Having recently published my fourth book, I figured now was the time to talk about the music that inspired it. Every book I’ve written in the past year has a dedicated playlist on Spotify. I put together a playlist with a specific mood in mind and even search for new music that fits the piece.

My third book, The Collapse, actually had two playlists, one for each main character. I approached the book’s dual narration in two separate pieces, outlining extensively to make sure the story lines coincided. I wrote, read, and edited each part separately, and I didn’t read the whole story together until the last read-through. It was a big risk, but it paid off. The Collapse has two vastly different voices, which were heavily dependent on the playlists behind them.

Girl Nevermore had one playlist. With seventeen songs, it’s only one hour and eight minutes in length, which means, yes, I listened to it on repeat. A lot.

Some writers choose to listen to soundtracks or ambient music—tracks with no words so they don’t have to compete with the lyrics. For me, when I’m listening to the same playlist on repeat, the songs fade into the background, allowing me to tap into the feelings that resonate within me.

Even as I write this, I’m listening to the Girl Nevermore playlist. The songs make it easier for me to tap into certain emotions. This particular list creates a sense of defiance, nostalgia, angst, fear, loneliness, and sorrow. It depends on the song, ultimately, but all of the songs create at least one, if not more, of those emotions.

Music for me isn’t optional; it’s necessary. This is probably why I married a musician. He helps center me, not only with his strength, but also with what he creates.

So, without further ado, here’s the playlist for Girl Nevermore (alphabetical by artist):

  • Dorian by Agnes Obel
  • Waiting Game by Banks
  • Never Gonna Change by Broods
  • Smother by Daughter
  • Jungle by Emma Louise
  • Talking to Ghosts by Foxes
  • Annabel by Goldfrappe
  • All I Want by Kodaline
  • Glory and Gore by Lorde
  • Team by Lorde
  • No Rest for the Wicked by Lykke Li
  • Vagabond by MisterWives
  • Bones by MS MR
  • Wires by The Neighbourhood
  • Ghosts by UNKLE
  • Sweet Ophelia by Zella Day

Do you listen to music when you write? How about when you read? Do you create playlists to amplify a certain mood? Does it help? Let me know!

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