We are thrilled to have Kristi Cook, author of HAVEN with us today talking about her sequel MIRAGE and developing the perfect playlist. Take it away Kristi...
Like so many writers, I have my little “routines”—I make myself a cuppa tea with plenty of milk and sugar, settle into my comfy office chair, open up iTunes, find *just* the right song to fit whatever scene I’m about to write, and off I go….
I didn’t used to be able to write with music playing—at least, not music with lyrics, because I found it too distracting. But now I’ve found that if I put the song on loop, playing over and over again, the lyrics sort of become “invisible” to me. After about the second time through, I stop singing along and get caught up in the song’s atmosphere, instead. And an atmospheric song really does help my writing process.
So, when it’s time to compile a playlist for one of my books, I start with some of the songs I’ve listened to while writing the book, even if the lyrics don’t really fit the story. In those cases, the song’s atmosphere or flavor *does* match—at least in my head—and that’s just as important.
For the rest of the playlist, I generally find myself scouting out songs that fit the story as I’m writing it. When I listen to the radio, I pay closer attention to lyrics. When I hear something that fits, I Shazam it and then add it to my list. Sometimes my kids suggest songs (that’s how “Bodies” by Drowning Pool ended up on the HAVEN playlist!).
In the same way that a really good movie “companion” soundtrack creates a mood that makes you think of the movie whenever you hear it, I think a good book playlist does the same. I mean, I cannot hear the song “Safe & Sound” (Taylor Swift, featuring the Civil Wars) without thinking of The Hunger Games, even though the song was never played in the movie itself. Still, it fits *perfectly* and I literally see Katniss and Peeta in my mind whenever I listen to it. I hope that my playlists evoke an image of the Winterhaven School in readers’ minds—that they see Violet and Aidan and all their friends as they listen.
Compiling the perfect playlist is hard. I obsess over every song, constantly making changes as I swap out one song for another until I get what feels like the perfect mix. I’m still working on the MIRAGE playlist, but I’ll leave you with a little sampler of what I’ve got so far:
This is one of those songs that I heard on the radio while driving somewhere, and immediately grabbed my phone and jotted down the title/artist (thank you iPhone and Siri! I did it hands-free!). This song is perfect for the book. If there was a movie made of MIRAGE and I was in charge of the soundtrack, this song would be playing at the very end of the last scene, and then as credits began to roll. For me, this is a Violet song.
This song is crazily popular right now, but I vividly remember the first time I heard it (again, while driving!). I had to Shazam it (because I was like, Gotye? Who the heck is Gotye, and how do you spell it?!), but I knew right away that I had to include it. This is Kate’s song.
This one came from my oldest daughter (she’s 12), and she’s right, it’s a perfect fit for MIRAGE. This is an Aidan song, for sure.
Yet another song I heard on the radio and decided it was perfect—the lyrics somewhat, but definitely the song’s atmosphere. Plus, I wanted to include a Linkin Park song, since they get a mention in the book itself.
Fans of the WINTERHAVEN series can expect the complete MIRAGE playlist soon.
Want to contact me? E-mail me at AuthorKristiCook@gmail.comWould you like a signed HAVEN bookmark (or a stack of them?!). Just send a SASE to: Kristi Cook, c/o Enterprise Press, 1 West Forest Ave., Englewood, NJ 07631
Be sure and let me know how many you’d like!
Other ways to get in touch? Follow me on Twitter @Kristi_Cook or “Like” my Facebook page HERE.
Thanks Kristi. MIRAGE is now available and it is A-MA-ZING! #GoTeamAidan
Your Turn: What's on the playlist for your favorite book?