One of the best ways for me to conceptualize my books is to create a playlist of songs that have the same “feel.” Click on the below to see those playlists.
Of everything I’ve written, Broken Records’ playlist was the most crucial for me to get just right. At the time I was outlining the story, I had just discovered Jack Savoretti through his duet with Mika, who is my favorite singer, on his then-new album. Jack and Mika definitely are a big part of this, and you’ll see both on future playlists. Enjoy!
Mother Road’s plot, characters, and consequentially playlist changed a lot from outline to finished product. For the final version, I wanted to capture the feel of the folk music and folk rock I grew up on, as well as some other treasures that fit with the characters. Nico was inspired by Josh Groban’s portrayal of Pierre in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, so the amazing song Dust and Ashes is naturally first on the list. I also discovered the artist Dom Fera throughout the writing process, and found that his songs fit with the feel I was looking for in Nico and Eli’s love story. Sometimes a song inspires a scene, rather than the other way around, and there are a few on this playlist that you might be able to tell.
Finally, I hinted at the song “Tennessee Waltz” in one of the scenes. I struggled with putting this song in as it was my grandmother’s favorite, and it still makes me sad to hear it. However, once I made the decision to add the ‘hint,’ I listened to many different versions of the song, choosing the one that I included below as my favorite (other than Eva Cassidy’s, but that one is still hard for me to listen to). It was a good experience in the end to rediscover the song, and now I listen to Emmylou Harris’s version often. My grandmother was a traveler through and through, and I spent many days on the road with her, my grandfather, my great-aunt, my mother, and other family members, driving across the country and having countless adventures.