Last year we had the pleasure of reviewing The Song Remains the Same (click here to see our review). Now with the book being released in paperback, we are excited to have Allison Winn Scotch as our guest as she talks about the playlist for the book.
When it came to creating the playlist for the book, I was….extra meticulous/nervous/neurotic/exhaustive in my research. If you love music as much as I do, you tend to obsess over finding the perfect song that exactly represents the emotion you want to convey. Think about it like this: did you ever make a mix tape for a boyfriend back in the day? Okay, so remember how carefully you’d mull each choice. Then consider if that mix tape were going to be played for thousands of people. Well, that’s how I felt about this mix tape! Thousands of people were going to read it, and I couldn’t help but be obsessive.
I contemplated a lot of ways to go about building the list: at first, I wanted to include just really important songs from my own life or that I thought would resonate with readers. But that didn’t make sense. Then I started looking for songs that would have resonated with Nell throughout her lifetime, but that was so vast – I was spending hours a day researching top albums and top singles from a thirty year span and trying to see where I could then cram a song that had lyrics that resonated, that I liked and that I thought Nell would like back into her story… and that proved to exhaustive. Then I finally stumbled upon the right method: to create a playlist from a pretty specific time in Nell’s life (a series of year from her childhood), much in the way that many of us have our own playlists from say, high school or college. Even if we don’t realize that we have a “playlist,” we all have songs that come on and we think, “Oh yeah, this reminds me of my freshman year!”
Once I narrowed down the time frame, I had a lot of fun! A lot of the music is from the ’80s, and hey, I am a child of the ’80s, so what’s not to love about listening to endless music from that decade? I tried to use songs that would resonate not just for Nell, but also for the reader, because I needed the reader to understand how the melody and lyrics could get under Nell’s skin and stay with her forever.
All in all, it was a pretty tiring task, but a super-fun one as well. I mean, it’s one thing to spend your day writing a book. It’s another to spend your day listening to music for said book. Don’t take my author card away from me, but if given the choice, I’d take the latter over the former any day of the week. 🙂
What song would be in the playlist of your life?
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Allison Winn Scotch is the bestselling author of Time of My Life. A former freelance magazine writer, she has written for Glamour, Parents, and Men’s Health, and has a robust online presence with more than 15,000 Twitter followers. She lives in New York City and is currently at work on several screenplay projects, as well as her next book.