Music is integral to my life, inasmuch as I probably would die without it. Like, just keel over, dead. When I was writing my first fantasy novel, The Redemption of Erâth, there were a few albums that I had on repeat non-stop throughout—that I now associate intimately with that book. When I was writing 22 Scars, I was listening constantly to some of the most depressing music I know, and it once more became emblematic of that novel, too.
And music plays a large part of 22 Scars—Amy and her friends listen to various types and genres, reflective of their own inner joys and sorrows. Yet when I was writing 22 Scars, I shied away from directly identifying any particular song or film, mainly because I wanted to try and preserve a kind of ‘everyman’ quality to the story (no places or even time periods are identified).
The same is not true of my new endeavor. The novel I am just starting to plot and plan will focus heavily on music—in particular, classical and heavy metal, my own twin loves. And I intend to identify bands, artists and composers shamelessly, because these are the artists that affected me growing up, that formed and shaped my identity as a teenager, and indeed continue to do so today. I want to shout these artists out, to let the world know of their brilliance, their profound impact, and their beauty.
What’s interesting, though, is that it means moving away from the music of my fantasy realms, or even that of Amy’s dark, gothic world, and into a different area of my life. Depression will still feature in my new book, but in a different way. Music will feature, but again, in a different way.
So now I find myself listening to different playlists, different artists, and different composers than I have for the past year of working on 22 Scars. And I kind of like it—it’s reintroducing me to a world of wonder and beauty that I had hitherto been ignoring.
So here’s to throwing myself wholly into a new fictional world, bolstered by very real music that has kept me afloat for decades. Let’s write!