Sparks Playlist

I officially started work on my new first draft of SPARKS on the 16th. The story’s taken a whole new, delicious turn and I’m just loving it. I hope to have it finished by the end of the year.

Since I shook things up in a major way, I’ve had to change the playlist a bit. I thought I’d share what’s currently directly inspiring this project. (Also, thought this would be a good, easy-to-read post for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.)

For me, when picking songs for my novel playlists, the lyrics rarely relate exactly to the work. I’m just not that good! Usually it’s the general message of the lyrics, or even just the feel of the music. There is a lot of Linkin Park on this playlist, and, as a new addition, many songs from the Breaking Dawn soundtrack. (Have you heard it yet? It’s so awesome! Just like all of the soundtracks have been and the movies haven’t been.)

“The Catalyst” by Linkin Park

First of all, the first time I heard this song, it gave me chills. I was shocked to learn that this was Linkin Park. The guys who sang all of those angry screaming songs with rapping in them, almost a decade ago?? Yep. They’ve grown up, imo, and in a BIG way. This song really captures the feel of my protag’s mission, not just in this book, but in all the books. (Also, the series is back to a trilogy!)

“Waiting for the End” by Linkin Park

Other than the completely different sound of this song (which I LOVE), all of the lyrics to this song pretty much sum up my protag’s life. Especially, “This is not the end / This is not the beginning.”

Also, this song is really fun to dance to.

“Northern Lights” by Cider Sky

This song really captures the essence of what I envision the protag’s and love interest’s relationship to be. (Haven’t gotten there yet in the book.) I love the whimsical feeling.

“Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” by Florence + the Machine

Other than the fact that this song is completely, mind-blowingly amazing, the lyrics capture so perfectly the emotions my protag experiences. (Also, didn’t post the music video because it’s a shortened version of the song.)

“Love Death Birth” by Carter Burwell

While Burwell is not my favorite of the Twilight composers (Can you say Alexandre Desplat? His music is dreamy.), I find this song to be beautiful. Especially the end, with the building of Bella’s Lullaby (which I didn’t really like in the first movie). Plus, it coincides with the only touching part of the Breaking Dawn movie. (Yep, I saw it with a group of friends last-minute on Friday night. It was … better than expected, but my expectations were really low.)

One last one! “Turning Page (Instrumental)” by Sleeping at Last

The regular, lyric version of this song is quite pretty, but I love the piano in this. It’s generally inspiring to me, but I want to channel the emotions specifically for different parts of the relationship between my protag and the LI, and also for the end.

I mostly posted the emotionally-connected songs, but there are lots of others, like “Oh Lately It’s So Quiet” by Ok Go, which has absolutely nothing lyrically to do with the book, but I love the playful vibe of the song. (This book will not be strictly serious. Can you honestly expect something like that out of me??)

What songs are on your playlist(s)?

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I write speculative fiction inspired by mythos from around the world, complex family dynamics, and my own experiences living with mental illness. After earning my BA in Linguistics from Brigham Young University in 2008, I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College in 2012. I live in Denver, where my husband and I spend countless hours chasing our three young sons (and sometimes catching them!). I collect tarot decks, dye my hair mermaid colors, and procrastinate by decorating my home. My debut novel, Feathers Sharp as Knives, releases on May 2, 2023.

7 thoughts on “Sparks Playlist

  1. Yes! I totally have imaginary playlists for my books, usually relating to the sound or theme of the song but rarely in any direct fashion to the lyrics. I can’t listen to music when I’m writing, though; it’s too distracting. It can certainly help in the inspiration phase, though! Now I want to make posts like this for all my completed manuscripts, even though I’ve been keeping them close to my chest.

    …Maybe I’ll make it one of those silly “when I’m published” dreams.

    1. I don’t listen to mine while writing either. Just during my writing breaks. I find lyrical music typically too distracting, and sometimes instrumental music too. But it certainly helps with inspiration and motivation!
      I’d love to see your playlists! Oooers, please?

  2. Love that Northern Lights song – I may have to check out more by Cider Sky. The Rabbit Heart song also makes me think I haven’t given Florence & the Machine a fair shake. I don’t really go for playlists for my writing. Maybe it’s because I would find the selection process too daunting. There’s just too much music out there that I like. Also, people would find out what a dork I am because inevitably there would be some weird old 60s song in there somewhere. :)

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