Consonance by Lisa Malabanan – Guest Post

Consonance Revised FinalConsonance by Lisa Malabanan
Published: August 25, 2012.
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
Print Length: 369 pages

Elle Martins is a gifted musician ready to start her first year at College. She is not alone. Elle has the security of her best friends and boyfriend nearby, attending the same University. Everything seems new and exciting, but the moment she joins a rock group, her life changes. The band becomes a favorite among the college crowd. Their performances are a hit thanks to Elle’s musical genius, and the band garners recognition from a major record label.

Throughout the school year, Elle struggles over music, decisions, insecurities, and most of all, love. She is grateful for many amazing opportunities, yet the chance of a lifetime is within her grasp. Can she choose the ultimate dream or leave the people she loves behind?

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“We Just Click” -Making a Character Connection by Lisa Malabanan

I’d like to reveal the real people who inspired me to create the five members of the fictional rock group, Dia-Matic Keys. The charactersare based on my family: husband, daughter, and son. Yes, there is a little bit of my personality transferred into the characters also.

My daughter inherited my temperament;shy and sarcastic. She’s also a “smart ass,” just like her father, but respects her parents. She is an artist in the making, and her other hobbies include reading, writing, and music. My daughter used to play the piano and guitar, but gave up those instruments for the clarinet. Now she plays for her school band. Sometimes I catch her tinkling the piano keys when she’s in the mood to play contemporary songs or a little classical music.

Then there is my husband; tall and Latin. He adores music and comedy, anything in entertainment. He’s the jokester, the comedian who constantly makes the family laugh. He happens to be my biggest “pain.” My hubby is a responsible adult, yet he’s an overgrown child at the same time. His head is elsewhere and always moving on to the next “new thing,” in search of excitement as usual. I get a headache trying to figure out what that man is up to. Imagine the kind of arguments we have, but it’s all out of love. We just click.

Last, but not least, is my son. He is the mirror image of me with his father’s personality. This boy is always on the go. He has mild autism, learning disabilities, and speech delay. Except that doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves to do. He will sing any song that gets him going. My son absolutely loves to dance, and shows off at the parties because he likes the attention. To entertain me, he will take the guitar, strum a tune, and sing a song that he invented. He even glides up and down the piano keys saying, “Mommy did you like my song? I just made it up!”

My family is my heart and soul, my joy and strength, and most importantly, my loves. I briefly mentioned the instruments. Minus the drum set, these instruments are hanging out in the living room, waiting for someone to bring them to life. I wanted to show my instruments the same adoration that I give to my family. So I formulated a band for my neglected upright and electric piano, acoustic and electric guitar, and electric bass guitar.

Bringing those instruments to life wasn’t enough; I needed to give them personalities. So I instilled certain qualities to the five members of Dia-Matic Keys.Each of the main characters has a mix of attributes from my husband, daughter, and son, including me.The band members are Elle (pianist and female lead vocalist), Drew (lead guitarist), James (bassist), Kevin (drummer), and Ryan (male lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist). The protagonist of Consonance is Elle.

Since I already click with the band members, the readers might be able to form a connection to one or all of them. Young women may relate to Elle and her experiencesregarding the first year of college. The feelings of anxiety, excitement, self-doubt, wonder, and fear are expressed through Elle’s point of view.

Elle maintains a close bond with James and Drew, and forms a good friendship with Ryan and Kevin. Drew is the best friend forever that Elle never wants to lose. He is fun-loving and humorous, as well as, supportive and caring. James is the mentor who gives Elle a sense of security that only family can provide. He is also encouraging when Elle needs the extra push to accomplish a goal.

Kevin is a confident smart ass that Elle loves and hates at the same time. He happens to be funny and charming, is mostly sarcastic, but has a sensitive side too. Ryan is the guy Elle secretly admires. She enjoys his company, thinks he’s insightful, can laugh and cry around him, and respects everything about him.

I’m sure anyone can relate to one of the boys, or all of the men in the band. Somebody has shared a strong family bond or developed close ties to someone else in his/her lifetime. I’ve also assigned my characters some negative traits because nobody is perfect. Everyone has felt the insecurities or seen a few imperfections in other people. It’s human to have weaknesses and flaws too.

I even gave the minor characters strong personalities (nurturing, educating, advising) based on my experiences. My nursing profession enables me to deal with various people and different personality types. A woman may empathize with the mothers represented in Consonance. The same applies with any man towards the fathers depicted in the story.

The girls in Elle’s dorm are minor characters, but they have important scenes which help guide Elle’s decisions in life. Those scenes were influenced by my college encounters in order to give a credible view of the interaction between Elle and her female friends, compared to Elle and the band.

My personal events and sincere emotions helped make the rock band interesting. Everything seems to click among the band members. I want the readers to get to know these unique individuals personally.I want others to connect with them, to be friends with them, to feel for them, to root for them, to laugh and cry with them, and to love them, just as much as I do.

Thank you for allowing me to be a guest on your blog. I had a wonderful time sharing something of myself with you and your readers.


Lisa Malabanan

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Lisa! I really enjoyed your guest post, and I know my readers will, too.

lisaphotoI am a graduate of Rutgers College of Nursing and work as a Professional Registered Nurse in the field of Perinatology. I currently live in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania with my husband and two children. At the age of six, I discovered piano and classical music. A variety of music genres influenced my life through the years, and I’m passing on a love of the arts to my daughter and son.
Reading fiction is my escape from the chaos and stress of a demanding yet rewarding profession. For me, writing transcends the diversion of a good book. The experience is like commuting on a New York City subway; diverse people enter and exit the scene, sometimes delays and derailment occur during creativity, and a train of thought is missed or passed over on occasion. In the end, an arrival at my destination is what I hope to accomplish, and I invite readers to take that ride with me.

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