Retired music business ghoul that I am, you can imagine how music permeates every detail of my life. While I am not always on top of every new music release, I have been known to be Judgy McJudge when my friend’s music comes into question. I know it’s wrong, but hey...*shrug*.
A couple of years ago authors were starting to post their writing playlists, and I would look at them and
It was interesting to see what song influenced them as they wrote my favorite characters; I remember looking at Kim Harrison’s play list for writing Kisten Phelps and getting all up in my judgy place when I saw Queens of the Stone Age listed. Oh no, please, Kim, not my Kisten...A similar occurrence took place when looking at Sherrilyn Kenyon’s playlist for Acheron. It’s hard not to judge when you have that background.
Lately, I’ve noticed that characters actually listen to their favorite tunes within the book itself. I love this! It’s so personal.
The first book I remember seeing current music mentioned in was Mark Henry’s Happy Hour of the Damned. Snarkist and bitchfest protagonist Amanda Feral frequents a goth club called Mortuary where the playlist runs so dark, my black little soul jumped up with glee. Mortuary’s patrons get blasted with dark wave favorites such as, Cabaret Voltaire and Sisters of Mercy. Not your everyday club tunes.
In Stacia Kane’s Downside series, Terrible’s Chevelle radio belches classic punk tunes, like the Misfits’s “Skulls” and the Heartbreakers’s “Born to Lose.” This little snippet of information tells the reader reams about Terrible without saying it right out (he likes it loud, fast and dark). To create a scene filled with sex and steam, The Stooges’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” plays at the local dive Tricksters while Terrible pushes Chess up against a wall. That song totally creates the mood.
In the Hollows series, Kim Harrison has hottie Kisten Phelps calming down a bunch of riotous female vamps by dancing on stage to Rob Zombie’s “Living Deadgirl,” calming them so, he makes the whole club dance in time with him.
Recently I read a short story by authors Carrie Clevenger and Nerine Dorman about a blue-collar musician who happens to be a vampire. Xan Marcelles lives in the back woods of Colorado where he tries to stay out of trouble. Located in a bar in the middle of nowhere, the juke box in Pale Rider Tavern plays the likes of Danzig and Johnny Cash. These songs are little hints as to where the story is going. A full-length novel comes out in 2012, but you can download a little music and Xan for yourselves at Smashwords. It’s a fun read.
How could I write a piece about music in books and not mention my boys of the Black Dagger Brotherhood? Classical Italian opera and old skool rap figure largely into the plot of these stories. Phury and Zsadist prefer the traditional opera, while Vishous and Butch bounce to Ludacris and Tupac. During John Matthews’s mating ceremony Z even sings a U2 song. Who says these vamps aren’t well rounded musically?
Abby Sinclair of Allison Pang’s A Brush of Darkness fame has an enchanted iPod that plays whatever is her whim. Let’s not forget sexy lead singer Ion of Ion’s Folly, who especially enjoys a good Tom Jones tune, singing my personal favorite, “Sex Bomb.” Fitting, don’t you think?
Even when the music isn’t part of the plot development it still pops up and sets the tone. Here are some of the more fun ones:
Jaye Wells’s Sabina Kane prefers Godsmack, while Sabina’s sidekick drag queen friend Pussy Willow enjoys a good classic Madonna tune. Nicole Peeler’s Jane True listens to the Killers nonstop, and Kevin Hearne’s Atticus O’Sullivan prefers a bit of Rodrigo y Gabriela and Mozart. Fifty Shades protag Christian Grey and girlfriend Anastasia like Van Morrison, along with some classical melancholy piano tunes.
Do you like it when music when contemporary music is filtered into your favorite story? Who do your fave characters listen to?
When she’s not herding cats or creating art, she works as a part-time bookseller. You can find her on twitter as @psynde.