Music is a pretty big part of my writing process. Since my first book, I’ve created tracklists for each one. As I write I often add to them, or remove a song that I thought was great a month ago but now can’t even listen to another time.
For Chaos Burning, like many of my books, I found songs that seemed to call out to my main characters.
Lark immediately made me think of Ani DiFranco’s “32 Flavors” – I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavors and then some. Sums up her personality quite well. She’s well adjusted in her otherness. She’s a powerful woman but not without flaws and weaknesses. Also No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” because she’s got a wry sense of humor and an alpha male who wants to protect her so she has to turn that around on him at times to help him remember she’s perfectly capable of slaying dragons herself.
As for Simon? Well he’s an alpha male and a prince to boot. To say he likes to be obeyed is an understatement. He’s bold and strong, a warrior. But he’s also a man who likes the finer things in life. He’s got hundreds of years of life under his belt. He’s been a warrior at his father’s right hand and now he’s his own alpha in a different world. For me he evoked a lot of Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine – especially “Snakecharmer” and “Roll Right”.
And then, in the course of the book, Simon gets it. He sees past the Lark he’d let into his life as a friend. Once he catches sight of her in a fight, he realizes there’s a lot more than friendship with this woman on his mind. The Black Keys’ “Howlin’ For You”. One day she’s a woman he plays cards with and the next he’s having naughty fantasies about her. He’s a little puzzled by it at first. I must admit, I can’t explain, any of these thoughts racin’ through my brain, it’s true, baby I’m howlin’ for you. And the Lycian thing (sort of a werewolf for the uninitiated) gave a little bit extra to that song choice as well, LOL.
There’s a lot going on in the story by the time they get together. The end of the world is approaching and they’ve got to find a way to stop it. Their relationship deepens, even as this other stuff is happening. It was even sweet at times but the song I tend to think of when I think Simon and Lark is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps”. There’s a sort of darkness to the song that fits the story well, a sense thatthey don’t love you like I love you in the best kind of way.
Music is one of the things I use to keep my head in the story despite constant interruptions from kids, other books to deal with (copy edits, final pass pages, promotion, all that jazz). I hope my tracklists that I include in the books can give a little extra dimension to the book you pick up.