Today I’m welcoming back two previous interviewees (seems to be a theme this week!), author Carol Hansen and musician Matt Lande. Carol and Matt are “merging word and song” for a Kickstarter project that, if funded, will bring out a book, an album, and an EP of songs based on the book, as well as helping to defray production costs on two music videos. Carol’s book is DarkStar, which she chatted with me about several months ago. Matt’s album is Welcome Home The Child; we discussed Matt’s music several months back as well. The EP is three new songs by Matt based on the novel, as you’ll see in the interview below:
ANTHONY: Hello again, Carol and Matt! I’ve interviewed you each individually, so this combined interview should be fun.
CAROL AND MATT: Hi Anthony! Thank you so much for chatting with us again.
ANTHONY: Tell us how this project came to be.
CAROL: Well, when I was writing, DarkStar, one of my goals was to have a song written for my book and possibly a music video made for that song. Getting a book noticed is incredibly tough and I thought that this would be a great marketing tool to help get exposure for DarkStar. The idea was always in the back of my mind, so when Matt and I began following each other on Twitter, and I saw that he was a musician, I checked out his links. The minute I heard his voice, I knew that he had the sound I was looking for. I contacted him to see if he would be interested in reading DarkStar and writing a song for it. He said that he wasn’t opposed to the idea but, with his time schedule, he didn’t know how long it would take him to read a whole book, as he was working on his solo acoustic album at the time. So, I sent him a twenty nine page synopsis to read that would give him the gist of the story, but he decided he wanted to read the whole novel. Matt takes his music very serious and he said he didn’t want to miss anything. I thought that was awesome.
So, he read my book and initially, I had asked him to write one DarkStar song but in the process, he was inspired to write three!
Our correspondence with each other made us realize that we have a fun and unique opportunity to join forces and work together so we came up with our project; Music…when word and song collide. It’s awesome, as an author and a musician, to come together and make something amazingly different!
ANTHONY: Can you give us some examples of how Matt reinterpreted words from the book to create the songs?
CAROL: Sure! Here’s a couple:
DarkStar quotes that inspired the DarkStar song:
Alec hugged me tightly, and I pressed my face into his shoulder, allowing me to smell his masculine scent on the sweater he was wearing. Sobs escaped my throat as I felt the relief of finally being in his arms. All I cared about right now was being with him. Alec saved me. He didn’t let me die on the cold and snowy mountain.
After a moment of sobbing and sniffles, he put his finger under my chin and lifting my face up, captured my eyes. His were the same color as the day I met him.
“You are safe now,” he whispered. “I will never let you be in harm’s way again.”
“I know this is crazy and complicated, but I will get through this…we will get through this. There is nothing to worry about now.” Alec drew me in close. I could feel the beating of our hearts, thumping in unison, two as one. Relief overcame me, but I wondered if it was premature as, at the same time, in the back of my mind the anxiety of the unknown future lingered.
“I love you, Amrie,” he whispered in my ear. “You truly are my Darkstar.”
DarkStar song lyrics:
My darling star, I’ll hold you within my arms,
When worlds apart, I’m with you, you’re safe from harm.
Most would fall and fallen they have, the might ones, but they’re not us
My perfect star, my brilliant angel, suspended there, I pull you in
DarkStar quotes that inspired the duet, It’s in the Way We Are:
“Why do you do that to me, Alec?” I asked quivering.
“Look at me like that. You captivate me with your eyes to the point that I can’t even breathe or think. Do you do that on purpose?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about. You think my eyes captivate you? Why, I think that is absolutely absurd,” he grinned.
“Well they do and I can’t believe you don’t know it.”
“Actually, I do,” he confessed. “Sometimes I feel that way when I look into my mother’s eyes. They seem to hold me as if in a trance. Often I feel like that is how she gets me to do some of the things she wants me to do —enthralls me with her eyes.”
“Is that what you are doing to me?” I asked suspiciously.
“I didn’t think I was,” Alec said shrugging his shoulders. “But could I?”
“Could you what? Get me to do what you want me to just by looking into your eyes?”
He stepped closer to me and the longer our eyes locked the more mesmerized I became. I almost felt as if I was in another world, watching the iridescent colors flicker as I gleamed into crystal glass swirling with delicate color.
I noticed that Alec’s eyes were a deep, dark blue, darker than I had ever seen them. “Please, Alec,” I sobbed. “You can help him. I know you can. I know what you can do…please.”
My pleading drew me into his space, his mystical eyes and their undeniable power. His pupils gripped me as emotion swelled in his chest, heavily breathing, nostril’s flaring.
“Please.” I whispered.
Staring with rapt attention, the intensity of his eyes began changing, motion swirling intricate patterns, power emerging.
It’s in the Way We are Lyrics:
It’s in the way you rescue me
You are the current pulling me
It’s with the pause in time we make
Say it’s alright here
When the world slows down
And our hearts race
I can feel the sound
I can feel you breathing
When I drink you in
It’s in the way we are
The third song is a short acoustic song, Amrie.
At this point, Matt has already recorded our three DarkStar songs, as well as ten songs for his acoustic album, “Welcome Home the Child,” (which, can I just tell you how amazing they are!) The first part of our project is getting all of these songs into the studio to have the DarkStar songs made into a 3 song EP– that will be marketed with my novel, and his ten songs made into an album. The rest of the project will involve going to Logan, Utah, the location of DarkStar, where we will be doing music videos for two of the three songs and printing DarkStar novels.
Our goal is to do combined DarkStar/Welcome Home the Child concerts and book signings. AND…the coolest thing ever…Matt has agreed to do a full DarkStar album!! Sweet!! We already have ideas for more songs, so if we can get the funding for this project, we will be in a good position to work on the full album.
ANTHONY: Matt, what was it about Carol’s story that inspired you to create music based on it?
MATT: I wasn’t sure what to expect when taking on the job to write music for DarkStar. I also couldn’t fathom reading an entire novel cover to cover. lol! Turns out that I became inspired more than ever and instead of only writing one song for the book as Carol asked, I ended up writing three. I think my inspiration was the mix of getting to know Carol as a person, what the book means to her and then the story of love and fantasy that DarkStar portrays. It kept me wanting to read more…that’s saying a lot because my attention span is such as a goldfish.
ANTHONY: Carol, what is it about Matt’s music that drew you to him as a source for creating music inspired by your characters?
CAROL: The first time I heard Matt’s voice was when I followed his links and he was singing, “Walking with Ghosts,” on his You Tube video. I was instantly intrigued because he had this magical, mystical sound and it’s exactly what I wanted for my song. Matt has a very unique voice and when you combine it with his amazing talent for writing and playing guitar; you can’t help but be captivated.
DarkStar is about a guy, Alec, from England who finds out he is destined to be a wizard, and he doesn’t want to be. He is tormented because the powers of the wizardry are being forced upon him and when he meets a girl named, Amrie, both of their worlds change. She has mysterious dreams and as his magical world intertwines with hers, they get lost in a plot of mystery, romance, intrigue and a mystical connection. I knew, instantly, that Matt was the one I wanted to write my DarkStar song, but I soon realized that he could also play the part of, Alec. I tease him about it, telling him he will be my, Alec in our DarkStar movie. He definitely could be because he fits Alec’s description to a tee. Coincidence? Personally, I don’t think so:) Everything has just fallen into place for us…like it was meant to be. That’s why we’ve joined forces, because what we have is an amazingly unique opportunity and we are working really hard to make it happen.)
ANTHONY: Matt, you’re also in the midst of creating your own album. How do you balance the two projects, make sure each gets equal attention, etc.?
MATT: How do I balance anything!? I have no idea. I have a dangerous balancing act. So many things going on. I think I get a mad drive when it comes to music and entertainment. I love the feeling when you pick up the guitar, something comes over you and a song is born. From that point, I’m itching to record and produce it. Once I get rolling, it’s kinda hard to stop me and miraculously, eventually, it all comes together.
ANTHONY: Carol, has Matt’s music influenced the way you’ve written the characters in the sequels versus the way you wrote them in the original story?
CAROL: It’s interesting that you ask that because it definitely has. Having Matt write the songs for DarkStar gave me a different perspective of my story. He took a whole novel and described three different aspects of it in just a few words…a musical synopsis, if you will. When writing, I have this vision in my head of who each character is and it’s quite easy to become repetitive with them. Matt’s words opened up a new picture for me and a different feel for what others are seeing–compared to what I’m writing. I have also learned a lot from Matt. He has a way of putting such deep emotion into his lyrics and it’s made me want to explore more deeply the way my characters, especially, Alec and Amrie, view each other.
ANTHONY: Matt, I know you’ve done fundraising before, on Indiegogo and other places. What sets the Kickstarter project apart from your other efforts? Why should folks who have donated to you in the past donate again for this project?
MATT: We thought it would be a good idea to do Kickstarter because we really need to accomplish our goal in a timely manner. Even though we won’t get the funding unless the full $5000 is raised, the site is more well-known than indiegogo, so we are taking the chance. All of the pledges from indiegogo campaigns were used to purchase recording equipment which I’ve used to lay down nearly all the acoustic guitars, lead vocals, and backing vocals for “Welcome Home the Child” as well as for the DarkStar EP. There’s still a ways to go, but if we reach this goal through Kickstarter, we’ll knock everything out of the park. I believe I have some of the best fans and that’s simply why we’ve gotten this far.
ANTHONY: Okay, let’s talk about the Kickstarter incentives. I know folks can click through on the link and see what you’re offering in return for the donation, but tell me a bit about each incentive and why you chose them.
CAROL: One thing we like about Kickstarter is that we are able to give something in return to those who support us. We are grateful for every single pledge because each one puts us closer to making our project a reality and without them, it just won’t happen.
First and foremost, we give, Thank You’s, both privately and publically, because we are so appreciative to our backers and we want them to know it. Along with those, everyone gets a virtual hug. Who wouldn’t want one of those? LolJ
Our incentives are a reflection of exactly what our project is and everything is personalized and very personal to us:
~Pre-released DarkStar and Welcome Home the Child CD’s and digital downloads
~DarkStar novel pre-released Wizard novel & bookmarks
~A guitar and hand written lyrics
~An original DarkStar manuscript and exclusive DarkStar Jewelry
~Exclusive connections with us through phone and in house concert and book signing
~Contact and knowing just exactly how our project is advancing
~Plus more added, “cool stuff” as Matt says
ANTHONY: Last but not least, what is the final deadline for the Kickstarter?
CAROL: The reason we are on Kickstarter is…the age old problem….MONEY! Matt and I have both had some personal struggles and setbacks the past few years that has made it really tough for us financially, so the fact that we have come this far, by financing our individual projects, is really quite remarkable. We are both working extremely hard to share our talents, but there hits a point where sometimes you have to, in all your humility, ask for help. That’s the point we are at. We are both extremely independent and it is hard for us to have to rely on others.
We are approaching our deadline quickly. Our project will end on March 29th at 8:36 a.m. so we are beginning to stress a bit. We haven’t even reached half of our financial goal and we’re past the half way point in our time limit, so we feel an urgency to get the word out about our project and hope that everyone will be willing to offer, even just a little bit toward making this a reality for us. We like helping others, also, and welcome the opportunity to return the favor and help any of you when you are in need.
We are so appreciative to Anthony for helping us out by doing this interview and want to thank him! He really does all of us an unselfish service by doing all the interviews he does to give exposure to so many creative and interesting people.
THANK YOU, Anthony for all you do! Most sincerely!!
ANTHONY: You’re welcome!
So, folks, here’s the link to Carol and Matt’s Kickstarter. I hope you’ll consider sending even just a few bucks their way. And remember, with Kickstarter, they don’t get your money if the project isn’t fully-funded, so please consider spreading the word!