... we wanted to go to this festival. We HAD to go, and, despite being in our (very) early 50s, that became our aim. To get tickets to Tomorrowland 2019, which we've managed to do, and we're going, and I'm ridiculously excited about that, I can't even tell you. Because those months since we discovered this festival, and I dipped back into the whole EDM scene that I'd kind of taken a step back from since the early noughties, well, they've been a revelation. The music - the DJs, the sets, the whole vibe the scene creates, it's something else. It's difficult to describe, but when I listen to that music now it just makes me smile. I've had a lot to deal with over the past few months, and this music has seriously got me through so much, because it allows you to lose yourself, for a little while. I don't know - like I said, it's difficult to describe, but it's the kind of music that's, for want of a better word, hopeful. It makes me happy, and most importantly, it's kicked off a whole new world of inspiration for me at a time when I thought my writing days were numbered. I'd lost faith in myself, in my ability to turn anything out that was even half-decent, it felt like it was difficult to be inspired by anything anymore. And then Tomorrowland happened, and that woke me up; gave me the push I needed to get back out there and start writing again. And so the Superstar DJ Series was born.

I owe a lot to that music. I'm a huge fan of house and trance, the likes of Yves V, Laidback Luke, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren and Andrew Rayel, to name but a few, they're favourites of mine, I just love their energy. And then we have people like Lost Frequencies who just have this incredible uniqueness about them, his set from Tomorrowland 2018 is one I watch again and again, and he's a must-see for me when we go to Belgium in July.

And it's actually his track - 'Before Today', which is played in that set - that inspired my book of the same name. The lyrics are everything Nina and Yves' story is about, they're just perfect. Beautiful. That song was the biggest inspiration for me writing that book, and it's music on the whole that is inspiring all the stories in the Superstar DJ Series. I've created a whole new fictional universe and I'm loving immersing myself in it every day as I write these books. And listen to that music.

But I alway knew I wanted to write at least story in the series that took place over the course of a single weekend, at a festival. Festivals are mentioned in the first two books, but only for a chapter or two. I wanted to write a story that focuses on a fictional festival for the duration of the story. And what better way to research that properly than actually going to a real-life festival? My trip to Tomorrowland, it won't just be an incredible (albeit exhausting!) adventure, it'll be the best kind of inspiration I could wish for.

The Mainstage at Tomorrowland 2018 - The Story of Planaxis
Image courtesy of @Tomorrowland

This is a festival where people from all over the world come together with one goal in mind - to listen to the music. To dance like they don't have a care in the world, because for those few days you don't. This is a festival where you leave real-life behind for a little while and live inside the Tomorrowland bubble; a chance to meet people you wouldn't normally meet in your everyday life. Different cultures. Different faiths. Different nationalities, all coming together in the name of music. I can't wait to experience that, and hopefully translate everything I experience into a beautiful story...

Besides, I think it's fate that I'm going to this year's festival in particular - its 15th anniversay year. I think I was meant to go, this year, because the theme for Tomorrowland 2019...?

Image courtsey of @Tomorrowland

The Book of Wisdom - The Return. For an author, there couldn't be a better theme! Yeah, I'm reading shed-loads into that!! 😄

Anyway, I hope that's gone some way to explaining just what inspired me to get back to writing; to start enjoying writing again. And what inspired me to begin this brand new series, and create this whole new world of characters and stories. Music. It's everything...

Before Today - Book #1 in the Superstar DJ Series - is out now and available to download HERE.
It's also available in paperback HERE.

Check out Chapter One, for FREE, right HERE.

And if you want to listen to the music that's inspiring these stories, the Superstar DJ Playlist is available HERE on Spotify!

And I'll be blogging LOADS more about my Tomorrowland journey in the coming weeks, both before and after the festival, so watch out for that. And look out for more news on Book #2 in the Superstar DJ Series. It's coming soon...

Have a great day!

Michelle x

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