Time Ranger Series, A Musical Journey
Certain songs have inspired each book of the Time Ranger series. For Nexus Point, book #1 of the series, it was ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ by The Smashing Pumpkins. “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage.”
The novels are by no means song-fics. The essence of the songs simply inspire the tone and sometimes theme of the novel. And it’s one song per book in the series.
The world is a vampire
Sent to drain
Hold you up to the flames
And what do I get
For my pain?
And a piece of the game.
Now I’m naked
Nothing but an animal
But can you fake it
For just one more show?
Although the lyrics almost completely forewshadow the Hero’s journey in Nexus Point, ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ also generates ‘feels’ which are similar to what I want the reader to feel.
‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ wakes you up and drives you forward. It opens in a softer tone with anger elements, which builds toward a climax of anger- and I’m not simply referring to plot here, I also mean tone- and then simmers and ends on a medium level which pairs nicely with the protagonist’s (Commander Kai Sawyer’s) journey since he still has a long road to travel throughout the series.
When I hear ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’, I clearly see Commander Sawyer at the apex of his anger and frustration, and how and why he arrived at that state. Anger has built up in Sawyer over the course of his childhood, schooling and early carrier, and during Nexus Point, he is (unfortunately) given the chance to unleash that anger, but ultimately learns something about himself during the process. I say ‘unfortunately’ because he is in an unfortunate position with unfortunate circumstances when his true anger bubbles to the surface and spills out. And like the song, he feels like a rat in a cage despite his rage, which is actually what is keeping him alive during this part of the book.
During a very low point during the main mission of the book he truly feels … ’What is lost can never be saved.’
I was reacquainted with this song (reacquainted since I’ve always been a The Smashing Pumpkins fan) after the first draft of Nexus Point was written, and the similarities were too close to ignore.
Currently, the Time Ranger series is set to be 4 books. As a series in whole, ‘Return to Innocence’ by Enigma, would be the series’ theme song. Book #2 in the series is inspired by ‘Burning Man’, by Dierks Bently, featuring, Brothers Osborne. Book #3 is inspired by ‘Bleed Red’, by Ronnie Dunn. And book #4 is inspired by ‘Right Here, Right Now,’ by Jesus Jones. But more on those as the series progresses …