I always have music playing when I write, but there have been certain songs that really resonated with me as reflecting the characters and themes of Sword and Verse.
Here’s the Spotify playlist where you can hear them all:
More info about how each song fits with the story:
- “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield: I consider this the theme song of the book, both for the literal theme of writing and the idea of Raisa finding out who she is.
- “Outro” by M83: A wonderful atmospheric song that matches the mood of the story.
- “Something of a Dreamer” by Mary Chapin Carpenter: This one is all about Raisa for me.
- “I Know Places” by Ryan Adams (I also love the Taylor Swift version, but that’s not on Spotify.): Raisa and Mati in love and in hiding.
- “Halo” by Beyonce: A song for when things are going well for our lovers…
- “North and South of the River” by Christy Moore: …and the first of many for when the reality of their positions becomes clear.
- “I’m Not That Girl” by Idina Menzel (from Wicked): Heartache and pain for our heroine.
- “All of the Stars” by Ed Sheeran: …and more heartache and pain.
- “Sleeping with Ghosts” by Placebo: And more.
- “The Kind of Love You Never Recover From” by Christine Lavin: If things hadn’t worked out with Mati, Raisa would have been okay. But she never would have fully recovered, and I think this song captures that idea beautifully.
- “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica: I think of this song being from Mati’s point of view, as he realizes where his priorities are.
- “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson: For this moment: “I was not foolish enough to think that the situation had changed…But I had changed. I knew how it felt for my heart to lie dormant, and now that it had been reawakened it would not go silent again.”
- “Master Pretender” by First Aid Kit (warning: there are naughty words in this one!): I think of this as Mati’s theme song.
- “Wherever You Will Go” by Charlene Soraia: With lyrics like “If a great wave shall fall/It’d fall upon us all/I hope there’s someone out there who/could bring me back to you”, how could I not include this song?
- “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer: For Jonis and the Resistance. (Bonus: Check out this wonderful video of the song in ASL from the Deaf Professional Arts Network!)
- “This is the New Year” by A Great Big World: For the new Council.
Thank you to my amazing betareader Manuela Bernardi and to Nicola of Queen of the Bookshelves for their contributions to this list!