Monday, June 24, 2013

Light 'em up... Igniting this summer's writing inspiration

Hi Igniteers! It’s ST and Jessica here. We wanted to share some of the songs we’re writing to this summer, and ask you to share yours right back with us. Here are a few we're loving (along with the links to listen). Let's ignite that writing inspiration!


Cruise by Florida Georgia Line (link)
Play it when you’re writing: The chill scenes

This song just makes me feel good. Between the southern twang and the relaxed summer vibe, it totally puts me in a kick-back place. I mean, really -- “Baby you a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise.” If that’s not a great song to write your chill scenes to, I don’t know what is.


Safe and Sound by Capital Cities (link)
Play it when you’re writing: The upbeat, memorable scenes

The moment this song starts, I’m moving in my chair. It’s the perfect soundtrack to a scene where something’s just been resolved and things are going great. “I could lift you up... Even if the sky is falling down I know that we’ll be safe and sound... I could fill your cup... You know my river won’t evaporate, this world we still appreciate...” After a pretty intense scene, this song is the perfect background for a writing montage of Rowan and Dahlia (from the forthcoming, If I Speak True) doing things together in Ambrosia. They’re riding Ebon on Bluffs Beach, holding hands in the gardenia grove, hiding from each other in the garden at Lennox castle. It’s a “we’ve just conquered the world” kind of song, where the music lifts you up and the words just flow away!


Gone Gone Gone by Phillip Phillips (link)
Play it when you’re writing: The romantic scenes

This song is so sweetly romantic, it makes me want to those throes-of-new-love scenes. It’s got a driving beat, which keeps it from getting too sappy, but there’s something angsty about it too. Maybe it’s that last verse -- “You’re my backbone, you’re my cornerstone, you’re my crutch when my legs stop moving. You’re my head start, you’re my rugged heart, you’re the pulse that I’ve always needed.” It screams complete and total commitment to the point of obsession -- perfect for that intense first-major-love feeling we love to write about in our YA and NA books, no?


I Know the Truth by Pretty Lights (link)
Play it when you’re writing: Angsty, emotional and/or fight scenes

This. Song. Whew! First of all, you must play this song in a mode in which you can fully appreciate the bass, because it is amazing. Second, be prepared to drive everyone you know insane, because you will play this over and over again. But that’s a good thing. Because the music itself paints pictures in your brain. It’ll yank ideas from out of nowhere, plant them in your head so out of the blue, you’ll be like, Wow! I have a scene I never would have thought of for the companion novel of Pity Isn’t An Option, where Jonas and a new character, Logan, stand up to some... people. And it all came straight from this song. 


My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up) by Fallout Boy (link)
Play it when you’re writing: The action scenes

Remember when Stephenie Meyer said she wrote Twilight to the music of Muse? And every writer ever nodded their head and said, “yep”? Because Muse is the absolute, hands down, perfect music to listen to when you’re writing your fights? (Or anything really, I just heart Muse so hard.) Well I think the new Fallout Boy song is Muse-worthy. It’s intense, fast paced, and kind of addictive. Last week I listened to it on loop re-writing an action sequence for Endre, and after an hour I still loved it. It’s that good.


Girl Is On My Mind by The Black Keys (link)
Play it when you’re writing: Anything.

The guitar, vocals and percussion for Girl Is On My Mind (technically an oldie, as it’s from a 2004 album), make this song perfect for writing anything. I personally use it any time Dahlia’s best friend, Ben, is with her, as the words basically state what his subconscious is saying all the time: “Try to ignore it, I try to unwind, but girl is on my mind.” Le sigh. But the rocker-ish, bluesy-ness of it is perfect for any kind of writing. Check it out. You'll see.


Demons by Imagine Dragons (link)
Play it when you’re writing: The action scenes

This is my total favorite song in the whole wide world right now. It’s my go-to song when I’m writing my tortured Asgardian Assassin, Ull, and I think it’s just perfect for any character that feels conflicted. “Your eyes they shine so bright, I want to save their light. I can’t escape this now unless you show me how.” It’s all about struggling against the darkness within, and fighting to protect the person you love. Plus it’s just a really, really awesome song -- another one can I loop for hours on end.


King and Lionheart by Of Monsters and Men (link)
Play it when you’re writing: Steadfast characters in difficult situations

“Howling ghosts, they reappear in mountains that are stacked with fear; but you’re a king and I’m a lionheart.” I love this song. The lyrics are the perfect reminder when problems arise that characters can stick together; stand up for each other. As the lyrics say, they “won’t run”; they’re “here to stay”. It’s about having that strength inside, seeing it in each other, and using it. For me, this song works for a few different WIPs. It’s empowering. Stand up together and face those ghosts because you’re a king and I’m a lionheart. Rawr!

And there you have it: eight songs we're enjoying at the moment! What about you? What are some of your favorite songs to write to this summer? 

About ST:

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Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats.  Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the ELSKER series.  She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.

You can follow ST Bende on Twitter @stbende, on her blog
or send an e-mail to stbende(at)gmail(dot)com.  

About Jessica:

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Jessica is the author of PITY ISN'T AN OPTION. She writes YA and adult fiction and resides with her husband of sixteen years, three awesome daughters, and a plethora of pets in Central California, where fog, frost, triple-digit heat and various items of produce arrive bountifully, depending on the season. (We won't even go there about all of the cows.) She has an affinity for both coffee and owls, and loves to connect with other readers and writers whenever possible.

You can follow Jessica on Twitter @coffeelvnmom, on her blog, or send an email to jessicabrooks_coffeelvnmom(at)comcast(dot)net.


  1. Jess, I totally heart your picks. I love finding new songs to write to! What about you guys -- what are your go-to writing songs for summer?

  2. And I heart yours! Well, except for the country ones... (Is Phillip Phillips country? I don't think so.) No offense to country music lovers out there... just not my thang! ;) But hey... it's just like books... we don't have to like all of them for them all to have a place in this lovely world! :D

    Can't wait to hear about songs other people write to!

  3. Writing to music freaks me out. I'm weird like that. Great choices, though. :)