Art In Fiction

How Art In Fiction Celebrates the Creative Spirit

July 02, 2020 Carol Cram, Creator of Art In Fiction Season 1 Episode 1
Art In Fiction
How Art In Fiction Celebrates the Creative Spirit
Chapters
0:16
Welcome
1:01
What is Art In Fiction?
2:00
Who is Carol Cram, the Host of Art In Fiction?
4:57
Why Did I Create Art In Fiction?
6:20
What Will You Find on Art In Fiction?
7:13
Break: Pro Writing Aid - 20% Off Coupon
8:13
Ten Favorite Blog Posts on Art In Fiction
Art In Fiction
How Art In Fiction Celebrates the Creative Spirit
Jul 02, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
Carol Cram, Creator of Art In Fiction

Welcome to the very first episode of the Art In Fiction Podcast!  A terrific line-up of guests is coming your way in Season 1! In the meantime, you have questions, and this episode provides the answers!

Highlights:

  • What is Art In Fiction? Learn about the Art In Fiction website and the Art In Fiction Podcast
  • I'm Carol Cram, the Host of the Art In Fiction Podcast - If you love the arts, I'll bet we have a lot in common!
  • Why Art In Fiction? Discover how I saw an opportunity to celebrate artsy novels. 
  • What Will You Find on Art In Fiction?
  • What are my Ten Favorite Blog Posts on Art In Fiction? Tune in to find out!

Art In Fiction
Artsy Traveler
Wayward Pineapple Creations
GreggSimpson.com

Carol Cram's Novels:
The Towers of Tuscany
A Woman of Note
The Muse of Fire
Love Among the Recipes

Favorite Blog Posts on Art In Fiction

#1: Musical Thrills & Chills: Six Music-Inspired Thrillers That Hit the Right Notes
#2: Ladies of Film: Seven Spectacular Novels About Women in Hollywood
#3: Five Dressy Novels Inspired by the Textile Arts
#4: All the World's a Stage: Five Novels Inspired by the Theater
#5: Build It and They Will Come: Eight Amazing Architecture-Inspired Novels
#6: Eight Captivating Novels Inspired by Van Gogh’s Paintings
#7: Ten Intriguing Novels About Remarkable Women Artists
#8: Novels Inspired by Jane Austen
#9: To Dance, To Dream: Novels about Ballet
#10: Novels About Art in Renaissance Florence

Receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for a paid plan on Buzzsprout - helping podcasters start and grow their podcasts.

Music Credits
Intro:  Symbolist Waltz from the album Alive in Seattle/Lunar Adventures
Mid-episode ad: The Fever from the album Full Moon/Lunar Adventures
Composer: Gregg Simpson  

This website contains affiliate links. If you use these links to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you.  

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to the very first episode of the Art In Fiction Podcast!  A terrific line-up of guests is coming your way in Season 1! In the meantime, you have questions, and this episode provides the answers!

Highlights:

  • What is Art In Fiction? Learn about the Art In Fiction website and the Art In Fiction Podcast
  • I'm Carol Cram, the Host of the Art In Fiction Podcast - If you love the arts, I'll bet we have a lot in common!
  • Why Art In Fiction? Discover how I saw an opportunity to celebrate artsy novels. 
  • What Will You Find on Art In Fiction?
  • What are my Ten Favorite Blog Posts on Art In Fiction? Tune in to find out!

Art In Fiction
Artsy Traveler
Wayward Pineapple Creations
GreggSimpson.com

Carol Cram's Novels:
The Towers of Tuscany
A Woman of Note
The Muse of Fire
Love Among the Recipes

Favorite Blog Posts on Art In Fiction

#1: Musical Thrills & Chills: Six Music-Inspired Thrillers That Hit the Right Notes
#2: Ladies of Film: Seven Spectacular Novels About Women in Hollywood
#3: Five Dressy Novels Inspired by the Textile Arts
#4: All the World's a Stage: Five Novels Inspired by the Theater
#5: Build It and They Will Come: Eight Amazing Architecture-Inspired Novels
#6: Eight Captivating Novels Inspired by Van Gogh’s Paintings
#7: Ten Intriguing Novels About Remarkable Women Artists
#8: Novels Inspired by Jane Austen
#9: To Dance, To Dream: Novels about Ballet
#10: Novels About Art in Renaissance Florence

Receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for a paid plan on Buzzsprout - helping podcasters start and grow their podcasts.

Music Credits
Intro:  Symbolist Waltz from the album Alive in Seattle/Lunar Adventures
Mid-episode ad: The Fever from the album Full Moon/Lunar Adventures
Composer: Gregg Simpson  

This website contains affiliate links. If you use these links to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you.  

Hello and welcome to Episode 1 of the Art In Fiction Podcast. My name is Carol Cram and I’m an author, a reader, and the creator of the Art In Fiction website. 

The Art In Fiction Podcast is your invitation to join me in celebrating the creative spirit. 

On this podcast, you’ll listen in on my chats with authors about their arts-inspired novels, learn tips about writing and how to be a successful author, and delve deeply into all things literary and artsy. 

I’ve called this inaugural episode How Art In Fiction Celebrates the Creative Spirit. You’ll learn about the origins of Art in Fiction and get a sneak peek at my favorite blog posts on the Art In Fiction website. 

You’ll find Art In Fiction at www.artinfiction.com where you can also access the show notes for this episode. 

What is Art In Fiction?

That’s a good question and I’m glad you asked!

The Art In Fiction Podcast grew out of the Art In Fiction website, which is a curated database of novels for readers who enjoy novels inspired by the arts. 

If you like to read novels about artistic pursuits—acting, dancing, photography, music, and many more, then you’ve come to the right place! The Art In Fiction website, along with the Art In Fiction Podcast, explores how authors incorporate elements of the arts into their novels. 

On the Art In Fiction website, you’ll find novels listed in eleven categories: Architecture, Dance, Decorative Arts, Film, Literature, Music, Photography, Textile Arts, Theater, Visual Arts, and Other. 

In this episode, you’ll hear about some of my favorite blog posts about novels in several of these categories. 

But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself. If you love the arts as much as I do, we likely have quite a few interests in common!

Who Am I and Why Do I Love the Arts?

Well, first off, I've been involved in the arts pretty much all of my life. To me, the arts are an essential part of what makes us human and unique. 

One of my earliest memories is of watching my older brother open the small black leather case that contained his first clarinet. The pieces were nestled in fuzzy blue velvet, and I wasn’t allowed to touch them. I was so envious! I wanted to play music, too. Neither of my parents played musical instruments, but they wanted to make sure their kids did. So, about a year later, when I was five, my parents bought a piano and I started taking lessons. While my brother, Paul Cram, eventually became a noted Canadian jazz composer and performer, I remained an amateur. But even now, many decades later, I still play the piano almost every day.

By the time I was seven, I also knew that I wanted to write novels. Like many authors, I wrote stories and read them aloud to whoever would listen. I will never forget my Grade 10 English teacher telling me “I’ll see you in print one day, girl!” I still get shivers when I remember my elation that day!

In my twenties, I taught high-school English and Drama and then earned a master’s degree in Drama. My husband Gregg Simpson came into my life soon after, and together we raised our daughter, Julia, in North Vancouver on the west coast of Canada. 

Gregg is both a jazz drummer and a full-time visual artist, so listening to his music and watching him create his amazing paintings and drawings is a part of my daily life. And to top it off, Julia is now all grown up and pursuing her dreams as a crochet artist and crochet-preneur. She creates patterns for her whimsical creations and sells them on her website. See the show notes for details!

Julia Simpson, Crochet Artist: Visit her at Wayward Pineapple Creations

Gregg Simpson, Visual Artist: Visit him at GreggSimpson.com

After many years of teaching and writing non-fiction, I returned to my first love, which is novel writing. My first three published novels are about women involved in three of my favorite arts: painting, music, and theater.

Set in medieval Tuscany, my first novel, The Towers of Tuscany, tells the story of a fictional woman artist. My second novel is called A Woman of Note and is about a woman composer in Vienna in the 1830s. And my third novel, The Muse of Fire, is the story of an actress embroiled in theater riots in 1809 London.

Recently, I also launched a website called Artsy Traveler that explores European travel through an arts lens. On the site, you’ll learn about interesting museums, quirky galleries, local performances, and much more. You’ll also find travel tips and recommendations for cool artsy sightseeing options gleaned from my 30 plus years of European travel. Have a look at www.artsytraveler.com.

So, now that you know something about me, you can see the huge role the arts have played and continue to play in my life. 

Why Did I Create Art In Fiction?

I not only enjoy writing novels inspired by the arts—I also enjoy reading them. When I looked around the Internet, I found hundreds of great websites devoted to novel listings, but I couldn’t find any solely dedicated to showcasing novels inspired by the arts or involving them in some way. So I decided to develop my own website and populate it with the kinds of novels that I enjoy reading. I figured if I liked them, lots of other people would too.

When I started developing Art In Fiction, I really didn’t know what to expect. Sure, I knew of plenty of great novels that I wanted to include, but I suspected there were many hundreds more out there just waiting to be discovered.

And wow! Have I discovered them! 

On Art In Fiction, you’ll find novels inspired by everything from rock ‘n roll to glassblowing to flamenco dancing to Jane Austen. And the site is growing every single day.

Art In Fiction also includes book reviews written both by me and by guest reviewers as well as blog posts that feature arts topics of interest to readers and authors.

To help me build and maintain Art In Fiction, I’m fortunate to be joined by my bestie since kindergarten (she was four and I was five when we met!). Fresh from her career as an Emmy-nominated TV producer, Stephanie Williams came on board right from the get-go, and together we're building Art In Fiction one novel, blog post, and review at a time. 

What Will You Find on Art In Fiction?

On the Art In Fiction website at www.artinfiction.com, you may go looking for a novel set at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and stumble across a novel about being a film actress in the 1930s. Who knows what connections you’ll make?

Some of the novels on Art In Fiction are fictional takes on the lives of real artists—Beethoven, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Jackson Pollock—the list goes on. Other novels delve into a particular art through the eyes of fictional characters. The common thread is a fascination with the act of creation, the mysteries of inspiration, and the hopes and dreams of people compelled to go beyond the status quo in a quest for beauty and meaning. 

Discover Ten of my Favorite Posts

The Art In Fiction website includes dozens of blog posts featuring recommended novels in the eleven Art In Fiction categories. Following are descriptions of ten of my favorite posts. To find the novels featured in these posts, click the links in the show notes for this episode.

#1: Musical Thrills & Chills: Six Music-Inspired Thrillers That Hit the Right Notes

Music has always been an important part of my life. As a result, several of my posts on Art In Fiction feature novels inspired by music—from jazz to rock ‘n roll to classical and more. 

If you enjoy thrillers, you’ll love the novels included in Musical Thrills & Chills: Six Music-Inspired Thrillers That Hit the Right Notes.

Sometimes, I'm in the mood for a good thriller. You know? I just want to hop onto a pulse-pounding, brain-teasing, no-holds-barred roller coaster ride that keeps me up past my bedtime. And if the thriller also includes an arts component, then count me in. I get to indulge my yen for excitement and my love of the arts at the same time.

Win-win.

Like notes in a manuscript, musical themes wind their way around plots infused with the usual murders, chases, and death-defying dangers that characterize the thriller genre. 

#2: Ladies of Film: Seven Spectacular Novels About Women in Hollywood

When I started looking for film-related titles to list on Art In Fiction, I was delighted to find that many authors have been inspired by the legendary women who have populated the motion picture industry since its beginnings. 

How did these women get into the film business? What motivated them? Whom did they love? How did they build their careers? Lose their careers?

So many questions! The novels featured in this post include compelling stories about Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Alla Nazimova, Mary Pickford, Hedy Lamarr, Grace Kelly, and Ingrid Bergman.

#3: Five Dressy Novels Inspired by the Textile Arts

Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the floor playing with scraps of fabric to the accompaniment of my mom’s sewing machine. With a clunk, the sewing machine foot lowered onto the fabric, my mom's foot trod hard on the pedal, and the machine whirred furiously. Seconds later, the machine foot snapped up and I heard the squeak of scissors snipping the thread, often followed by my mom telling me to stand up and try something on.

I remember the smell of the hot iron on the ironing board far above my head, the boredom of having to stand still while Mom measured a hem, and the occasional prick of a misplaced pin.

When I got older, I took up sewing myself, suffering through several terms of classes in Home Economics. I never came close to my mom's skill level, which is still true today and she's 93! But I like the idea of sewing and maybe one day I'll get back to it.

In the meantime, I can read novels inspired by a myriad of activities—including sewing—that are included in the Textile Arts category. In this post, you’ll find five novels involving seamstresses, sewing, and dressmaking.

#4: All the World's a Stage: Five Novels Inspired by the Theater

I'm a huge theater fan. There's so much "scope for the imagination" in the theater. It's no wonder that several authors with novels listed on Art In Fiction have been inspired by the 'behind the scenes' action swirling around the wild and wonderful world of the stage. 

The novels in this post focus on historical fiction ranging from the Middle Ages to 1940s New York.

#5: Build It and They Will Come: Eight Amazing Architecture-Inspired Novels

When I first got the idea for Art In Fiction, I started by listing arts-related categories. Visual Arts and Music were obvious choices, as were Literature and Theater. Then I started to widen the net to include Architecture. Some historians consider architecture the mother of all arts, while others are not so sure. Is architecture really an art? Philosophers have been trying to answer that question, along with its cousin, What is art?, since the time of Ancient Greece, and probably long before that.

I knew I had to include Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge series of novels about medieval cathedral-building on the Art In Fiction website. I couldn’t really put them in the Visual Arts category because, while cathedrals certainly are visually stunning, they are buildings, not paintings or sculptures. Nope. I needed to include Architecture as a separate category, and I’m glad I did because I’ve discovered several gems.

In this post, you’ll find Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth along with several other amazing novels, including Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones, set in medieval Barcelona, and Loving Frank by Nancy Horan about one of the early 20th century’s greatest architects, Frank Lloyd Wright.

#6: Eight Captivating Novels Inspired by Van Gogh’s Paintings

Vincent van Gogh, who sold just one painting in his lifetime, now commands attention as one of the most well-known and beloved artists. A van Gogh painting can fetch tens of millions of dollars from wealthy collectors. The rest of us can find his vibrant, energetic paintings depicted on everything from towels to tea cups to tote bags. Van Gogh's life and work has also inspired films, documentaries, and several novels.

Eight of the authors listed in the Visual Arts category on Art In Fiction have written novels about van Gogh. If you love post-impressionistic art and van Gogh's paintings in particular (and honestly, who doesn't?), then you'll find a great many stories to entertain you.

#7: Ten Intriguing Novels About Remarkable Women Artists

Women have painted for centuries, so why don’t we know more about them? Fortunately, several major exhibitions in recent years have featured the work of many remarkable women artists. In addition, novelists have played a significant role in bringing more attention to them. 

In this post, I feature ten novels about eight remarkable women artists, including Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo, Judith Leyster, Berthe Morisot, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

#8: Novels Inspired by Jane Austen

I love Jane Austen. Almost every year, I re-read at least one or more of her novels. On many a winter evening, I've wandered over to my bookshelf to find something to read and ended up taking down Pride and Prejudice or Emma (my favorite) or Persuasion or one of the others. Jane Austen never fails me. I read and re-read her long sentences, laugh again and again at Mr. Collins and Mrs. Elton and Miss Steele, and marvel at how she can keep me guessing even when I know exactly what's going to happen. 

I am not alone in my love for Jane Austen. She is the subject and/or the inspiration for dozens of novels, several of which are listed on Art In Fiction. This post features five of my favorites. 

#9: To Dance, To Dream: Novels about Ballet

Like many young girls lucky enough to have had parents who could afford it, I did my time in a ballet studio. I sweated through awkward pliés and off-kilter arabesques for about three years, culminating in my one and only appearance on stage as a dancing purple grape. My ballet career was then tragically cut short when I realized that a) I would never be able to do the splits no matter how hard I tried, b) I didn't like pain, and c) I liked playing the piano and writing stories way better than standing on my tippy toes.

But my appreciation for ballet did not diminish with the demise of my own participation. I still enjoy reading about it. This post features five novels in which ballet plays an integral role.

#10: Novels About Art in Renaissance Florence

In the 21st century, the city of Florence, with its incredible museums, churches, and chapels, is typically awash with tourists and as such resembles a kind of Renaissance Disneyland—well ordered and clean with plenty of souvenir shops and wonderful gelato.

I've visited Florence several times and always enjoy wandering the halls of the amazing Uffizi Galleries. Although many of the streets and plazas and monuments remain, the Florence of today bears little resemblance to the dirty, disease-ridden, and chaotic Florence of the dawn of the Renaissance. But that Florence was also home to an unparalleled number of great artists, a flowering of intellectual pursuits, enough political skullduggery to rival our own time, and an obscene amount of wealth controlled by a handful of men. It’s no wonder the art produced during the Renaissance in Florence has fascinated authors for centuries. 

This post features just five of the many novels on Art in Fiction that explore different aspects of the Florentine Renaissance from an arts point of view. 

Conclusion

All right! I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s available for you to explore on the Art In Fiction website. And now you have the Art In Fiction podcast! 

I’m thrilled to share with you my conversations with several of the fabulous novelists who have novels listed on Art In Fiction. I’ll also cover topics of interest to authors and readers—and always with an arts twist.

Because, as I think you’ve probably figured out by now, the arts really are my thing.

You can check the show notes for links to all the blog posts I’ve mentioned in this episode. And be sure to visit Art In Fiction at www.artinfiction.com to find your next great read.

While you’re there, I encourage you to subscribe to Art In Fiction so you can receive the weekly update that gives you a sneak peek at the Novel of the Week, upcoming podcast episodes, featured reviews, blog posts, and authors, and much more. Access to all the wonderful Art In Fiction content is free!

And please follow Art In Fiction on Twitter and Facebook, and give the Art In Fiction Podcast a positive rating on your podcast platform.

Thanks so much for listening!

 

Welcome
What is Art In Fiction?
Who is Carol Cram, the Host of Art In Fiction?
Why Did I Create Art In Fiction?
What Will You Find on Art In Fiction?
Break: Pro Writing Aid - 20% Off Coupon
Ten Favorite Blog Posts on Art In Fiction