Jeanne: Evolution of a Playlist

When I first started working on Lilith’s story a couple of years ago, I put together a YouTube playlist to use as inspiration.

The purpose of an early-stage playlist isn’t to document the planned book. It’s more of a place to stick a pin in stray thoughts/ideas/feelings you have about the characters and the story. My approach is to try to find songs that capture every bit of potential inspiration, to explore all the different paths the story might take.

Now that it’s a lot clearer in my head, I’m ready to add some new songs and get rid of some.

Here’s my edit of the playlist as things stand today.

1. “The Bitch is Back” by Elton John. This just defines the very high-level idea that this is a story about a character that my readers do not love. (Because, apparently, it’s not hard enough to sell romances that revolve around Biblical demons. I must also try to convince them to read about their least favorite character.)

Disposition: This stays

2. “In These Shoes,” by Kirsty McColl. I love this one because it really captures the things I love about LIlith–her competence and insouciance.

Disposition: This stays.

3. Next Time, This Time,” by Jim Croce. It describes Lilith’s feelings about being forced to work with Samael, the ex-husband who abandoned her.

Disposition: This stays

4. “You Know I’m No Good,” by Amy Winehouse. This was intended to describe Lilith’s feelings about herself. She has a huge arc from the horror she was in the first two books to the woman I want her to be at the end of this one, so I’m not sure it’s a good idea to linger on that image.

Disposition: This goes.

5. “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye. Added because it’s about lost love, but it’s way too whiney for Lilith or Sam.

Disposition: This goes.

6. “Crazy in Love,” Hannah Rue. Added because Lilith has had 10,000 years to get over Sam and she hasn’t managed it yet. But this story isn’t about the 10K years she’s spent wallowing in her feelings. It’s about her journey to her future.

Disposition: This goes.

7. “In Hell I’ll Be in Good Company,: by the Dead South. This captures Sam’s attitude toward being in Hell. In his words, “Happy is the demon he knows where he belongs, and I belong in Hell.”

Disposition: This stays

8. “Night on Bald Mountain,” composer Modest Mussorgsky. In the 1941 film Fantasia, Walt Disney adapted this tale of a Witches’ Sabbath near Kiev to tell a story about demons and Hell.

Disposition: This stays

9. “She’s Always a Woman to Me,” by Billy Joel. Added to convey Sam’s complicated feelings about Lilith. To be honest, I still don’t have a 100% handle on Sam. Just last week I realized that he’s spent almost no time outside Hell in the last 10,000 years, so any technology that exists on Earth that didn’t come from Hell (like airplanes and cars) would be foreign to him.

Disposition: This stays for now.

10. “Hello”, by Adele. Again, selected because it was about the feelings people have about their exes, but those folks aren’t getting back together and mine are. Also, too moody. Lilith is more of a do-er than a feel-er.

Disposition: This goes.

11. “My Boyfriend’s Back,” by the Angels. This one celebrates when Sam finally takes action to protect Lilith and their unborn child (it helps that he knows there’s an unborn child, he’s kind of been operating at a disadvantage).

Disposition: This stays.

12. “All Right Now,” by Free. No idea what I was thinking.

Disposition: This goes.

13. “Evil Woman,” Crow. There are a LOT of songs about mean women. Again, not something I want to linger on in this book.

Disposition: This goes.

14. “Little Do You Know,” Alex & Sierra. Selected because it’s a duet about a couple trying to reconcile. Also, because my granddaughter loves it.

Disposition: This stays.

15. “No One Mourns the Wicked,” from Wicked. Selected because the heroine of that movie manages to escape with her lover, which is my goal for Lil and Sam.

Disposition: This stays.

16. “Appalachian Lullaby,” by Nicolette Larson. Selected to signify Lilith’s love for and dedication to her infant daughter. And because it’s my favorite lullaby of all-time.

Disposition: This stays.

So that’s what I have right now. What I’m missing, I think, is something that conjures up the heat between Lil and Sam as they share a hotel suite and try to keep their hands off each other. Any suggestions?

5 thoughts on “Jeanne: Evolution of a Playlist

  1. Alas, I have no suggestions for you (why do they want to keep their hands off each other?). But I’m reminded of the 3-CD set of late-1950s/early 1960s pop/R&B/R&R tunes I played relentlessly while I wrote my first three books, which took me about seven months. I wanted a really upbeat mood every second so I would, I hoped, convey an effervescent tone in the books. After that, I never played that set again, although I didn’t give it away, either. Just last week I pulled it out and played it to see if I wanted to keep it, and—bang! I was right back in the memories of those days. However, the songs did not quite generate those happy feelings in the same way. We’re in a pretty dark space now; I think I’ll hang on to the set and see how I feel about it after the election.

    • Lilith wants to keep her hands off Sam because she knows Satan won’t risk allowing them to be together and emotional devastation lies in the other side of a hookup. Sam has no desire to keep his hands off Lilith–just the opposite. He knows it will suck afterwards but he’ll fill his life with work just like he did last time (to the detriment of Aboveworlders).

      I was thinking of adding Ravel’s Bolero to the playlist to express Sam’s relentless stalking.

  2. I was trying to find something for that hotel scene and found this song which kind of seems fitting for Sam and Lilith. Superheroes by The Script. Think it might fit in your play list?

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