Today I am so pleased to welcome J.T. Hall to Joyfully Jay. J.T. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Murder Once Seen. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving J.T. a big welcome!

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Writing to Music and Character Playlists

Writing to music is a luxury that I rarely get to indulge in, but I also like listening to music while driving, and I’ve done a fair amount of plotting while behind the wheel. Music is particular good for highly emotional scenes, and there are a few songs that impacted the writing of Murder Once Seen. I do also create playlists for certain characters. Derwin’s is made up of a lot of classic 70’s rock and also show tunes, surprisingly enough. Elliot’s playlist contains more punk, alternative, and techno.
Here is a sampling of some of the songs from each of their playlists:

Derwin Bryant:

1. “Thunderstruck,” AC/DC
2. “Demons Away,” Matt Skiba
3. “Bulletproof Heart,” My Chemical Romance
4. “Bad Moon Rising,” John Fogerty
5. “Urgent,” Foreigner
6. “Radar Love,” Golden Earing
7. “Ask the Lonely,” Journey
8. “Mr. Brightside,” The Killers
9. “El Tango de Roxanne,” Moulin Rouge
10. “Come What May,” Moulin Rouge

Elliot Leed:

1. “All Around Me,” Flyleaf
2. “Bleed It Out,” Linkin Park
3. “Bring Me to Life,” Evanescence
4. “The Kill,” 30 Seconds to Mars
5. “¿Viva la Gloria?”, Green Day
6. “S&M,” Rihanna
7. “Feel This Moment,” Pitbull and Christine Aguilera
8. “Clarity,” Zedd
9. “Something in Your Mouth,” Nickelback
10. “The Only Hope for Me is You,” My Chemical Romance

In particular I used the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge to write the scene where Elliot has to meet with Roy Yoshiro in his role as a rentboy, and the difficulty that Derwin has in accepting that he’s falling for Elliot. Other songs either reminded me of the characters, represented struggles they were facing or things they were feeling, or perhaps I just thought “Hey, Elliot or Derwin would love this song!” (That’s true of the Nickelback tune and also Rihanna.)

Basically, music helps me get into my characters’ heads to understand their perspective, especially from an emotional standpoint. The type of music a person listens to also can tell you a lot about them. Music can be a soundtrack to our lives, and for a writer, it can also be a soundtrack to an intense, dramatic scene.


Murder Once SeenIn the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.

Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.

Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.

Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.


J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.

Connect with J.T.:


To celebrate the release of Murder Once Seen, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 17, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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