Playlist & Contest: Shana Galen

As the mother of an energetic and talkative toddler, I relish my silence. I don’t listen to music when I write, but I often listen to it in order to set the mood before I write or when I’m working on copy edits and page proofs.

A few songs inspired me when I was in the early stages of Bastien and Raeven’s story. Two are from a CD I heard when working at Starbucks one morning. World is India isn’t the kind of music one might associate with a Regency-set romance, but I have scenes set in Gibraltar. The first two tracks are fast-paced and perfect for action scenes, and they helped me get the feel of the setting.

The next two songs helped solidify the characters in my mind. Bastien and Raeven are sworn enemies when the book begins, but Raeven has a lot of ambivalence in her feelings toward Bastien. She wants to kill him, but she wants to kiss him too. I found two songs that allowed me to tap into the antagonism of the beginning of the book and Raeven’s mixed feelings.

I like some classics as well. I love Sinatra, and some of his songs fit the irresistible attraction between Bastien and Raeven in some of the more romantic scenes of the book.

I’m definitely a child of the Eighties, and I still love to listen to Erasure, especially those from their Union Street album, which is all-acoustic. They’re incredibly romantic and really just beautiful—perfect for a date night or as the backdrop when you’re reading your favorite romance. The songs I listened to when working on The Rogue Pirate’s Bride included:

How Many Times? ended up being Raeven’s anthem. About three-quarters through the book, a rather traumatic event occurs for her, and if she lived in the present, I could see her listening to that song.

I also listened to Breathe by Erasure over and over. It’s not on the Union Street CD, but it’s still exceptionally romantic song, especially for those black moment scenes when Raeven is certain she’s lost Bastien.

Finally, a writer has to have a song that expresses the elation of not only finishing a novel but that also reflects the two characters’ joy at having found love. Joy by the Newsboys is a fun song that reflects that feeling for me.

I’m working on a new book now, and I’m already listening to some songs as I work out or drive around that inspire me. Does music inspire you? Do you enjoy listening to it when you work? I’ll be checking in all day to read your comments.

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Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website at or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Contest details:

  • The prize is 2 print copies of The Rogue Pirate’s Bride.
  • The contest is open to US and Canadian readers over the age of 18.
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  • The contest ends on Sunday, February 12.
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