So how much do I love Nell Massler? Well, a whole hell of a lot more than I ever expected.
If you read the King Series, you know Nell as the villain of Fearless, the warning voice of Breathless and Restless. . .and the source of Tasmyn’s guilt and remorse in Endless. Nell, like many a side character, was never meant to be relevant beyond Fearless. I was shocked when she turned up in Breathless, in a scene that scared the bejesus out of me when I wrote it (late at night, in a dimly lit room, by myself). And even after Endless, I thought we were done.
Even after I knew Nell would have her own book, I had no idea that her book would be related to Rafe’s. . .and when I found out how, I was shocked again.
As soon as her story began taking shape, I realized that Nell’s music had to be part of who she is. Nell Massler is strong. She’s tough. She had a painful childhood, abandoned by all those whom she loved, so she had to be tough to survive. She’s damaged, and she’s closed off. She doesn’t trust me, and love is not something she wants.
A few lines from these songs began to define Nell for me:
From Kellie Pickler’s Tough:
“But life came hard to my front door
And I grew up tryin’ to even up the score.”
And from Kelly Clarkson’s My Life Would Suck Without You:
“I know that I’ve got issues
But you’re pretty messed up too.”
So today’s Music Monday is dedicated to Nell Massler, with love and respect. As I told a reader recently, Nell is never going to be easy. She’s never going to be completely tame or sure of her own goodness. But you can bet that she’ll never be dull, either.
Next week, we’re going to talk revenge songs with Julia and Jesse in Best Served Cold.