Leila Sales, author of MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS, is at The Hiding Spot today to share some songs that inspired her as she wrote the novel… I have to say that I have a number of these songs on my iPod, so I can definitely see why she found them inspiring!
I create playlists to go along with every aspect of my life, be it a dinner party or a roadtrip or a gay speed-dating event. (Yes, I do have an iTunes playlist named “gay speed dating.” There are some great tracks on there.) So obviously I made a playlist to accompany the publication of Mostly Good Girls. These songs aren’t about the plot of the book, but they are about the writing process, and about “achieving your dreams.” Achieving dreams is a v. important musical theme.
Here is my Mostly Good Girls annotated playlist, with youtube links to the songs:
1. “We Are Golden,” by Mika. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEhutIEUq8k&ob=av2e. It is so difficult for me to believe that this song wasn’t written about the experience of publishing your debut YA novel. Like, what else could it be about? (Also, not to give you a creepy amount of insight into my everyday life, but if you watch this music video, you’ll get a pretty accurate picture of how I dance around my bedroom. Though I tend to be wearing more clothes than Mika.)
2. “Dancing in the Dark,” by Bruce Springsteen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=129kuDCQtHs&ob=av2e. “I’m sick of sitting ‘round here trying to write this book. I need a little reaction, c’mon baby give me just one look.”
3. “Time to Pretend,” by MGMT. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9dSYgd5Elk&ob=av2e. Sure, writing a book is overwhelming, but what else can we do? Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute? (Okay, actually, I do that too, even if I am always half an hour late to the morning commute.)
4. “Teenage Kicks,” by the Undertones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVrP6JaPUv0. If I had to summarize what my characters are looking for, my answer, 85% of the time, would be “teenage kicks.”
5. “Come Back from San Francisco,” by the Magnetic Fields. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHjErzA2YAU. “Should pretty boys in discos distract you from your novel, remember I’m awful in love with you.” Sometimes instead of sitting alone at my desk, staring at my computer, I want to go out and do exciting things. Then I ask myself, “Leila! Should pretty boys in discos distract you from your novel?” And then usually I reply to myself, “Yes.”
6. “I Wanna Be Adored,” by the Stone Roses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D2qcbu26gs&ob=av2n. I have heard that some writers don’t care whether they’re adored or not. Maybe, like, J. D. Salinger didn’t care. But most of us would side with the Stone Roses on this one.
7. “Sound of Silver,” by LCD Soundsystem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx4oFRz8LOA. Another great song about being a teenager, or at least remembering being a teenager.
8. “Yes,” by LMFAO. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXPT8sw_FjU. This is a ridiculous/genre-defining song about “seeing your dream.” LMFAO’s dreams are slightly different from mine—they are less focused on writing novels and more focused on naked models—but still. Dreams are dreams.
9. “Mo Money Mo Problem,” by the Notorious BIG. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twkh0YiInPM. I also listen to this song whenever I get a raise at work, make $60 babysitting, or find a five-dollar bill in my jeans pocket.
10. “The Jock Jams Megamix.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8bg_jxWFgA. For some reason, I find it necessary to get “pumped up” for writing, as though I’m about to run out onto a football field and score some touchdowns, whereas what I’m actually going to do is sit at my computer and eat chocolate chips. Either way, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to rumble!
11. “Get Me Away from Here, I’m Dying,” by Belle and Sebastian. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS_DcqPkEYM. B&S has written a number of wonderful songs about writing and literature (some other examples are “Storytelling” and “Wrapped up in Books”). This song is one of their best. “Said the hero in the story / It is mightier than swords / I could kill you, sure / But I could only make you cry with these words.”
Do you have a writing mix, too? And, if so, what songs are on it?