Let’s Talk Music Selections…
I get a lot of questions about my music selections for the books… how do I pick the songs, do I have a scene first and then pick the music or vice versa…well here is the answer…
I don’t have one.
Ha. Sorry. I know you guys love my non-answers, but I’ll try to explain.
Music has always been huge to me…in helping me express myself, in giving me mental silence for a bit, and in just relaxing. And it’s not just music but lyrics specifically. Of course the beat and the actual sound has to appeal to me, but if the lyrics don’t speak to me, the song will fall flat to my ears. They are so important to me that I will listen to a song over and over again just to learn all of the lyrics (and it drives my children crazy so there’s that bonus too!)
And as you can see with my playlists from the trilogy, I have a diverse taste in music. Nothing is off limits for me.
Now the first question I usually get is, “Do you listen to music when you write?” – The answer to that is YES. I listen to music, BUT the music I listen to when I write must be music that I know the words to by heart (see the explanation above). Why? Because if I don’t know the words, I find myself stopping and listening to the lyrics to really hear the music. If I do know the words, it doesn’t distract me when I’m writing. This is why I listen to a lot of cover bands when I write (i.e. Boyce Avenue or Michael Henry & Justin Robinett) because they are singing songs I already know, they are usually a mellower version, and they don’t pull my brain elsewhere. I will add the caveat though that in amped up scenes, I like to listen to something with a much harder beat…Thirty Seconds to Mars, Marianas Trench, Maroon 5, The Neighbourhood, etc…(These change all the time).
The second most asked question is, “Do you pick the song first or pick the scene first?”…It can go both ways. Sometimes I hear a song and know it fits perfectly for a ‘feeling’ I want to have for a scene but don’t always know if it is going to ‘work’ or not in said scene.
I have never specifically written a scene to fit a song. And the times I have tried, I’ve failed miserably because it’s hard to pigeon-hole yourself to a song. With that said, the one song I knew for sure I wanted to use was Pink and her ‘broken not bent’ but I figured that after I had finished Fueled and actually went back in and added it. First of all, I wanted to make sure I gave her credit for the line (which as you all know, F*ckin’ Pink, is throughout the whole series) and second, I had a feeling that the main scene I wanted to use it in (at the end of Fueled) would leave a very large impact…so I needed to make sure it stood out which is why I went back and planted it in the Pit Stop scene at the beginning of Fueled.
Now, Glitter in the Air…I never in a million years thought this song would be so relevant to the story. As you can tell, the go-to band for Rylee was Matchbox 20 but as the books evolved, so did the unexpected importance of Pink in the story…and as an author, sometimes what you plan and what happens are two different things. So I went with it. I let Colton make his “F*ckin’ Pink” comment, I let the characters play with it and then you guys, the readers, took it from there.
As for music for each book. The songs for Driven and Fueled were selected as I wrote. The choices were more than obvious for me and I entered them in the scene as I went. Crashed on the other hand was much more difficult. I’m not sure if it was the pressure of writing the book altogether but in Crashed I left a lot of *song here* in the text and went back when I was finished and decided which song would go there. And I actually went through every single song choice suggested by the thread in my VP Pit Crew as well for Crashed and did in fact select quite a few…
I will say that with each book, I kind of had a band that I listened to during the whole writing process. And they totally don’t make sense either (they are soooo random) so I don’t divulge who they are…
I hope that helps answer your questions…