The Author of
"Novel That Sings"
Maria Veloso is a professional writer and songwriter based in
Los Angeles, California. She is widely acknowledged as the
premier specialist of web copywriting, is the Director of Web
Copywriting University, and the author of the popular Web
Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer
Copy Every Time (published by AMACOM in 2004).
Midwinter Turns to Spring is her first novel.
1997, I began entertaining the idea of writing a novel with a
music soundtrack. I figured, "If a movie can come with a
music soundtrack, why can't a novel?"
Back then, the book-and-CD-combo idea was not new,
by any means. I had seen it done frequently in children's, as
well as Christian books. But the concept of combining a
novel and music had not yet been attempted -- and I
was up to the challenge. It never occurred to me in those
days that this was a patentable idea. I just wanted a
platform on which to give full expression to both my
writing and songwriting abilities.
Therefore, I started composing the music and writing the
lyrics of a few songs, intending to use them as the basis for
developing a plot for the novel. In October 1997, I
actually sat down and began writing the manuscript, which I
titled Midwinter Turns to Spring after one of my
songs. As I continued fleshing out the manuscript, I
concurrently reworked the song lyrics to coincide with the
novel's plot that was quickly materializing. Curiously
enough, as the songs continually evolved, I also constantly
recrafted the plot of the novel to suit the music.
Therefore, if one were to ask me -- "Which came first -- the
music or the novel?" -- my answer would be "Neither." They
both evolved simultaneously.
Boredom Gave Birth to An Idea
I've never been an avid reader of novels. I've probably read
no more than 50 novels in my lifetime -- and many of them were
required reading in college. My reading list usually
consists of non-fiction and business books. Like most people
I know, I have a short attention span, get bored easily, and
therefore, reach for reading material that does not
require a month-long reading commitment like many novels do.
Whenever friends recommended a novel to me, I would most
likely say, "No, thanks. I'll just wait until the movie comes
out." I always believed that if a novel were good enough, it
would eventually be made into a movie -- and then I could
experience it in 2 hours instead of engaging in tedious
reading for a few weeks or even a month.
It turns out that I'm not alone in my novel-reading boredom.
A recent survey conducted by the Census Bureau at the request
of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) asked more than
17,000 American adults if they had read any novels, short
stories, poetry or plays in their leisure time. The survey's
findings showed that only 46.7% did. That was a decline rate
of 14% since 1992.
Indeed, while 53.3% of Americans do not read novels and other
literary works, 95% listen to at least one hour of radio each
day, particularly music radio. "It occurred to me that adding
the element of music to prose would spark renewed interest
in reading novels."
'And why not?' I surmised.
After all, music would intensify the emotional involvement
of the reader much like a film score intensifies the emotional
appeal of a movie. But I was convinced that the key to the
success of this platform was to make sure the songs are woven
intricately into -- and form a significant part of -- the
novelís plot. And that's what I set out to do with
Midwinter Turns to Spring.
years after I first conceived the idea of writing a novel with
its own music soundtrack, Midwinter Turns to Spring has
finally reached fruition -- and I have a patent pending
on the novel-with-music-soundtrack publishing model.
I deliberately kept Midwinter Turns to Spring to a
length that anyone can read in 3- 4 nights or a single weekend
-- and ensured that the extra dimension of music would enable
the reader to understand and enjoy the novel's subtle nuances.
This, then begs the question ...
When Will It Be Made
into a Movie?
Because of Midwinter
Turns to Spring's obvious cinematic potential --
and the fact that it already has its own music soundtrack --
people often ask me if a feature film is in its future. At
the moment, I'm working with an agent to sell the film rights
to a Hollywood producer -- and I've already begun
percentage of the net proceeds from Midwinter Turns
to Spring and its companion music CD is
non-profit organizations dedicated to world hunger
relief and poverty reduction.