The Journey from Novelist to Songwriter/Music Producer

I often introduce myself as having grown up between Disneyland and the beach with a book in one hand and a transistor radio in the other. If you stick around long enough to unpack that, you realize the meaning behind it all.

Fast forward to my career in the Silicon Valley technical writing scene. Burned out after twenty years or so, I started writing fiction during the “chick lit” craze. Real Women Wear Red was my answer to the height of all those pink covers. We had just moved to Florida after meeting my father for the first time. I sat out on the Lanai with my laptop, I was all lathered up with Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, I listened to Jimmy Buffet, and I wrote, so inspired by the tropics and this unusual meeting.

RWWR was my third novel and the first to acquire a literary agent. In fact, my agent said my writing had a “poetic, almost lyrical rhythm” to it. It also garnered my first publishing contract and remains my bestseller. No wonder – one agent said “Cyn was fabulous!”

After my uncle said, “Welcome to the family, Kat; now that you know you’re a Holmes, you’re going to want to pay attention to music” I began pondering what my agent meant by saying that my writing had a  “poetic, almost lyrical rhythm” to it.

Music had always been my first love. Should I be pursuing music in some way? Poetry? I’d heard that my grandmother had written poetry so I started with that. But my grandfather, uncles, cousins, nephews, etc., were all musicians. So after writing Real Women Sing the Blues where Robin longs to ditch her corporate life for singing the Blues in Hawaii, I decided it was time to pursue music for real, instead of just through fiction.

I earned a certificate in Songwriting and Music Production from Berklee College of Music through Coursera, joined Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), and was certified as an NSAI songwriter. And then I discovered music production and totally fell in love with the life of a music producer. Makes sense, right, since I met Rich when I was a production editor.

Along the way Rich, a former technical writer, joined me in writing fiction through short stories, novels, and screenplays, and music through lyric writing. I think he has a knack for it.