I grew up with a soundtrack playing in the background. I had a TV in my room from the time I was about 10 years old (thanks, Mom and Dad!), and I did my homework to MTV, back when they showed videos. On the night of Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” video premiere, I rushed home to watch, and I’ve owned an iPod since the millisecond they were released. In short, I carry a tune in my head, in my pocket, everywhere.
My favorite “friend present” when I was in high school was The Mix Tape. I eventually graduated to mix CDs and then playlists, but I’ll never forget the long hours put into creating the perfect mix tape, with the right amounts of spacing between tracks, the perfect jumble of mellow and upbeat tunes, and choosing songs with lyrics that I thought might speak to the mix recipient.
Yes, I’ve been known to read way into mix tapes that I got from my guy friends (OMG, he put on Chris Isaac’s “Somebody’s Cryin”—he must be secretly pining for me!). Often, I was wrong—turns out boys don’t listen much to lyrics—but I still had fun dreaming.
Music has set the tone for a lot of big moments in my life, which is why I have to have tunes on while I write. The mood of a song can dictate the feeling of a scene, whether or not I mention the music in the text. I have playlists on my iPod for all my characters, and I recently created a virtual mix tape for the Violet books, which includes songs that I listened to while brainstorming, writing, revising, and thinking about who the characters really are.
I haven’t added all the songs I want to yet, and there are still some bugs, but it’s a start, and you can listen to some of Violet’s songs here.
So what songs are on the soundtrack to your life? You can create a virtual mix tape (or ipod or boombox) at myflashfetish.com, but promise to send me a link.