With Shakespeare as the inspiration for our novels, you might expect “Ren-Fair” lute muzak to factor into the equation. (Don’t worry, it didn’t.) Instead, the soundtrack essential to our writing process lent mood and kept us grounded in the present for our contemporized tales. Here are some of the songs that galvanized us as we worked on the first two books in our Twisted Lit series. (Go to the Spotifiy playlist.)
“Grace,” Jeff Buckley
“Parting is such sweet sorrow.” --Romeo and Juliet. Skye Kingston, the heroine of Exposure (our modern interpretation of Macbeth), has a Jeff Buckley poster hanging on the wall in her bedroom. That’s the superficial connection, but there’s a subtler one: Buckley was inspired to write this hauntingly gorgeous song by a tearful farewell with a girlfriend at an airport. Skye also has to say goodbye to the guy she loves, possibly forever, before she boards a flight from Anchorage, Alaska, where the book is set.
“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” The Police
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” --The Tempest. Miranda Prospero, our heroine in Tempestuous is, of course, a combination of The Tempest’s Miranda and her father Prospero, the deposed king and sorcerer. While our Miranda isn’t a true magician, she certainly casts a spell with her charming, sometimes manipulative, behavior. And the opening bars of this song are pure pop magic as far as we’re concerned. If we had a desert island tune, this would be it.
Elevator to the Gallows Soundtrack, Miles Davis
Murder most foul.” --Hamlet. Miles Davis helped set the mood while we worked on a pivotal après-murder scene in Exposure. Davis wrote this moody, tension-filled score for the ’58 Loius Malle film Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, a chilling, stylish noir about a man who commits murder for love.
“Simple Twist of Fate” Bob Dylan
“Out, damned spot.” --Macbeth. In Exposure, Skye listens to Dylan’s aptly titled album Blood on the Tracks. As in Macbeth, a spot of blood turns out to be the visual evidence of profound guilt. And by one such “simple twist of fate,” our heroine becomes a party (possibly even an accessory) to it all.
“Snow and Lights,” Explosions in the Sky
“May the winds blow till they have waken'd death!” --Othello. This acoustic track would be perfect to accompany Miranda and crew’s forays around the mall, where they’re trapped all night during an epic blizzard. Like all of Explosions’ best songs, “Snow and Lights” takes you along on a journey. This one ends with explosive drums, like those played by Tempestuous character Chad Mathers, drummer for our fictional band, The Drunk Butlers.