Hi, everyone, I’m Cassi Carver! Thank you for visiting me at Smexy Books today! I’m really excited about the release of Shadow Rising, the second book in my spicy urban fantasy series with Samhain Publishing, and I thought I would talk a little about music and how it can affect writing a book.
Last year was the first year I’d really heard about authors coming up with playlists for books and series. Sure, I’d listened to music while I was writing before, but could it be possible that if I made a playlist, I could evoke the same mood quickly when I sat down at the computer, without having to go back a dozen pages to get the feel of the scene?
As an experiment, I compiled some songs that I thought could keep me in the mood for the novel—about twenty of them. (Lucky for me, I can handle listening to the same songs over and over and not yank my hair out!) Before that point, I was mostly using white noise, “The Sounds of Summer Rain,” to go into that other world in my mind where the story plays out.
When I first started writing to music as an exercise, it was actually a little hard to focus. Eventually, my long playlist melted into the background and I didn’t think about it as much, but then a strange thing happened. When I would pick up my book again after a couple days off, my mind craved the music that it associated with that world. More than any other element, the tone of the music set the mood for the scenes.
My mix was odd to say the least, everything from bluegrass to current hits, but there was a certain melancholy feel to the songs that put me in that angsty place where I could get into the characters’ heads and let them work through their conflicts.
Shadow Rising is the second book in the series, but book 2.5, a stand-alone novella featuring Abbey and Jaxon’s story, comes out December 11th. Right now I’m working on book 3.0, the third full-length Shadow Slayers novel, and I have a confession to make…I still use the same playlist to take me back into that world!
I think the cool thing about playlists—if that’s something you want to try in some area of your life, whether it’s for exercise, art, or just getting through the day—is that the songs don’t have to be music anybody else would choose. It’s all about what resonates with you and what will evoke the mood you’re trying for. For me, it worked like a charm!
So I’m going to go out on a limb here and show you some of the songs that helped me create Shadow Rising, and maybe when you’re reading the books, you will catch a glimpse of the music behind them!
If you want a chance to win an e-copy of both book one, Slayer’s Kiss, and book two, Shadow Rising, tell us in the comments section the name of a song that spoke to you this week!
Dierks Bentley – "Up On The Ridge"
Enanitos Verdes – “Luz de Dia”
Linda Ronstadt – “Blue Bayou”
Contest open to everyone through September 29.