Ever wonder what authors listen to while they write? Now’s your chance to find out! This month’s featured author, Mia March, shares her much-loved playlist:
I could not write a word of THE MERYL STREEP MOVIE CLUB unless either one of two particular albums were playing. So I put them on repeat, and these beautiful songs, these beautiful, unique voices, would bring me right back into the story, into the characters’ worlds and issues:
21 by Adele: If you’re not familiar with Adele, you’ve definitely heard Rolling in the Deep, which I’ll never get tired of, and Someone Like You. Rumor Has It and maybe Set Fire To The Rain. Adele’s gorgeous, powerful, soulful, real voice, singing these terrific songs about love, heartbreak, and personal power. Right now my favorite songs are Turning Tables and One and Only, but every song, EVERY song, is amazing. A little tidbit that makes me laugh every time I think about: at my son’s day camp this summer, there was a little boy named Rueben, and every time the counselors blasted the song Rumor Has It, little Rueben, all of five, would sing the chorus as: “Ooh, Rueben has it . . . Ooh, Rueben has it” and everyone joined in.
White Ladder by David Gray: When I was in grad school in New York City in 2000/2001, I went to the same coffee shop every day, where the staff was in love with this album and played it over and over. I always sat at the huge 8 person table near the electrical outlets where the laptoppers—writers, students, photographers, freelancers—worked with their coffees and treats. Very often a guy would sit down at the table with his laptop and we got to talking, then dating, then marrying . . . then divorcing. Such is the greatness, the spirit, the emotional power, of this album that I still can listen to it, be moved by it, write to it. Love, loss, hope. Each song is more beautiful than the next. You’ve likely heard Babylon, which used to be on the radio all the time: If you want it, come and get it, for crying out loud. The song Silver Lining gives me goosebumps:
Take the silver lining
Keep it in your own sweet hand
Then shine it when the light is burning red
Shine it in the twilight
Shine it on the cold cold ground
Shine it till these walls come tumbling down
Also, there’s one song that I listened to over and over during the timeframe I wrote The Meryl Streep Movie Club, except I listened to it while NOT writing—meaning, I’d play it in my car or during my three mile thinking walk or while doing the dishes, those times when a writer is doing her “magic writing” in her head: Coming Around Again by Carly Simon, from the movie Heartburn, one of my favorites. This is the book’s theme song. I know nothing stays the same, but if you’re willing to play the game, it’s coming around again . . .
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.