From Page to Song: Gio Navas

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Gio Navas. Photo courtesy
of Gio Navas.

Young adult readers know what it’s like to fall in love with fictional characters and worlds. They know what it’s like to turn the last page and feel incomplete because the story’s over. Booktuber Gio Navas is no exception.

But how she’s chosen to cope with all those feelings is through a creative outlet: writing songs.

Navas writes original songs about books and characters, records them, and uploads them to YouTube to share with viewers.   

Originally, however, Navas didn’t plan to share her music.

Navas wasn’t aware that she’d written a book song with her first song “If You Were Close Enough” – a song inspired by a scene in Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince between Will Herondale and Tessa Gray.

“[Clockwork Prince] just made me feel something very strong and I didn’t feel satisfied or relieved until I channeled it into a song,” said Navas.

Though she’d written a song, Navas didn’t immediately write any other book songs nor did she share her music.

It wasn’t until she finished Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess that she wrote another book song.

“My grief and post-book-depression-to-end-all-post-book-depression warranted ‘Silver Violin’ – which I wrote while sobbing.” The feeling for Navas was cathartic. Although she’d written these songs, she still hadn’t decided to share them.

Not until a friend gave her a push.

“If I were in that fandom, I’d put that on my blog,” Navas’ friend said after hearing “If You Were Close Enough.”

Since then, Navas has written and uploaded a number of original songs. Each songs warrants a different process. For some, she writes a song about the book. For others, she chooses one or two characters to focus on.

“I just feel like writing about a specific character humanizes the song. It makes it less broad and less about an idea and more about a specific emotion or situation. Writing about a book is writing about a story. But writing about a character is telling a story.”

Sometimes she’ll be playing around on her guitar and find a melody she enjoys before adding lyrics and turning it into a song. Other times, she’ll be crying and writing just to get it out and add the melody later.

“And then there are times where I’ll feel very passionate about a book or character and write lyrics, but just never write a melody or guitar part that does it justice.”

One character Navas felt she just couldn’t get the music right for was Max Vandenburg of The Book Thief. His song had lyrics but she couldn’t get the accompaniment right.

“I’ve learned that the most important thing to remember as a songwriter is not to ever force it. If the words or music aren’t flowing, stop writing. Otherwise you’ll be cheating yourself of something extraordinary that could have happened had you been patient.”

In the upcoming months and into next year, Gio anticipates a number of new book releases. She’s eagerly awaiting the release of In the Afterlight, the final book in the Darkest Minds trilogy; Blood of Olympus, the much-anticipated finale to the Heroes of Olympus series; and all of Cassandra Clare’s upcoming releases set in the Shadowhunter world.

Gio can’t make promises that she’ll be writing songs for any upcoming releases. But she knows there’s a good chance it’ll happen.

“So long as authors keep writing worlds for me to fall in love with, and characters to break my heart, new music is on the way!”

For more about Gio Navas, subscribe to her YouTube channel or follow her on Tumblr or Twitter.

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About Author

Tara Hackley

Tara is a twenty-something with a love of writing, animals, and life. She’s usually reading or writing but if she’s not, she’s out finding her next great adventure.

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