Monday, February 14, 2011

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (Songs)

Happy Valentine's Day, Mes Anges!! Hope it's been a wonderful day full of chocolate and love and, if you are of age, wine. ;-) I have had the same Valentine for nearly 11 years now (WHAT?! HOW has it been that long?!), and since his b'day is veerrrrry close to The Big V Day, we usually don't do much on this particular day. Still, I've come to embrace this holiday. Yes, it was created by Hallmark to sell cards, and YES, it CAN be an opportunity to make the single amongst us feel crappy, but whatevs. It's a day that celebrates pink and love and candy, and I can always get behind those three things.

In honor of the day, I wanted to talk a little about rooooomaaaaaance. Specifically, rooooooomaaaaaaaantic songs. If you've read HEX HALL and/or DEMONGLASS (which is out TWO WEEKS FROM TOMORROW OMG!), then you know I am a fan of the rooooooomaaaaaance. In fact, I can guarantee you RIGHT NOW that EVERY SINGLE RACHEL HAWKINS BOOK EVER will have a love story and AT LEAST one kissing scene (I would actually write books totally full of nothing BUT kissing scenes, but apparently people like books to have, like, "plots" or whatever.)

The romance-y stuff is always my favorite part to write, so one of the first things I think about when I'm sitting down to start a new book is, "Who is the main couple?" Matchmaking fictional people is way more fun than setting up REAL people, mostly because there are no awkward post-date, "WTF were you thinking?!" phone calls afterwards.

"Seriously, Rachel? He was twice my age and half my height! And I don't think both of us liking 'Fringe' is a solid basis for a relationship. You are so fired as my friend right now."

I've found in making my fictional matches that they don't REALLY come together until I've discovered the perfect song for them. When it comes to finding the right love theme for People Who Love In Your Head (typo, but it stays), it's not just about lyrics or melody or whether or not one character could believably play it while holding a boombox over his head.

Thanks, iPods, for killing Grand Romantic Gestures FOREVER.

It's a weird, magical combo of those things. I tend to know them when I hear them. So without further ado, here are the love themes for all 3 HEX HALL books, REBEL BELLE, AND a couple of Seeeeeekriiiiiit Projects! (Warning: Like a thousand YouTube videos coming right up!)

1) HEX HALL:"Luv," Travis

I've mentioned this song about a million times, specifically that it's the song that Archer and Sophie dance to in the ball scene in HEX HALL. I'm not sure if I've ever said WHY it's their song, though. The first time I heard it, the lyric, "When the mistake we made was in never having planned to fall in love, luv," really stood out to me as just being quintessentially Sophie/Archer (Sopher? Archie? They need a portmanteau!) Also, I like the sort of bittersweet wryness in the singer's voice, especially on that line, "Singing a song, singing along, it makes it easier for me to see you go." It just FELT like those two.

2) DEMONGLASS: "Drumming Song," Florence+The Machine

Oh, how I looooove this song! I love its intensity, I love how it just builds and builds....And it was especially perfect for DEMONGLASS since, to me, this is a song about doing your damnedest to resist someone you want like BURNING. And Lord knows, that's what Sophie's trying to do in DEMONGLASS!

3) HEX HALL 3 WHICH HAS A TITLE I JUST CAN'T SAY IT YET: "Last Night On Earth," American Idiot Cast

Actually presenting this one without much comment as HH3 is still over a year away, and I don't want to spoil anything. I WILL say that this song is not necessarily for just ONE relationship, but actually worked for several. And now I'll be quiet, or I'll end up spoiling the big twist at the end where they all turn in to unicorns. Wait...DAMN IT! ;-)

4) REBEL BELLE: "Parachute," Cheryl Cole

There are so many reasons this song is perfect for Harper Price, my debutante-turned-superhero, and her nerdy/cute love interest/nemesis, David Stark. There's something in the beat that makes me think of people doing Fancy Dancing (of course, that could just be the video), and I love the line about, "It's you and me up against the world, it's you and me," since Harper and David ARE facing some pretty intense enemies. And since the book is all about Harper having to protect David from all MANNER of people out to kill him, I think the parachute imagery is pretty fitting!

5) SEEEKRIT PROJECT 1: "Heartbreak Beat," The Psychedelic Furs

This is such a weird pick since, technically, SEEEEKRIT PROJECT 1 is the closest thing to a high fantasy novel I'll ever write. So do I pick some Loreena McKennit? Maybe some Enya? Nope. An 80s New Wave track. I brain is weird, y'all. Anyway, this song hooked me with the lyrics, "And it feels like love, but it don't mean a lot/ And it feels like love, and it's all that we've got." Those lines just summed up the relationship between my hero and heroine for me, seeing as how both of them would probably rather jump off a cliff than admit that are totally in luuuuuurve. (BTW, this is the thing I talked about writing back during the summer.)

6) SEEEEEKRIT PROJECT 2: "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," Lady Antebellum

This book takes place is Small Town Tennessee, so when I was first sketching out the basic plot, I put out a call on Twitter for good country music recommendations. Someone sent me this song, and I immediately fell in love with it. That line that says, "And I'm falling fast, but the truth is I'm not scared at all?" GAH. Perfection for this particular couple. There's also a sweetness to it that really suited the romance in this book (seeing as how this might be the FIRST couple I've ever written that aren't of the, "GOD, I HATE YOUR FACE BUT YOU SHOULD MAYBE MAKE OUT WITH ME RIGHT NOW KTHXBYE" variety.)

So there you have it! The love themes for SIX freaking books! What are some of YOUR favorite love songs, mes anges?



Marissa said...

Omg i started cracking up when you said they all turned into unicorns:) love it! i have the song< luv on my ipod!
cant wait to read all of your books!
hope to see u on your tour!

Ashes said...

I LOVE your post (do you mind sharing a hemisphere of our hive-mind? cos we the same person, in parts;) ----I've recently been a writer desperately seeking a soundrack --and so I'm happy to share ---it's Kanye's RUNAWAY.Love this song as a "mood piece." Love this song, as is. Video deeply evocative, too. WIN!

ALso, i LOVE the PsychFurs ---your clip made me SO F-ING HAPPY!!! Also - put me in mind of the perfect, heartbreaking (and also comedically cheesy and full-of-pathos) use of "Love My Way" in SERIES 7 (and if you haven't seen that, get thee to your netflix instant!)(Hunger Games=Owes a Debt)
<3 Ash

Anonymous said...

I'm excited for DEMONGLASS :).

"EVERY SINGLE RACHEL HAWKINS BOOK EVER will have a love story and AT LEAST one kissing scene" <-- YES!! :)

Also, when do you get to tell us about your secret project? (Or is there no date yet?)

And I really like:
1. Beside you - marianas trench
2. this is beautiful - tyrone wells
3. i still remember - bloc party

I loved the Cheryl Cole video and song and the American Idiot one... I'll have to get them :).

Ashes said...

Whoops! I've realized upon reflection that the song from Series 7 was "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division. Heh.

But! I've also realized my other "soundtrack" song on infinite loop (with Kanye) and it's "Poison and Wine" by the Civil Wars.

Hmmm. I'm sensing a theme here. Something about conflicted emotions.



Alwyn said...

I am so curious about the secret projects now! But also listening to the Florence and the Machine song has made me even more psyched for Demonglass! (Which I am continuing to tell myself I will not to read in one sitting like I did with "Hex Hall" but, yeah, that probably won't happen, it is going to be devoured whole as soon as I get it.)

Personally I am always a sucker for Taylor Swift Love Songs. Somehow they just make me think of all the best things about having a crush as a teenager.

But "Romeo and Juliet" by the Dire Straits might be my favourite love song of all time though.

And maybe it's just because of the Movie/Nostalgia factor but I love "At the beginning" from the Anastasia Animated film. And for similar nostalgia reasons "Iowa" by Dar Williams has a special place in my heart.

Oh! Oh! And "What about Everything?" by Carbon Leaf I always hear as a Love Song for some reason, though it was probably not written that way, it just makes me think of a couple facing down the world together.

Amanda Ashby said...

Oh - I can't wait for this book! I love anything by Florence and the Machine! My fav romance song is 'I'll Stop the World and Melt with You' by Modern English because it reminds me of how delicious Nicholas Cage was in Valley Girl!!!!

Anonymous said...

Omg i thought that was supper funny.When i read books there is always a song that reminds me of the book. LOL But my fav love song is, I'll follow you into the dark by death cab for cutie. Its a little sad but also really sweet.

Stasi said...

Some of my favorite songs? You asked for it...

"Love on the Rocks" by Sara Bareilles
"Gonna Get Over You" by Sara Bareilles
"Say You're Sorry" by Sara Bareilles
"Hologram" by Katie Herzig
"I Love Zombies" by All Caps
"Superman" by Taylor Swift
"I've Got Nothing" by Chartjackers
"Hummingbird" by Never Shout Never.


Lauren Versailles said...

Commenting on old entries, I'm such a creeper. But I picked up both Hex Hall and Demonglass today and read them both like a boss in less than 24 hours. (Finals week? FEH! WHAT FINALS?) Then I stalked your blog. Drumming is my favorite song and I definitely listened to it when reading Demonglass and that made me squee with joy.

If you like Drumming, check out Howl because that is also a Sophie and Archer song :)

Cindy Dy said...

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