But that's not all.
She agreed to do a guest post for me ON MUSIC.
BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE.
She agreed to do a guest post for me on music FOR SHADE.
This is kind of a big deal. I need to go pass out and/or do somersaults outside.
Time to let the infinitely more eloquent Jeri take over.
Thanks to Jen for hosting my very last purely SHADE guest post before the release of SHIFT!
I have a special reason for being here, discussing the topic of readers and music. You see, last year Jen made me cry. She blogged about a song that made her think of my YA paranormal novel SHADE, “I Remember” by Damien Rice. Go read the post now if you haven’t, and watch the video. It’s all beautiful.
As I said in the comments, not only did the song itself blow me away, but I was so, so touched that Jen thought of SHADE when she heard it. It meant that the book and the characters were real to her.
Music and books are just different ways of telling stories and exploring emotions. For me, songs can drill down deeper into feelings, whether they’re pure and explosive or complex and paralyzing. I wish I could be half the storyteller someone like Damien Rice is.
SHADE, of course, has an official soundtrack, which consists of songs or bands mentioned in the book with a few extra tunes to flesh things out. I wanted to make sure every major turning point in the book had a musical “marker.”
Then I put out a call for soundtrack suggestions that would go toward a “readers playlist,” made up of songs that reminded readers of SHADE. The response was great—people answered on my blog, in e-mails, and on my publisher’s teen-reader site, Pulse It. Based on their contributions and what was available on Playlist.com, I put together this reader playlist:
(This playlist is available—with bonus track!—for purchase from iTunes’s iMix site. Note: I make no money off the sales of my iMixes—I just like to spread the word about bands I love.)
Isn’t it awesome? Readers rock!
I tried to put the songs in order of where I thought they would correspond to the book, at least as I interpreted them, so that the playlist itself would tell a story. For instance, “Come On Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson is near the beginning, when Logan and Aura’s future looks bright and carefree. Then “Just Friends” by Gavin DeGraw is clearly about Logan figuring out the Zachary means more to Aura than just a study partner. And “Roses” by Meg and Dia had to occur near the hospital scene, for obvious reasons (obvious if you’ve read SHADE, and if you haven’t stay tuned for a chance to win a signed copy).
But of course I also tried to make the songs flow into each other and give the soundtrack a good rhythm. That’s part of the art and fun of building a playlist—I guess it’s a lot like being a DJ. Just like with a book, I sometimes have to cut some of my favorite songs (scenes) because they make it drag on too long, or just don’t fit the overall feel.
So what about you? Do certain songs make you think of characters in your favorite books or movies? Do you listen to movie soundtracks to remind yourself of your favorite scenes? Do you make up playlists for books or look for authors' playlists online?
We’ll draw a winner May 13, 2011 from the comments to win a copy of the SHADE paperback, which was just released this month. And be sure to check out my blog tomorrow for a link to Logan’s playlist, “Sucks to Be a Ghost (Sometimes),” kicking off the SHIFT blog tour.
Thanks for listening!
Jeri Smith-Ready’s next release is SHIFT (May 3), the second in the YA ghost trilogy that began last year with SHADE (which just came out in paperback April 5). She loves to hear from readers, so please visit her at her site, or better yet, on Facebook or Twitter, where she spends far too much time.