Our Pages

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

To Playlist or Not to Playlist ...

This, by far, is the most fun I've ever had writing a blog post. I love music, but I don't usually write to it. Typically I craft a book in silence and the accompanying music comes after, after I've really fleshed out the emotions I'm going for, after I know the characters. Then I can listen to a song, or a group of songs, and I am immersed in the book.

I put together a short playlist of songs that really capture the spirit and emotion behind my first two paranormal romance novels, LIQUID LIES and A TASTE OF ICE. Enjoy!


The Playlist: Lots of twists and turns in this book, along with a healthy dose of action. As kidnapper and captive, they shouldn't want each other, but they do. The playlist is aggressive with a measure of restraint, but full of yearning and the inability to have what you truly want.

"Not Enough Time" -- INXS
[If I could just be everything and everyone to you ...]

"Sun / Rise / Light / Flies" -- Kasabian
[I chase the devil just for one night ...]

"I Want It All" -- Kosheen
[Every night, I know where you sleep, and it's hurting me ...]

"Terrible Love" -- The National
[And I can't fall asleep, without a little help ...]


The Playlist: A heavily emotional book, dealing with two people--one of them severely damaged--who desperately need each other for a great many things other than love. This playlist is beautiful and sad, but with an ache that only hope and a happy ending can bring.

"Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" -- The Smiths
[See, the luck I've had can make a good man turn bad ...]

"Poison & Wine" -- The Civil Wars
[Your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine ...]

"Bullet Proof ... I Wish I Was" -- Radiohead
[Every day, every hour, I wish that I was bullet proof ...]

"Turn Out the Light" -- The New Amsterdams
[Turn out the light, I'll stay if you want me to ...]

**Do you have a song you associate with your favorite romance novel? Or, if you're a writer, how do you craft your playlists?**


  1. Hanna,
    Very interesting! I've never crafted a playlist, but when I was writing the first book in my series, I listened to "I Will Possess Your Heart" by Death Cab for Cutie. A lot! "How I wish you could see the potential, the potential of you and me. It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read. Just yet."

    I think it fits for Drew and Lana's story, because he's trying to convince her that they will be good together, which isn't easy since he has a reputation as a rake. But he's not giving up either, so I love the last two words added at the end. :)

    1. O wow, I love those lyrics. Isn't it funny how a song's meaning changes when you actually read what they're singing/

    2. Yes! I usually can't understand the lyrics and sometimes it ruins a song instead of making it better. LOL

  2. Hannah,

    I use playlists all the time... mine aren't as organized as yours though. I just have general playlists for different moods: action scenes, romance scenes, emotional tension, etc... Great post!

    1. See, that's smart, doing it according to mood. I think that would cause less angst on my part. Good on ya!

  3. I have certain songs or lyrics that have sparked my creativity or the idea for a story, but I can't listen to anything with lyrics when I write. I have started listening to classical music and soundtracks to historical films while I'm working, but as of yet I wouldn't say any of my books have a soundtrack.

    That said, I can tell you the song that is somewhat inspiring my current WIP. Congratulations by Blue October. :)

  4. Hanna, I use Pandora to get me in the mood. Although I have to turn it off when I really get into writing, because the songs become too distracting at times.

    The book I have coming out on Monday (Live For You) was inspired (heck the entire series was inspired by) by The Pistol Annies' Boy From the South. Think I'll go listen to it again. ;)

    1. Pandora! How could I have forgotten about that?!? I will try that next time.

  5. Hanna, I always love hearing about inspirational playlists! I'm with Catherine...I do have a couple of songs that embodied the spirit of a book or character, but I need quiet to write. The heroine of my first book was captured perfectly by Madonna's Power of Goodbye. I always think of that character when I hear that song!

    1. Oh my goodness I love that song. It's romantic but so, so sad at the same time. Love the humming parts. Awesome for a romance novel.

  6. Great topic! It's so funny, because I thought about that a lot this weekend, while I was writing. Interestingly, I can't write unless I have music. But, I'm unable to read while listening to any music or any background noise. The music I select for my playlist, Changes with whatever project I'm working on.

    1. oh, you're one of THOSE people. :) Those who have smart brains who can write and listen to lyrics at the same time. I'm jealous of you!

  7. I think I'm the only writer that doesn't listen to music much, especially when I write. Weird, I know. :) But I find myself typing out the lyrics rather than my story! Apparently, I'm too easily distracted. Ah well.

  8. I don't know what you ... SQUIRREL!

  9. Oh that INXS song brings back memories! I love lists like this, I almost always see a song I have heard before and discovering new music and a new book are a double treat :)
    When I write, music is a MUST. Always has been. I have a default writing playlist I tend to stick with (though I will often use Pandora too) and as a book develops, certain songs connect to the story or a character and a book playlist develops organically. Actually, Pandora has been great for this because lots of songs I am unfamiliar with trickle into the mix and fit right in! Musical serendipity is sweet.

  10. That is "*never* heard before" - like Kasabian and Kosheen - never heard of them, but I'll be checking them out!