High Fidelity – Kate Style

When I write, I almost always listen to my music. The music I listen to is always different, depending on which MS I’m working on at the time. I don’t know if the music dictates what I write, but I know the reverse is true! For example, this is the soundtrack to my forthcoming Girlfriend Fiction book, Three Things About Daisy Blue

Taxiride Creeping up Slowly

Jack Johnson Banana Pancakes

Five Keep on Moving

Xavier Rudd No Woman No Cry

Spice Girls Wannabe

Josh Ritter Snow is Gone

The Corrs So Young

Travis Flowers in the Window

and here is the soundtrack to Thyla, the MS I’m editing at the moment:

Sonata Arctica Full Moon

Sonata Arctica Shamandalie

Pain of Salvation Halleluja

Kamelot Forever

Nightwish Beauty and the Beast

Opeth Death Whispered a Lullaby

Ensiferum Lai Lai Hei

The Frames Falling Slowly

So … can you guess which one is a quirky story about teen friendship, set in Bali, and which is a gothic paranormal fantasy?

A lot of the time it’s not the lyrics that fit with what I’m writing, but just the general “vibe” of the song. Thyla is often quite dark, and sometimes violent, and also very lyrical, so metal music (with the occasional softer folky song), fired my creativity on that one. Daisy Blue is sweeter and quieter with, I hope, a sense of hope and optimism, so the music I listened to writing it was softer and bubblier. I wonder if other writers have a writing playlist? Or if readers listen to different CDs depending on what book they’re reading. For me, writing and music are intrinsically linked, and music has such a huge influence on my mood. It would have been impossible to write Daisy Blue while listening to Opeth, or Thyla while listening to The Spice Girls. Equally, I am reading the new Lauren Kate book, Torment at the moment, and when I’m reading it I must listen to power metal! Tell me, though: Does your writing or reading have a soundtrack?

13 thoughts on “High Fidelity – Kate Style

  1. πŸ™‚ Wow! I am a big fan of Finnish metal bands, like Ensiferum and Sonata Arctica, but as you say you cannot write ‘everything’ while listening to them. This is true, but perhaps in reverse for myself. I choose my music, (which depends on my mood) and thus my writing style is the result of the two. On the occasion I feel the need to write in a certain style, I choose the corresponding music, but generally I go with what I’m feeling. My current musical influences are; Agalloch, Of the Wand and the Moon, and: VindensΓ₯ng.


  2. I’m with Rebecca! I don’t know how you do it…I’m such a frustrated rock star I just wander off and start thinking about the outfit I’m wearing on stage and the post-show interview etc etc. So it’s quietitude for me but I also get ideas from music. It’s all that emotional pull that draws things out.


  3. Ooh, you’ve written pretty much exactly what I was going to say, Rebecca! When I first started writing, I used to listen to music as I worked – mainly classical-inspired electronica, as I recall – but I eventually realised I was getting sidetracked by lyrics instead of focussing on what I wanted my characters to say. So now I write in silence, but music continues to inspire a lot of my ideas, especially while driving (there’s always plenty of driving time when you live a long way out of town). Awesome playlists, Kate! Might have to bookmark some of those tracks for future inspiration πŸ™‚


    1. If you ever need more mood-creating suggestions, you know where to come. Just thinking what would be some good songs for Sci Fi inspiration … ooh! Have you heard of Ayreon??


  4. Yep… my short story /Empty Choices/ has a song list:
    First of Autumn – Enya
    Storms in Africa – Enya
    Far Away – Ken Davis
    Nolitus – E.S. Posthumus
    Odenall – E.S. Posthumus
    Divano – eRa

    The first novel of /Broken Cast/, Faithless:
    Picture – Placebo
    Dakota – Sterophonics
    Horchata – Vampire Weekend
    Reckless Girl – The Beginerz
    Take me Away – 4 Srings
    Noticed – MuteMath
    Out of The City – 2 Heads
    Special K – Placebo
    1979 – Smashing Pumpkins
    Come As You Are – Nirvana
    Born Slippy – Underworld
    At the End – IIO
    The Key, The Secret
    Street Light – The Getaway Plan
    Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
    Give It Back (Putsch 79 ‘Lectro Remix) – Gaelle

    Pick the Medieval High Fantasy vs the Urban/Historical Fantasy πŸ˜€


  5. I always write to music. I can’t not!

    I like to have both the lyrics *and* the music match whatever WIP I’m writing at the time, which means I spend an inordinate amount of time (wasting!) on iTunes looking for the right tunes to match the novel.

    I can very rarely write to anything too heavy, even when the novel itself is dark. Most of the stuff I listen to while writing is folky, soft, on the verge of depressing. Doesn’t really sound inspiring when you say it like that, I guess, but it helps to tune my words in the right direction.

    What I want to know now is where you got your copy of “Torment” from?? I didn’t think it was out until September *gets slightly excited at the thought of an early release*

    xx a


      1. Oh, yay! Well I can’t wait to read it! I really need a job in a bookstore, huh? *starts flipping through the job vacancies* πŸ˜‰


  6. We had a conversation about this on pblitchat this week (wish you’d been there). I can’t listen to music AT ALL while I’m writing. I need it to be silent. But I get most of my writing ideas when listening to music (usually while I’m also driving along in the car and haven’t got any way of jotting anything down!). I loved your playlists, you can see how the books would rise out from them. I must start writing down the music that starts my ideas flowing. πŸ™‚


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