Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Music Research

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For every book or novella I write, I always have to do some research. When I had the idea for His New Jam, I realized I would have to do a whole lot of research. All I know about music is that I love to listen to it.

I know absolutely nothing about playing music. I’ve never picked up an instrument—not even the plastic recorders my kids first learned on in third grade. In addition, I went to a college so small that we didn’t have a marching band. I had no idea how to create characters who live that kind of life—they’re band nerds after all.

Lucky for me, I have kids who have all taken music lessons and I have a friend who played in her college marching band. And of course, YouTube became my research partner.

Because I know nothing about how to read music or play an instrument, I found myself asking my kids stupid questions like, “Can you play any song on a saxophone?” (Two of my three play the sax.) I was often met with a sad shake of their heads before getting an answer. I then turned to YouTube and discovered Justin Ward. He’s a sax player who does covers of all kinds of songs, so I used his playing for inspiration for Hunter.

Then I created a questionnaire for my friend who played in the marching band and she was kind enough to not only answer the questions, but she also passed them on to another woman who played in the band at another school. Being able to get multiple perspectives always helps. They answered questions about practice times and schedules and games and cliques within the band. They also taught me about the good-natured teasing and name calling between groups.

I took all of that information and applied it to my imaginary school (which doesn’t even get a name, but is very loosely based on Northwestern University) and His New Jam was born.


Sydney Peters can’t wait to finally drop the cymbals in marching band and devote time to her true love: drums. With the semester coming to a close, she’s blocking out the cacophony during practice, especially sax serenades from Hunter Reed. But when Hunter offers her a paid gig as a drummer in his band, Sydney quickly changes her tune. The two favor different styles, but they make beautiful music together…in more ways than one.

Hunter is fascinated by Sydney’s distant allure. He might be a ladies’ man on campus, but the sarcastic cymbalist is impervious to his advances. When Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn’t anticipate, however, is falling so hard. But will the repercussions of his past crash down on his chance at something real?

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo 

Author contact:

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

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