I don’t listen to music while I write. If I did, I’d just want to sing along or get up and dance and neither is exactly conducive to getting words down on the page. But I will sometimes listen to a song before I start writing or during a break in a particularly tricky scene to help me get into the mood of what I’m working on.
These are the songs I listened to while writing or revising THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SLOANE SULLIVAN. The reasons for them vary. The older songs listed first are all specifically mentioned in the book, because of things like memories of music parents used to listen to or arguments between characters about which past era had the best music, and listening to them helped put me in the scene. Sometimes it’s a single lyric that reminds me of a particular scene or character. Or sometimes it’s just a whole song that feels like the story to me. Enjoy!
1. “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)” — Beastie Boys
2. “Brown Eyed Girl” — Van Morrison
3. “Dream Lover” — Bobby Darin
4. “Little Bitty Pretty One” — Thurston Harris
5. “Twistin’ the Night Away” — Sam Cooke
6. “Build Me Up Buttercup” — The Foundations
7. “The Longest Time” — Billy Joel
8. “Have a Little Faith in Me” — John Hiatt
9. “Last Kiss” — Pearl Jam
10. “Use Somebody” — Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon is one character’s favorite band, so it wouldn’t be a SLOANE playlist without one of their songs. And this is one of my favorite Kings of Leon songs.
11. “Paris” — The Chainsmokers
“If we go down then we go down together.”
12. “Whatever it Takes” — Imagine Dragons
“I’m ready for whatever it takes.”
13. “Just One Day” — Mighty Oaks
I stole this song from a playlist I had for the book I wrote before SLOANE, but I think it works for this one too. “Oh, and all your days you live life on the run, but now you see your time is finally gone, to live your life just one day by one.”
14. “Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons
This is one of the songs that feels like the book to me, especially the last third of the book. “Welcome to the new age.”
15. “Unforgettable” — Thomas Rhett
Because some events, and some people, really are unforgettable.
16. “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” — U2
There are several characters who still haven’t found what they’re looking for, but this is the song that was playing in my head when I wrote a certain burrito-eating scene.
17. “A Sky Full of Stars” — Coldplay
“‘Cause in a sky full of stars, I think I saw you.” There has to be at least one song about stars. If you read SLOANE, you’ll understand why she has a thing for stars.
18. “Back to You” — Mighty Oaks
If I had to pick one song as the song for the book, this would be it.