Today would have been my brother’s 41st birthday.
Would have been. It’s been a decade and it still hurts. But I’ve learned to live with it, and it helps that he left behind a bunch of lessons that live on in my day to day. He taught me how to be tough, how to appreciate horror movies, and the one that has impacted me the most—how to love music.
I’ve listened to country music my entire life, at the influence of my mother. It is still primarily what makes up my music collection and what most of my radio presets are. My brother, however, introduced me to rock, pop, heavy metal. It is because of him I have a deep-seeded love affair with hair metal. My obsession with Poison and Guns N Roses—all him. (I have Teresa to blame for Bon Jovi. I say blame like it’s a bad thing, it’s not.)
He taught me to appreciate music outside my general genre. I love that he did. I now have heavy metal, eighties, rock, pop, country, and even classical on my phone. Without him, and the appreciation I have for other genres, I don’t know that I would love Keith Urban as hard as I do, with the way he fuses so many different sounds together to form his own.
It should come as no surprise, then, that music comes up in my writing. A lot. There was a lot of it in Virtue of Death. It plays an even larger role in a couple novellas of mine: Wreck You and Mi Amor (out summer 2017 from Satin Romance).
I know my brother would be proud of what I’ve done. Even if he’d never read a word of what I wrote, he’d be proud of me anyway. Because that’s what big brothers do.
In honor of my brother’s influence in music and the upcoming Wreck You release, allow me to share a couple songs that are my absolute favorites and you’ll see come into play in the book.
November Rain by Guns N Roses
Bent by Matchbox Twenty
Happy birthday, big bro. Here’s one just for you. It’s not in my writing… but forever etched in my heart.