Words & Music: Entangled Playlist
I always like to get to the good part first, so here goes...
Now, if you’re anything like me, when my favorite authors give me a story that draws me in and keeps me wanting more, I am down for anything that gives me more insight into the characters, their stories and the author’s process. Author interviews—yes! Original manuscript notes—yes! Recipes—yes! Inspirational photos and quotes—yes! And always, definitely, playlists!
I grew up with parents who filled our home with music. From Saturday morning chores singing along to Motown’s finest and quiet Sundays with Coltrane, Miles and Ella, to movie soundtracks and Broadway musicals. I even spent Friday nights with my grandmother listening and dancing the Jitterbug to albums on her Victrola—real old school!
The music in my home was second only to the shelves and stacks of books covering walls, piled high on floors, and filling drawers—fiction and nonfiction equally. For years as an only child, I spent countless hours shuffling between listening to music and reading books. That was my routine.
Fast forward a few decades and music and books still permeate my life. And as an author, the blending of words and music is how I make magic.
When the idea for my debut romance novel struck, a soundtrack began playing on repeat in my mind—demanding a playlist. It started with Beyonce’s Lemonade and as my characters and their lives took shape, the list grew to include a mix of R&B, pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, go-go and neo-soul and artists spanning the U.S., Europe and French Polynesia.
Writers have been using music to inspire our work for many years. Personally, I discovered in music—between rhythms and the lyrics—love and loss, sorrow and surrender, resolve and reconciliation, regret and rebirth, sensuality and sensibility, pleasure and pain, and so many other emotions co-existing between the pages of a book.
For each book that I’ve ever written—and those still in progress—there’s always a specific playlist. At the birth of an idea, while writing the first draft, definitely while editing, I exclusively listen to that playlist—in my office, driving, walking, exercising, Passion planning or doing house chores. I am conditioned to be immersed in the story world while my playlist is on repeat.
But the key to a great playlist is the music—specifically new music. And not just a few songs, but 25 or more and having a good ear when you hear a new song that fits a character, a scene, a setting or a revelation.
Enter streaming services. I prefer Tidal for its sound quality, the variety of content and how it’s organized—plus, the access that they have to the Prince music vault (I’m just being honest here). There’s also Spotify—which has a free option that includes ads and it’s likely the go-to streaming service for most people.
Whichever service you choose is your choice. I just hope you enjoy the music and begin to feel the vibe of Entangled and its two main characters—Riley St. James and Gabriel Laurent. And if you haven’t already, subscribe to the newsletter and get a sneak peek at the first chapter of Entangled. I’ll see you In Paradise.