Today we have author Sarah Ballance sharing her playlist and answering our questions in honor of her book, For Seven Nights Only. We hope you enjoy! Be sure and pick up your copy of For Seven Nights Only today!
1. How do you make your playlists for your books?
So I have a quirk. I listen to the same playlist for every book, every time, and there hasn’t been an exception yet. The music in question? Every song Jason Aldean has ever released on a studio album. I’m not completely insane – the list is currently 78+ songs strong – but I can seriously hear the first note of any one of those tracks and I’m immediately in my zone. I think that’s why I don’t mess with it, despite my absolute love of so many other songs and artists.
2. Do you use the entire playlist for the whole book or specific parts for certain sections or types of scenes?
Even though I play the entire thing on repeat, what’s interesting is I tend to notice the songs that most relate to the part of the book I’m writing. During the black moment, I find myself singing along to the sad ones (Grown Woman, The Heartache That Don’t Stop Hurtin’), while the soulful, smokin’ hot ones (Burnin’ It Down; Talk) grab my attention during the sexier parts of the book.
3. How does the music impact your writing process?
Well, for one thing it tends to scatter the kids. I don’t usually use ear buds because I have a habit of singing along without realizing it (and trust me, no one needs to hear that), so while the kids all like the music, they don’t like hearing it nonstop. Plus when it’s playing, that’s their cue to leave me alone unless whatever their crisis involves bone protruding through skin. (I have six kids. I’m not kidding. LOL.) Writing without distraction is so much more enjoyable than fighting for words, and while I don’t crush on Jason Aldean the man, I always absolutely lose myself in his music. The words just pour from me.
4. Do certain songs or artists continually come up in your book playlists?
Every now and then I’ll pull up a song on YouTube because it fits the moment. My absolute go-to in that situation is “Like a Wrecking Ball” by Eric Church. And then I’ll end up watch-listening to a lot of his other stuff because his voice slays me. I also seek out “Tomorrow” and “I’m Comin’ Over,” both by Chris Young.
5. Does the music on your playlists also get put into your casual listening?
I listen to the radio (just a regular station on the dial), but when I can’t take the commercials any more, I generally fall back on my playlist or Pandora. My husband is logged into his Pandora on our Fire Stick, and he’s got a station of songs and music that played on the radio when we met in the mid-90s. It’s one of my favorites.
6. What’s one piece of writing advice you would like to share?
Just do it. So many people have told me the reasons they want to write and can’t, but they’re just excuses. I have plenty of my own (I homeschool our six kids in six different grades, which means I’m nonstop teaching during the day and I’m feeding 24 meals a day out of my kitchen and OMG WHY WON’T THE BUS JUST TAKE THEM ANYWAY?!?) but writing is still a priority. That means I hardly ever watch television and there are some evenings I hear my husband out there having a blast with the kids and I’m stuck behind closed doors with a deadline, but this writing side of me is non-negotiable. If you want it – if the need lives in side you – then make it happen. You do you, and you’ll be happier at everything else.
Eric Church: “Like a Wrecking Ball”
Jason Aldean: “Grown Woman; Burnin’ It Down”
Chris Young: “Tomorrow; I’m Comin’ Over”
Sarah Ballance and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids, but nevertheless, you’ll find her writing sexy contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing until they throw her out. To learn more, visit SarahBallance.com.