Choosing Your Soundtrack

I’m not sure what other people daydream about, but lately I’ve been obsessed with what the soundtrack for my books would sound like if they were ever turned into a television series or a movie. (I’ve also thought about directors – but that is a blog for another time.) 

I know you’re thinking, Evette, a movie or a binge-worthy television series, really? 

To which I say, “Hey a girl can dream!”

It’s also good to be prepared. I’m not getting any younger and should luck smile down on me, I want to be ready to go with a list of artists that would instinctively pair the right music to help narrate my novels. I don’t see these as films or television shows that carry an orchestral soundtrack, ala Star Wars. I envision more of a contemporary soundtrack using existing songs or works specifically written for the occasion. My musical tastes haven’t deviated much in the last few years. I tend to stay firmly in the indie-folk/classic rock n roll/new wave mashup that has been my happy place. 

48States is a dystopian romance set in the West against the backdrop of domestic civil war and the third book in the trilogy – tentatively entitled Death Wish – is the final installment of an urban political fantasy thriller. Both are fast-paced adventures, featuring heroines with a lot going on.  The playlists I curated to help inspire my writing offer obvious clues to the artists I would want to work on the soundtrack.  Not surprisingly, a lot of the artists I like for the job are female.  My top choice would be Aimee Mann.  I had the good fortune to see her recently at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga and although it was a short set – just an hour – she was as amazing as ever.  Aimee is a gifted lyricist and her songs are a kind of poetry that has touched my heart for close to twenty years. A fellow Virgo, she has an ironic, fatalist bent to her work that I think rightly fits the ethos of my novels.  But there are other female performers who would be wonderful including Larin Poe and Brandi Carlile who both possess a kind of grit and sensual nature that fits my work nicely.  

Of course this is an equal opportunity day dream and I’ve also thought about bands like the Devil Makes Three, as well as solo artists like Eddie Vedder, David Sylvian, and Neil Finn. Neil Finn is the male Aimee Mann for me. I adore Crowded House, but it’s his solo work that has caught my attention for years.  He is also someone with a gift for lyrics and an ear for melodies that break your heart.  

The truth is that any of these performers would create wonderful soundtracks should my novels ever hit the big (or not so big) screen.  These musicians – along with others – have provided the inspiration for my writing for many years. Listening to their words helped me find my own; so it’s only fitting I would want them to help me bring my books to life. 

If you had to pull together the soundtrack for your life or a piece of your art, what musician would you choose?