So it's probably not a big surprise that writers often use music as inspiration. And if you haven't figured out from my song titles (and series titles), I'm deeply influenced by music. Sometimes a song can inspire a whole story for me (STILL INTO YOU was like that) or it may make me think of a character or it may just provide background music to an important scene.
I never write in silence so much of these, especially the "Sexy Stuff" list and "Angst Fest", play in the background as I write. So I thought it'd be fun to share some of the songs I've used and have been inspired by. Be warned, it's an eclectic list. My tastes in music are all over the place.
The Ones Who Got Away Playlist
The One You Can't Forget Playlist
The One You Fight For Playlist
Angst Fest - For Writing Angsty Scenes
Songs That Inspired Stories or Scenes
CRASH INTO YOU
- Outside by Staind - This song gave me chills when I first heard it because I was writing CRASH INTO YOU at the time and it fit so perfectly. This song will always be tied to Reid and Brynn in my head.
- Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band - This one is obvious. I used it for title inspiration and the lyrics fit well too.
- Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol - I imagine this song playing in the scene in CRASH INTO YOU when Brynn and Reid are in the back of his truck looking at the airplanes fly overhead.
- Never Again by Kelly Clarkson - I have a feeling Brynn from CRASH INTO YOU would've liked singing this one about Reid after they broke up in the past storyline.
- Cry by Kelly Clarkson - This one makes me think of Brynn and Reid's rough patches.
- The Blower's Daugher by Damien Rice - This one is such a sad song, but makes me think of Reid and Brynn's ten years of separation.
STILL INTO YOU
- Somebody Should Leave by Reba McEntire - This song gave me the idea for STILL INTO YOU. I was brainstorming about novella ideas and this happened to come on. Perfect.
- Can't We Try by Dan Hill and Vonda Shepard - Sappy, melodramatic 80s music at its best, but totally fits for STILL INTO YOU as well. Plus, how can you not belt this one out in the car?
- Like We Never Had a Broken Heart by Trisha Yearwood - This one makes me think of the scene in STILL INTO YOU when Leila goes to Kade's cabin.
- Just Give Me a Reason by Pink and Nate Russ - This one came out after the book but makes me think of STILL INTO YOU
MELT INTO YOU
- I Melt With You by Modern English - Obviously, I used this title to come up with MELT INTO YOU. But this is an 80s classic that never gets old to me.
- Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson - This one plays in my head everytime one of my characters reveals their weakness or secret. No one is interesting without some kind of dark side, right? :)
- Don't Go Away by Buckcherry - I think of this one when Evan leaves Jace and Andre behind.
- Fall to Pieces by Velvet Revolver - This one makes me think of teen Jace when Evan runs away.
FALL INTO YOU
- Fly to the Angels by Slaughter - Okay, so I had to put at least one 80s hair band in there. And this song makes me think of a scene near the end of FALL INTO YOU.
- Black by Pearl Jam - This one could pretty much work for every black moment in all of my books. Guess it's aptly titled. ;)
NOT UNTIL YOU
- Walk of Shame by Pink - This is a fun song and it makes me think of the morning after scene with Cela in NOT UNTIL YOU.
CAUGHT UP IN YOU
- Cherry Pie by Warrant - This is one I directly reference in CAUGHT UP IN YOU. It's tongue and cheek but I think it fit the scene perfectly.
NEED YOU TONIGHT
- Need You Tonight by INXS - This one is the title of Kade's book and fits the theme of the book. "You're one of my kind."
- The One That Got Away (Acoustic) by Katy Perry - So in NEED YOU TONIGHT, I do flashbacks to Kade and Tessa's high school days. This song makes me think of that separation between high school and the present.
- Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke - This makes me think of the first scene with Kade and Tessa in NEED YOU TONIGHT
- Lookin' For Love by Johnny Lee - Tessa and Sam reference this song in the scene in the bookstore scene. Gotta love Urban Cowboy.
BLURRING THE LINES
- My Immortal by Evanescence - I see this song as matching where Gretchen is at the beginning of the book.
FOREVER STARTS TONIGHT
- Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler - I had to include this one because it inspired the title fo the novella. :)
- Still Into You by Paramore - Even though it's a girl song, I kind of picture the guys thinking this about Evan.
- Unconditionally by Katy Perry
NOTHING BETWEEN US
- Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglov
- Your Song by Elton John
- I Wanna by The All-American Rejects
- If I Had You by Adam Lambert
- Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard - strip club scene
YOURS ALL ALONG
- Say Something by A Great Big World - for when Devon and Hunter go their separate ways in the past
- Misty Blue by Dorothy Moore
- What You Need by INXS
- The Reason by Hoobastank - from Hunter to Devon
- You're My Best Friend by Queen - this is just a feel good song and reminds me of how these two were best friends first
CALL ON ME
- Wicked Game (originally by Chris Isaak but the Bassboosa version in this case) - This is the song Oakley sings in the scene in Pike's studio
- What You Give by Tesla - just a lovely romantic song
- Shadows of the Night by Pat Benatar - Oakley's daugher is a big Pat Benatar fan so it makes me think of her. But it also can fit for the story with the late night phone calls.
- The Only Exception by Paramore - won't need explanation once you read the book ;)
- Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'n Roses
Reid from CRASH INTO YOU:
- Creep by Radiohead - If you've read the book, you'll know why this fits.
Brynn from CRASH INTO YOU:
- Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler - Yes, this is an oldie. Brynn has been through a lot, yet is still a hopeless romantic. She needs a really strong guy to get past all those defenses she has.
Jace from MELT INTO YOU:
- Sorry by Buckcherry - the guy's got a lot of guilt
- You Tonight by Lit - Jace is so confident and cocky. I can picture him liking this song.
- My Way by Butch Walker - Jace doesn't like rules or having anyone put them on him.
- Panama by Van Halen - Okay, I just picture Jace listening to this (in a completely non-ironic way) as he's driving down an open highway in his Viper.
Andre from MELT INTO YOU:
- I'll Stand By You by The Pretenders - This is a song first about friendship, and Andre is a very loyal friend to Jace. Plus, this is a song I never get tired of.
- Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon - Yes, cheesy 80s again, but I can't help it. The song works and I used to belt it out about my high school crush in true unrequited love fashion.
Evan from MELT INTO YOU:
- I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner - Evan's had a pretty lonely life so even though this one is a little cliche, it fits. :)
Grant from FALL INTO YOU:
- The Cowboy Rides Away by George Strait - I listened to a LOT of old school country when writing FALL and this one really reminds me of Grant. He gets close and then backs off and rides away.
- The Cowboy in Me by Tim McGraw - Yes, lots of cowboy songs. So I'm not subtle.
- Don't Take the Girl by Tim McGraw - This one makes me think of Grant, but I can't listen to it too often because the damn thing makes me cry every time.
Charli from FALL INTO YOU:
- Something to Someone by Lit - Charli has a chip on her shoulder and a lot to prove.
- (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin - Charli is a tomboy and doesn't feel very girlie (until she meets Grant of course)
Ian Foster from NOT UNTIL YOU:
- Angel by Aerosmith - He calls Cela angel and this is one of my favorite Aerosmith songs.
Cela from NOT UNTIL YOU:
- What the Hell by Avril Lavigne - This good girl is about to break the rules a bit.
- Perfect by Alanis Morrissette - And she's had a lot of parental pressure.
- On My Own from Les Miserable - She's been admiring Foster from afar and feels like she'll never have a shot with him. (For those who've read it, this is the song Cela sings through the wall.)
Kelsey from CAUGHT UP IN YOU:
- It's Been Awhile by Staind - Kelsey has had a rough life and is just getting out on the other side of a lot of bad stuff (you know some of it if you've read CRASH)
- Sober by Pink
- Everything by Buckcherry
- F**kin' Pefect by Pink - Kelsey is very hard on herself for the decisions she's made
Kade from NEED YOU TONIGHT
- Until It Sleeps by Metallica - I directly reference this song in the book in a flashback scene. This would be teenage Kade's theme song.
Tessa from NEED YOU TONIGHT
- Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson - perfect for Tessa and this story
- Roar by Katy Perry - Tessa has been through a lot and at the start of the book finally stands up for herself and makes a big decision.
Keats from NOTHING BETWEEN US
- Welcome to My Life by Simple Plan
Georgia from NOTHING BETWEEN US
- Alone by Heart
Lex from WANDERLUST
- Lipstick and Bruises by Lit
Pike from CALL ON ME
- Everlong by Foo Fighters - A drummer song for Pike but the lyrics work too
- Closer to the Edge by 30 Seconds to Mars - Not so much the lyrics here, but Pikes's a drummer and the drums in this song are amazing. Pike would love this song.
Reagan (Oakley's daugher) from CALL ON ME
- Beautiful by Christina Aguilera
The Dark and Sexy Stuff
This is a wide variety of songs, but often these are the songs I'm imagining in the background during the BDSM scenes. So think of it as The Ranch's soundtrack. Some are slower, some more up tempo, but most have a heavy beat that could match well with a sexy dom wielding instruments of torture. ;)
The Romantic Stuff
I'm still building this list, but these are just some classic romantic songs that I use as background music for writing the happiy ever after moments.
Hope you enjoy! I'll continue to add to these as I stumble across more songs. :)
*To listen to the songs, you may have to download Spotify (a free app like Pandora). I know that's a bit of a pain, but I wanted to use an authorized/legal music player that gives the artists credit each time a song is played.