PG Forte’s new book, To Curse The Darkness, released yesterday and she’s stopped by to share her playlist for the book! We hope you enjoy! Be sure and get your copy of To Curse The Darkness today!
1. How do you make your playlists for your books?
It varies from book to book. Occasionally I’ll have a particular song, or even (very rarely)an entire album or movie soundtrack in mind when I start writing. Mostly, however, I more or less collect songs as I go. My playlist tends to keep growing almost until the book is done. This is especially true for a book that’s part of a series.
As to what I look for, most of the time it’s the lyrics that will draw me in, or strike me as being spot on for a particular character, or a particular couple, or maybe just a specific scene. Other times the connection is more obscure. Boy with a Coin made the list because the video is gorgeous and mysterious and reminded me of Damian—who is also gorgeous and mysterious. He’s also Spanish and the video features beautiful flamenco dancing.
If things are flowing, I’ll just let it play. But most of the time I match the song to the scene I’m working on—even if that means playing the same song over and over and over again. Most of my characters have their own “theme song” that I might switch to if I’m working on one of their scenes. Most of my couples have a theme song as well. For instance, for Julie and Brennan it’s Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park. Every time I hear that song—even now, years later—I can still see Brennan in my mind’s eye closing his bedroom window as he gets ready to go to sleep. They both knew, going in, that their relationship couldn’t last, so the words and mood the song evokes are perfect for the two of them. I like to imagine that for the rest of his life Brennan will always think of her when he hears it…
And, yes, I know he doesn’t really exist outside of my own head—but still!
Armand’s theme song is Hozier’s Take Me to Church. That’s all because of the Sergei Polunin ballet video that I’m sure everyone in the world has seen by now. Armand is a ballet dancer and I can see him dancing just like this while he broods about Julie.
Of course, the room where he works out would have to be a little darker, because, hello, vampires!
Then there are Conrad and Damian. They don’t just have one theme song apiece—or even one joint song as a couple. Oh, no, they each have an entire dedicated playlist of songs! I’ve only included about a dozen songs here. My actual playlist for all the books in the series probably runs into triple digits by now. Nobody needs to try and wade through that!
3. How does the music impact your writing process?
The great thing about music is that, if I find the right song, it will put me in the right frame of mind every single time I play it. That’s especially important when I’m writing a long book. And even more so for a long series. A lot of “real life” events happen in between writing sessions, after all, and that affects my mood. I find that when I’m stopping and starting a lot, it can be difficult to keep the same emotional intensity. Music is kind of a shortcut to get me into the proper head space, so to speak. But the wrong music is just a distraction. Silence is better.
4. Do certain songs or artists continually come up in your book playlists?
Yes and no. When I’m writing a series (which I usually am—except for times like now, when I’m actually attempting to write three series at once!) I tend to have a core group of songs that I play throughout the series. Each book will also have its own set of songs, of course, but just as the same characters show up from book to book, so do some of the songs.
Because Children of Night deals with vampires, some of whom have been around for a really long time, the series covers a lot of different time periods. So the first book, In the Dark, had a lot of music from the late sixties, which is when Conrad met the twins’ mother, Desert Rose. Now Comes the Night and Ashes of the Day both focus, in part, on the twins’ childhood. So their playlists featured songs from the seventies through the nineties. Those were some fun playlists to put together!
5. Does the music on your playlists also get put into your casual listening?
Absolutely. Although sometimes I’ll get burned out on a song if I play it enough while I’m writing—then I won’t want to hear it at all for awhile!
6. What’s one piece of writing advice you would like to share?
Have fun! Writing is supposed to be fun. I’m pretty sure that’s why we all started. But this business is so unpredictable. It’s hard to understand why one person succeeds and someone else doesn’t, or why one book takes off and another languishes. You can do everything right and still not see the results you want. It’s easy to lose that sense of joy. But I figure you should at least enjoy the process. That way, maybe the other frustrations and disappointments won’t matter quite so much.
Children of Night Playlist
Gavin Rossdale: “Love Remains the Same”
Rob Thomas: “Now Comes the Night”
Linkin Park: “Shadow of the Day”
Adam Lambert: “Time for Miracles”
Yellowcard: “Light Up the Sky”
Cara Dillon: “Never in a Million Years”
Hozier: “Take Me to Church”
Dead Confederate: “In the Dark”
Iron & Wine: “Boy with a Coin”
Vanessa Carleton: “Half a Week Before the Winter”
Enya: “Fallen Embers”
Shinedown: “Breaking Inside”
The Frames: “Rise”
Daughtry: “What About Now?”
Daughtry: “Feels Like Tonight”
Darren Hayes: “Insatiable”
Damien Rice: “9 Crimes”
PG Forte inhabits a world only slightly less strange than the ones she creates. Filled with serendipity, coincidence, love at first sight and dreams come true.
She wrote her first serialized story when she was still in her teens. The sexy, ongoing adventure tales were very popular at her oh-so-proper, all girls, Catholic High School, where they helped to liven up otherwise dull classes…even if her teachers didn’t always think so.
Originally a Jersey girl, PG now resides with her family on the extreme left coast where she writes contemporary and paranormal romance in a variety of sub-genres.