Romance author Kylie Scott shares her inspiration for writing rock star romance, including how she shaped her hero in "Lick."
I grew up in the 80’s. Big hair. Bigger shoulder pads. And that was just the guys. Back then the rock stars wore Lycra and lots of it. Sure, I had a slight fixation on Jon Bon Jovi. (It was peer pressure. Leave me alone.) But you couldn’t help but yearn for a grittier, more real age of rock. A time when the jeans were torn due to actual wear and tear as opposed to at the hands of a designer. Back when the likes of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple were first strutting the stage, redefining rock n’ roll and rebelling against the man. Or something like that.
The beating heart of a rock n’ roll band, it could be said, is the winning combination of dynamic lead singer, and epic lead guitarist. Take Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zep. Bon Scott and Angus Young from the original AC/DC line-up. Closer to our own times, how about Axl Rose and Slash from Guns N’ Roses, or even the Gallagher brothers, Liam and Noel from Oasis? Hang on, have you noticed a trend here? Hot lead singer, average looking (but supremely musically gifted) lead guitarist. What’s that, you were too busy focusing on their musical talent to notice? Never mind. That’s where I come in…
I’m proud to say that in my book, Lick, I’ve bucked this sad happenstance. Both the lead singer and guitarist of the fictional band, Stage Dive, are swelteringly hot. Like…ridiculously handsome. Plus, they’re musically gifted and all that. Sure. Why not? But it takes a composite of features to craft a believable rock star. Lead Singers must croon as well as they swagger or it’s all for naught. And song writers and musicians must feel. You know what I mean, there has to be substance. A dash of angst, a dollop of sheer brilliance. Rock stars are a rough and tumble concoction of grit and romance both. So often, guys seem to get into it for the girls, but they stay for the love of it. The art that is. As in the music.
Rock stars are every bit as melodramatic, high and mighty, over-the-top and in-your-face as Shakespeare or Byron ever were. And we love them for it because there’s glamour in the grit. From the long, boring, tiring hours spent endlessly repeating riffs in recording studios to performing in front of a crowd of thousands, rock stars are living the dream. Fame, fortune and all that. But they’re there due to raw talent and persistence. Scratch the surface of any Mick Jagger and there’s a story of living in someone’s basement, eating Ramen noodles and travelling the country side in a beat up old van trying to score gigs.
I wanted to write about rock stars because they’re the modern day poets. There’s so much romance to be had in their talent and drive. My hero in Lick, David Ferris, is the lead guitarist for the band.
He’s the song writer. Vulnerable like Kurt Cobain with a sibling rivalry to put the Gallagher brothers to shame (David’s brother Jimmy is the lead singer). The soul of a poet like Eddie Vedder with the fingers of Jimmy Page. He’s as jaded as Bob Dylan but as sweet as Neil Young. When he falls for our heroine, Evelyn Thomas, in Vegas, he falls hard. That is how they wake up married. But it was a night to remember that our heroine has sadly forgotten care of one too many tequilas. And so our story begins…
Interested in romance? Sign up for Romance Delivers, a weekly email featuring the best in romance each week - from weekly booklists to deals and exclusive content from authors.