Thursday, June 4, 2015

YA Guy Reveals... My SCAVENGER OF SOULS Playlist!

YA Guy has a confession: I don't actually do playlists.

Many writers do. They create music mixes, usually containing songs that have something to do with the book they're writing or the mood they want to be in while writing it, and listen to the music on their MP3 players or smart phones or whatever as they write.

Me, I don't have an MP3 player or smart phone or whatever. More importantly, I need a distraction-free environment to write; too much noise from outside my head--and even worse, lyrics--makes it impossible for me to concentrate. So in my case, playlists would actually prevent me from writing anything.

That being said, I do sometimes think of songs that connect to my stories in one way or another, and I thought it would be fun to share a few of them. I've chosen 9 (you know, for Survival Colony 9 and all); though I didn't listen to any of these songs while writing SC9 or its sequel, Scavenger of Souls, they're part of the soundtrack I would have chosen if I could.

Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning." When people think of a post-apocalyptic song, they mostly go for "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. I like that song fine, but for me, this beauty from the eighties will always epitomize the post-apocalyptic landscape I tried to capture in the Querry Genn series.

Band of Horses, "Is There a Ghost." Something about this crazy song reminds me of the Skaldi. Maybe because it asks the question of whether we're haunted without knowing it.

Family of the Year, "Hero." A great song for reluctant heroes. From the "Boyhood" soundtrack.

Talking Heads, "Life During Wartime." If you're looking for a funky war song, you can't beat this one. I considered using The Clash's "London Calling," but the reference to Pittsburgh in the Talking Heads tune tipped the scales.

Ben Lee, "Love Me Like the World Is Ending." My books aren't really love stories, but I think it's safe to say that Querry's always looking for love. So one end-of-the-world love song seemed appropriate.

America, "A Horse with No Name." "In the desert, you can't remember your name." I wish I'd written that.

Kansas, "Dust in the Wind." Another great desert/end-of-the-world song. I saw Kansas when they toured last year, and though Robby Steinhardt wasn't there to play the violin solo, this song was every bit as great as it's ever been.

Led Zeppelin, "Kashmir." If you don't know what this song is doing on my list, listen to the lyrics carefully. Then you'll get it.

The Toadies, "Possum Kingdom." I have no idea what this song is about--some say it's a vampire song, others some kind of twisted love song. Whatever, it totally creeps me out, and makes me think about the Skaldi. And the music video is pretty damn freaky too.

So there you have it. Any other songs I should add to the list? Please make suggestions--though of course, I won't actually be listening to them while I write!


  1. I CANNOT write while listening to music. However, listening to certain music while driving does connect me to certain manuscripts and inspire creativity. So, I get the idea of a playlist that isn't really a playlist. And I love your choices!

    But more importantly: SCAVENGER OF SOULS -- Is that the new title? Did I miss an announcement? I love it!

    1. Yep, that's the new title! It's actually the old title--the one I originally chose for the book then changed, but which my editor convinced me was better than Skaldi City. I guess I thought I'd announced it somewhere, but maybe that was only on Facebook.... Sigh. Social media.