Tag Archives | Author Playlist

The Wishing Tree Soundtrack

Today’s post by our very own Marybeth Whalen | @MarybethWhalen

Marybeth Whalen

I always listen to music when I write. I have a Pandora station that inspires  a reaction  like Pavlov’s dog– I hear that music and my mind thinks, “Write!”

With my new book, The Wishing Tree, I had a soundtrack that went with the book, a collection of songs that meant something to the characters; songs that encapsulated the range of emotions they experienced as the events of the book played out. I thought today I would share some of those songs with you, to give you a better idea of what the book is about. And maybe inspire you to check out the book that inspired the soundtrack. Or was it the other way around?

Back To December by Taylor Swift:

This was Ivy and Michael’s song. If you listen to it (and read the book), I think you’ll agree.

Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon:

Ok, so this is one of my running songs. But during the time that I was writing the  book I would run and think about how this song best describes Ivy and Elliott’s relationship. Michael said all of the right things at exactly the right time. And yet, he meant nothing to her, but she didn’t know why.

 

If He Should Break Your Heart by Journey:

A perfect encapsulation of what Michael felt for Ivy back when they broke up. If you don’t know it, listen to it. I suspect I will always think of Michael’s broken heart whenever I hear this song from now on.

 

Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye:

This is the song I thought of as I wrote the parts where Michael was over Ivy. He was confident and in charge, and I was happy for him. Ivy is now just somebody that he used to know.

The Man Who Can’t Be Moved by The Script:

My husband is a huge Script fan, which means I’ve listened to them a lot. This is one of their songs that I actually have on my own iPod. To me this song describes Elliott. Even though he’s not physically sitting on a corner, he stakes out his own little corner of the internet via Twitter and begins broadcasting his apology to his wife when she won’t listen, hoping that he’ll wear her down. He’s not moving.

 

Leaving Me Now by Level 42:

One morning while I was writing this book I woke up and thought of this song– an old song from my teen years that I hadn’t thought of in a very long time. I found it and played it and was surprised by how fitting it was for the scene when Ivy leaves after learning of Elliott’s betrayal. The despondency communicated by this song to me fits how Elliott feels as he watches her go. Does she come back? Should she? Or does she decide to go back to Michael?

 

 

Well, now, I guess you’ll just have to read the book…

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

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Books And Music: The Playlist For Blackberry Winter

At She Reads we’re endlessly fascinated by the process of storytelling. And for many authors, part of  that process includes a playlist that they write to–a musical collage of sorts. In many cases once you know the playlist you can recognize those emotional undertones running through the story.

We asked this month’s featured author, Sarah Jio, to share her playlist for Blackberry Winter. I’m not sure about you but we can “hear” the story in these songs.

Playlist for Blackberry Winter:

-“Blackberry Winter” by Hilary Kole

-“Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” by U2

-“Wintersong” by Sarah McLachlan

-“You & Me” by Dave Matthews Band

-“You Don’t Know Me” by Ray Charles

-“Love Theme From Sparticus” by Jean-Yves Thibaudet

-“A Little More of You” by Ashley Chambliss

-“I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” by Norah Jones

-“Heartbreak Warfare” by John Mayer

-“From Embrace to Embrace” by Joy Wants Eternity

-“Blackbird” by Sarah McLachlan

-“And So It Goes” by Karrin Allyson

Did any songs come to mind when you read Blackberry Winter?

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

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The Guest Book Soundtrack

Today’s post by our very own Marybeth Whalen | @MarybethWhalen

Marybeth Whalen

One of the things I most love to read about when I read about authors’ work is the music that inspired or sustained them as they wrote. So far in my writing, each of my books has gained a theme song along the way—a song that I listened to often to help me get into the spirit of the story. In fact, that’s one of my benchmark moments in my writing process: when I realize I have a theme song for the novel.

For anyone who knows me, you already know of my sincere and devoted love of 80’s music. So when I’m writing I’m usually listening to at least some 80’s music. And my 80’s taste tends towards the lesser-known songs. None of that overplayed pop music for me. I like the songs no one remembers.

One band that I listened to all through the 80’s was Icehouse, an Australian band I discovered as a teenager in a music store in 1985. In 1988 Icehouse had their biggest commercial US success with a song called Electric Blue, a single from the album Man Of Colours. It was the title track from that album that became the theme song of The Guest Book. A few lines from the lyrics served as the epigraph for the book:

He says I keep my life in this paintbox
I keep your face in this picture frame
When I speak to this faded canvas, it tells me
We have no need for words anyway.

So here is the video of Man Of Colours, a song that tells a story itself. A bit of trivia before you watch it: The old man in the video is the lead singer of Icehouse, Iva Davies’, father, a fact that makes me like the song—and Icehouse—all the more.

 

Marybeth’s latest novel, THE GUEST BOOK, is this month’s featured book club selection and as a way to celebrate we’re giving away a number of prizes including a trip for two to Sunset Beach, North Carolina, handcrafted sea glass jewelry, and organic soap from Southern Soap Factory. Read this post for entry details.

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

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Searching for the Sacred in a Song

Today’s post by this month’s featured author, Kimberly Brock | @KimberlyDBrock

Kimberly Brock

Music has always been an art that reaches my emotions before anything else, and on a deeper level than most forms of expression. I love instruments, I love choirs, I love blues, I love soul, I love old time Appalachian bands and gospel. I love orchestral pieces and accordions and harmonicas and French horns and tympani drums. I love jigs and reels and fugues and hymns and carols and Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash and Broadway tunes and soundtracks and Carol King.

And I love lyrics. I love a songwriter who can string together inspired poetry that I can sing to the tops of my lungs. There is no purer manifestation of the yearnings of the human heart. At least, not mine.

When I write, I always find inspiration in music and my playlist becomes a kind of personal soundtrack that follows me around through my days. Ironically, I can’t actually write while I listen. But almost any other time, my ipod is working hard to help my brain form the story it wants to tell. In particular, with The River Witch I relied on music to transport me to the setting. I did listen to some Sacred Harp music occasionally, but found it difficult to appreciate for its own sake. I think the experience of actually participating in a singing is what most interested me.

What I did do was start to search for songs that were sacred to me, as the alligators’ songs were sacred to those on Manny’s Island. I went looking for music that moved me or challenged me, like Granny Byrne’s choir. Lyrics that spoke truth or drew a strong reaction, like the Trezevants. Driving rhythm that helped me imagine the Seminoles or the Saltwater Geechee people, like Nonnie. Lullabies that the mothers in this book and the world over, may have murmured to their children. Hymns that brought lonely individuals to a bountiful table of acceptance, the true power of the Sacred Harp. And soon, I had a list of songs that began to tell a story much like the one in the novel.

Of course, there were many more than the ones listed here. Songs of all kinds, because just as I believe our stories are all about our search for the divine in a temporal world, our music is an expression of the longings of the soul.

I wonder what songs are sacred to you?  I hope you’ll enjoy the music on my playlist and maybe share some of your own.

The River Witch Playlist

Oh Cumberland Matracea Berg and Emmylou Harris (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)

Salty South Indigo Girls (Acoustic Version)

Somewhere to Lay My Head Florida Folk Life Collection

Flood Waters Anna Kline and the Grits and Soul Band

She’s Not Innocent Antigone Rising

All Roads to the River Kathy Mattea

Wayfaring Stranger Emmylou Harris

I Find Jesus The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Fleet of Hope Indigo Girls (Acoustic Version)

Amazing Grace Florida Alabama Progressive Seven Shape Note Singers

Forever Young Bob Dylan (Biograph version)

I’ll Fly Away Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch

Here I Am Mary Chapin Carpenter

Wellington’s Reel Florida Folk Life Collection

Just Breathe Pearl Jam

Jubilee Mary Chapin Carpenter

Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show

Down in the Valley - The Head & the Heart

Question for you: what’s on your favorite playlist? When do you listen to it?

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

read more