The Selection

Music & Writing

So I’m a nerd for music. Used to be kind of a huge thing for me. FACT: In high school, when people asked what I wanted to be, I always said “a diva”. And I meant that in the “I’m a musical goddess” way. Not the “I’m spectacularly bitchy” way. Actually, if I whipped out my senior yearbook right now, half of signatures start “Dear Diva”. I was pretty determined. At the time.


Now I write books, a much better outlet for my creativity, but music still holds a dear place in my heart. Also, I live with Callaway and he likes Elbow, Radiohead, and the Beatles, so I’ve been exposed to lots of new sounds over the years. And I take all of these things and let them inspire me.

Last week in a blog post on Presenting Lenore, I was asked for a theme song for The Selection, and I gave what I feel kind of sums up America’s attitude about the whole Selection, which is Fairytale by Sara Bareilles.

I think that music can really make a scene happen, so I wanted to share some thoughts with you on using music for your stories.

  1. Don’t necessarily listen to music that you like. I think it helps to hear fresh lyrics and melodies, things that you might not think to pick up on your own. Stretch your ears! (BTW, thanks to all my twitter peeps who are sending mixed CDs!)
  2. Writer’s Butt is a real thing. Any chance you get to think on your feet, take it. Put in your headphones and take walk. The new sights will get your mind going, too. Bonus!
  3. Instead of making a playlist for your story, try making one for a character. If you’re trying to get someone’s voice right, put yourself in their head. If they like death metal, you need to get on that.
  4. I also like making mood mixes. I have ones for love, anger, and sadness. Some faves to get you started:

LOVE: Dark Blue by Jack’s Mannequin.

ANGER: The Pretender by Foo Fighters.

SADNESS: The Special Two by Missy Higgins.


I hope you enjoy! So, thoughts? Any favorite songs that just get your brain going?