Soundtracks to Writing (and Reading)

I listen to music, a lot. As a former music major and composer, music has been a large part of my life since I was a child. And even though I don’t do much composing anymore, it still forms the background soundtrack to my life day after day.

Growing up, of course, there were certain songs, bands and artists that spoke to me deeply, affected me, got under my skin and changed my outlook on life. Particularly when I became depressed, there were a few key musicians that kept me going, that told me I wasn’t alone in my misery.

In 22 Scars, Amy feels much the same way. Music is a large part of the story, although (deliberately so) no song or band is referenced by name (not that I wanted to avoid lawsuits, but it helps preserve a sense of timelessness in the story). There was a point, actually, when considered starting each chapter with a quote from a song. I might still do that in a future novel.

But what I feel is important to share is that the music I listened to while writing 22 Scars is the music I grew up with, the music that formed the soundtrack to my depression. And it’s the music that Amy listens to throughout the novel. We’re talking about major artists like Marilyn Manson and Metallica, but also lesser known bands like Sentenced, My Dying Bride and Anathema. Even, to an extent, older goth bands like The Sisters of Mercy and Xymox. These bands represent to me the epitome of bleak despair and numb depression, and are fundamental to understanding the feeling behind the story.

So if you want to know what 22 Scars sounds like, check out some of the above bands. It’ll give you a taste as to what Amy’s listening to, but also to what it took to write the book in the first place. I think you’ll find it insightful.

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