Welcome to CentreStage!
CentreStage features amazing authors from around the world. These authors might share with your stories about their lives, their writing, what inspires them and what brought them to write in the first place. Today, it is my enormous pleasure to welcome the amazing Katie Mettner to CentreStage.
Katie is truly an inspiration in every conceivable way, and most certainly in the ‘keeping your spirits’ up department. Even with a stinking cold or a splitting headache, Katie sends out happy vibes and positive tweets at all times.
Oh yes, and that’s how we bumped into each other, in Twitterland. Over one of her funny and laugh-out-loud little tweets. We connected, and have been sending each other hugs and laughs ever since. Katie shares with us today how she reclaimed music in her life, and why and how it inspired her to write Sugar’s Dance. Tap-tap-tap it away, sweetie!
What part of music is the most important to you?
That might seem like a strange question to some, but it’s really quite simple. What part of the music, the rhythm, the melody, the lyrics or a combination of them, is most important to you? When you turn on the radio what part does your ear and your heart grab first?
For me it’s always been the rhythm, what my feet want to do when the first few bars play. It’s about if the rhythm makes me happy, sad or relaxed.
When I first sat down to write Sugar’s Dance, I hadn’t listened to music in nearly 10 years. Why? Because when I turned the music on my feet wanted to dance, but they couldn’t, so every song made me sad. I found that if I just didn’t listen to music then that part of my soul didn’t hurt. Going from dancing almost nightly to sitting in a wheelchair left that part of me in a bit of an upheaval.
Then in February 2011 I was laying in a hospital bed and a nurse decided she was going to put on some music to help me sleep. She called it her “Lullaby CD”. Well, as much as I protested she refused to listen and since I was lying in the bed with only one leg at that moment, I didn’t see a way to get up and turn it off. So I laid there and listened and a voice floated out across that speaker. I wonder what my face would have looked like had I had a mirror because it was the most astounding voice I had heard since dancing the night away to Frank Sinatra.
I quickly yelled to the nurse who came running in and I asked who was singing. She got a really funny look on her face and said, “That’s Michael Bublé”, as though I should already know that. I didn’t, but I will tell you suddenly I knew that I was missing the next Frank Sinatra and I wondered what else I was missing.
Did the rhythm make me want to get up and dance? Absolutely! Could I? No, but I found hope in that CD that I would again. And so it played all night long and I heard Enrique and Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift and Goo Goo Dolls and finally that part of my heart that was locked up against the strains of a rhythm was unlocked again. When I got home from the hospital I downloaded every album I could find of Michael Bublé and set about writing Sugar’s Dance.
My favorite part of the book is when Agent Walsh, Sugar’s bodyguard, tells her she’s an anomaly. I share it below:
“You are an anomaly Tula.” He said between bites.
I looked up surprised at his words.
“An anomaly; a contradiction.”
“I know what anomaly means. I’m curious why you say that.”
He had finished his omelette and was leaning back in his chair sipping his coffee. “I’ve been here, what about eighteen hours and I have heard Annie Lennox, Taylor Swift, Ace of Base, Billy Joel, Goo Goo Dolls, Michael Bublé, Bruno Mars, Lady Antebellum, Garth Brooks, Allison Krauss, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Enrique and some dude playing the piano.”
He arched an eyebrow at me. “So you know your music. I still don’t see your point.” I put my fork down and copied his posture.
“Your choice of music alone is, confusing.”
“I didn’t think I was going to have justify my music choices for this arrangement.” I took a sip of my coffee begging the Lord to give me strength.
“I never said you did. “
See this is the reason I don’t date. Men drive me crazy. They can’t seem to carry on a normal conversation in a normal manner.
“It was just an observation really, but I wouldn’t mind getting to know you better since we will be spending a lot of time together.”
He took a drink of his coffee his green eyes glinting at me from above the rim waiting.
“I’m a dancer.”
His eyes traveled across me again. “Yes. I can see that.” He was assessing me with his eyes, again. I probably should have been put off by the way he looked at me, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to get too worked up about it. “So that’s the whole answer. You’re a dancer?”
I sighed, “Music to me is about the rhythm. It’s about what my feet want to do when the first few bars play. It’s about if it makes me happy, sad, angry or lonely. It’s about whether I want to throw caution to the wind and swing or if I want to be pulled up tight and waltzed around the floor. For me music will take my mind off the bad stuff, let me be creative or relax me after a long day. It’s about what memories it brings back and what memories it makes. If I couldn’t dance music would simply be notes, but when I dance it becomes my soul.”
And so what part of the music is the most important to me? The rhythm, because without rhythm I didn’t move anywhere, but with rhythm I found the strength to share Sugar, someone who has also known the feeling of not being able to dance and then the feeling of rebirth by waltz through the darkness into the light.
Let’s find out more about Katie’s second book Sugar’s Song!
Everybody needs a little Sugar!
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56
Love is a many-splendored thing and no one who knows this better than Tula “Sugar” DuBois. As the New Year breaks over her lodge on the frozen shores of Lake Superior, Sugar is wrapped in the arms of the man she loves, dancing in the New Year with her brother and his new wife.
Enter the mysterious Lillie who comes to the lodge for Christmas break seeking safe haven. No one knows her secrets and she’s determined to keep it that way. Having had secrets to keep Sugar is compelled to love and protect Lillie, determined to give her the strength to reveal what she’s hiding before it’s too late. When Lillie comes face-to-face with her past will she let revenge steal her future?
Sugar calls upon all who love Lillie to dance a dangerous samba to save the young girl before she is delivered to the Father by evil… As the tulips sprout through the snow covered ground there is new love, new hope and new life, and together they will share Sugar’s Night…
And last but not least, introducing the fabulous Katie Mettner herself, properly…
I grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and moved to the Northwoods as a young adult where I now reside with my husband and three children. My love affair with Lake Superior began when I met my husband, Dwayne, and he drove me across the bridge one snowy November day with my nose pressed up against the glass. It was in that moment the scene was set for my breakout novel!
As a young adult I enjoyed ballroom dancing and spent many hours on the dance floor, and like Sugar I didn’t let my physical limitations hold me back very long. I’m happy to report that I’m back on the dance floor again! My stories are a reflection of my love for family intricately woven with life experience. When the gales of November blow early you can find me at the computer with a cup of joe, listening to Michael Bublé and working on Sugar’s next adventure….
Nicky says: Katie, thank you for a wonderful post and for introducing yourself and Sugar. I’m positively dancing here. Please come back soon!