#LifeBooksWriting: Music I Love/Book Playlists

Once upon a time, in another life, I was a DJ. Music has always been a huge part of my world; I can’t really work without it. I will listen to almost anything except contemporary country, but my favorite genres (in no particular order) are industrial, goth, dark ambient, neoclassical, trap, house, trance, and video game soundtracks.

I love making soundtracks and playlists for my books. Or, if not for a specific book, then centered around a theme. I did make a playlist for Firebird, which can be applied to most of the trilogy. Here it is:

To Die For–The Birthday Massacre

Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)


Into My Arms–Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Song to the Siren–Brendan Perry


Baby When the Lights Go Out–David Guetta

In & Out (DJ Shah Rework)–Sunlounger

Here With Me–Dido

We Found Love (feat. Rihanna)–Calvin Harris

Гори, гори, моя звезда–The Misailov Neapolitan Ensemble

Let’s Dance–BBC Big Band Orchestra

The Last Time I Left–Soul Whirling Somewhere

Let It Go–Fauxliage

Better Off–Razed in Black

Lovesong–The Cure


Illusion–VNV Nation

Believe in You (feat. Sarah Howells & Secede)–Dash Berlin

Shelter (Photographer Remix)–Dash Berlin feat. Roxanne Emery

Ja pomnju chudnoe mgnovenie–Vladimir Bykov

Precious Little–Hiatus

Canon in D–Per-Olov Kindgren

Someone (Original Mix)–Ascension


Those of My Kind Playlist

If you know me, you know I love music. I was a DJ for quite a while, and music is still a huge source of inspiration for me. One thing I like to do is create my dream soundtrack for the books I write. So, with Those of My Kind out in just about a month, I present to you the soundtrack I came up with. Give it a listen at 8tracks Radio, and enjoy!

Video Games and Inspiration

Since returning from grad school residency a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been playing a lot of video games. Blame Steam, to whom I have given many dollars thanks to their holiday sales. I’ve played Dead Island, dabbled in Portal, and when I want something simple and silly, I fire up Plants vs Zombies. For the Xbox 360, I picked up Mass Effect 2 (yeah, I’m usually a couple of years behind everyone else). But I find myself, more often than not, turning back to certain games over and over. Given the current stress levels of my life, games into which I can completely immerse myself and shut out the rest of the world are my go-to entertainment.

I’m writing this while listening to Jeremy Soule’s Skyrim soundtrack. This is, hands-down, one of the most beautiful albums you could ever hope to own, which makes it quite fitting for the game it accompanies. Skyrim is a game I pop into the Xbox when I’m feeling overwhelmed by life. I’ve played through it before, but back in October I decided to start a new character and make another go at it. Bethesda has sucked me into this before, with Fallout 3 and, to a lesser extent, Fallout: New Vegas. And while you may be tempted to ask why I would “waste” hundreds of hours playing RPGs instead of writing, I will tell you that these games have been huge inspirations and influences on my work. The Lord of the Rings made me want to write an epic fantasy novel someday, but Skyrim made me want to do it, like, now. And I do in fact have one outlined.

I have a point here, and it’s similar to the one I tried to make in my teaching module at residency. You can find inspiration just about anywhere. For me, it’s very often in video games (and their soundtracks). I assure you, not one of those hours has been wasted. More often than not, I come away with an even greater desire to write. Do whatever it takes to recharge your creativity. Your story will be all the better for it.