Like a lot of authors, I write to music, choosing specific songs and styles that help get me into a certain frame of mind. This music is different for every book I write, ranging anywhere from a single song to a full playlist or Pandora station (usually based on one or two specific seed songs). This music defines, in part, how I feel about the books, and how I want the reader to feel about the books. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and what, if anything, these song choices mean, so I thought I’d share some of these soundtrack tidbits with you. If you’re interested, you can listen to the exact playlists on Pandora.
I Am Not a Serial Killer:
Everlong (acoustic), by the Foo Fighters
Mad World, the Gary Jules version
Mr. Monster (Book 2 in the Serial Killer trilogy):
Tear You Apart, by She Wants Revenge
Tear You Apart Radio
Full of Holes (Book 3 in the Serial Killer trilogy):
No specific song, though I kept trying to find one. I don’t know why no specific song was able to define this book for me, especially considering how powerfully the first two were connected to very specific songs, but there you go. Instead I listened to a wide spectrum of stuff including Tear You Apart Radio, Cherub Rock Radio, Chick Rock Radio, and all three albums of the Silversun Pickups.
A Night of Blacker Darkness (a Victorian horror/comedy that my agent is currently shopping around):
Chamber Music Radio
It’s worth pointing out that this style of music is anachronistic to the Victorian period in a lot of cases. It just worked in my head and got me in the right mood.
Strawberry Fields (The schizophrenia book I just finished. It’s waiting for a revision while I work on something else):
This book was written almost exclusively to a soundtrack of Radiohead–I just made a playlist with every album they have and shuffled them all together. The main song that sticks out, in terms of its relation to the book, is “Sit Down. Stand Up.” from Hail to the Thief. It’s a very strange book.
Makeover (the wacky mystery project I’m currently working on):
Sabotage, by the Beastie Boys
Pepper, by the Butthole Surfers
I don’t know why Makeover is so well-suited to 90’s hybrid rock, but it works.
If you’ve read I Am Not a Serial Killer (or if you’re one of my alpha readers who’s read some of the others), give this music a listen and tell me what you think. Does it fit? Does it define it as well for you as it does for me? Does it change the way you think about the books? I find this kind of stuff fascinating.