I’m a writer, not a musician. So why do I do Music Mondays? Because music is a key part of my writing, especially Secrets of Truth & Beauty. In particular, Cass Elliot is key.
In retrospect, Cass seems like the perfect person for Dara to emulate, but it actually took me a long time to figure that out. I was fixated on it being a country star, and thought about Patsy Cline or Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton is an amazing woman, and, like Cass Elliot was misjudged because of her appearance. But really, Cass was the right choice.
So then I started doing research. I read Dream a Little Dream of Me by Eddi Figel and used the Official Cass Elliot Website, maintained by her daughter. As I did my research, some interesting coincidences came up. For example, Dara’s last name is Cohen, and so was Cass’s originally. And Cass’s daughter is named Owen, just like one of my leading characters.
After I chose Cass, I had to pick one of her songs, and that was an easy choice. “Make Your Own Kind of Music” expresses themes of the book almost perfectly. But my favorite song of hers is “Dream a Little Dream.” So here it is from the Smother Brothers: