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 the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

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6 Responses to The Wishing Tree Soundtrack

  1. Normandie Fischer June 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Oh, what fun! Love this!

    I can’t write with songs in the background, but now I’m wondering which ones would exemplify my characters’ world…something to consider.

    I just listened to the first song–will come back to the others–and you’ve hooked me.

  2. Heather June 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This is really cool and having read the book I see what you mean. These songs are perfect!

  3. Ann Ellison June 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    You sold me. I have read The Guest Book and loved it. So I know I will enjoy this one too. I have just downloaded it on my Kindle.

  4. Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice June 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I love this! I can’t write with any music playing, but I have a soundtrack fully imagined. Love how you worked in why theses songs fit. Can’t wait to read it 🙂

  5. Misha June 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I ordered the book yesterday! Can’t wait to read it!

  6. brooke June 11, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Just bought for Kindle….can’t beat the $3.99 price :)! I had to go and listen to Level 42 which also took me back. Can’t wait to read the book.

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