Thursday, June 16, 2011

And the Beat Goes On (aka, Our Favorite Music!)

Do you have a favorite tune that you can't get out of your head?  Or a song that reminds you of something from the past?  A beat that, the moment you hear it, makes you get up and dance?  We do!  So we figured we'd share our best "pick-me-up" music with y'all, and see what you recommend.

Maggie:  Every one of my books has a soundtrack but they all have a common thread:  they are danceable.  So, if I'm stuck, I crank up a great dance song (usually Beyonce's "Green Light"—it starts out "give it to mama," which makes the kids laugh hysterically) and let my freak flag fly until I get inspiration.

Rhonda (Southern half of Evelyn David)One of my favorite songs is, “The Water is Wide” by James Taylor. I just think it's a beautiful song and can listen to it over and over.

Marian (Northern half of Evelyn David)We're great writing partners, but unlike Rhonda, I can't listen to music when I'm working. I find it distracting—and goodness knows, I'm easily distracted and quite prone to procrastination. When I'm not writing, it's show tunes and classical music that I enjoy and often inspire some great plotting for future mysteries.

Bethany:  Picking out THE ONE most inspiring song is too difficult for my brain – it tries to sort through the entire library of beloved songs all at once and then comes up with the default answer, which is “Maybe I should have some toast.” But one song that I distinctly remember inspiring me is "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles:  It’s a clever little video and when it was brand new it got a lot of airplay on VH1. Along with the video, they frequently showed interview clips and in one Sara said that the song was actually about her record company who had demanded that she add a love song to album after it was complete. Since I was I was going through a rather difficult list of demands from my editor at the time, I really appreciated her way of giving the record company what they asked for without compromising her own vision. Interestingly, I only saw that interview clip once. Did someone at the record company have it pulled because it was unflattering to them? I’m going with yes.

Additional Bethany Playlist, should anyone be interested:

1.  Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps by Doris Day
2.  Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin
3.  Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones
4.  Paperback Writer by The Beatles
5.  The Rainbow Connection by The Muppets
6.  Mexico by Cake
7.  Rock DJ by Robbie Williams
8.  Paradise by Ana Serrano van der Laan
9.  Volcano by Damian Rice
10. Sour Times by Portishead

Susan:  I always, always turn to Def Leppard when I need a pick-me-up!  One of my favorite tunes of all-time (and I can picture the video with Joe Elliott in his fuzzy bear claw slippers at the end!) is “Armageddon It.” If you have never listened to the song before, you might say, “Whoa, sounds depressing!”  Not.  Think “Are you getting it,” which is really what the song’s about.  Yeah, and “it” can be whatever you want it to be (so far as I’m concerned!).  Just a really fun, fun song that gets me going.

Laura:  "Colour My World" has always brought tears to my eyes and made me… Okay, I just wanted to see if I could make anybody squirm.  Gosh, music. There’s a ton of it, but it’s all definitely mood oriented.  Every book ends up with its own playlist, songs I pick up along the way, some old, some new.  The Avett Brothers' "Head Full of Doubt" was my anthem going into BEAUTIFUL DISASTER’s publication. Foreigner’s classic, "Jukebox Hero/One Guitar," is the opening act for my latest effort.  That’s a no-brainer; the main character is a rock star. If a love scene needs more sizzle, I might take a walk, listening to Nickelback’s "Figured You Out."  It just depends.

Maria:  I don't write listening to music because I find it too much of a distraction, but I do pretty much everything else to the beat of a tune: brainstorming, showering, walking, housework, driving, you name it. My favorite artists are Rob Thomas, Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles, and Adele, to name a few. Right now I can't get enough of Adele's latest CD, 12. I think my favorite song from that track is "Turning Tables." It's so hauntingly beautiful!

Rachel:  I like "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. The lyrics appeal to me both as a writer and as a human work in progress. They suggest that a blank page or a new day can become whatever we choose. Everything we try may not work, but either way we can enjoy the freedom and creativity of sculpting what comes next for us.

So we want to know what music gets you up and moving??? 


  1. I love hearing what everyone listens to! Now I'm off to turn on some Def Leppard and get inspired to write! ;-)


  2. What a fun post! Thanks for putting it together, Susan! It's nice to see that everyone is as all over the board as me when it comes to musical inspiration!!

  3. Great to see what everyone else is grooving to! (Did I just show my age?) I, too, love Sara Bareilles, particularly "Uncharted," which is a great song for me to write to. And Adele? There are no words. "Rolling in the Deep" is one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard. I just wish they didn't have her sitting on a chair for the entire video. Thanks, Susan, for compiling this great post! Maggie

  4. Madonna's dance tunes will get me moving.

  5. I can write with some instrumental only music, sometimes. Lyrics I listen to too much. This is a tangent to why I can't listen to my beloved NPR radio shows and work--too much to have to pay attention to when I need to pay attention to work.

    Tons of different music suits my taste, but specifically to writing I drive my husband and some colleagues crazy because when I finish a project or a really good day's writing, I leap into a room singing Elvis Costello's "Everyday I Write the Book", 'cause "in a perfect, where everyone is equal, I'd still own the film rights and be workin' on the sequel"!

  6. Oops, the Costello lyric was supposed to read: cause in a perfect WORLD where everyone is equal, I'd still own the film rights and be workin' on the sequel.

    Bad typing, faulty fingers.