I grew up on the campus of Indiana University, a block from the music school. All day long all I ever heard were college students singing operettas or practicing the French horn.
Meanwhile, inside my house, my dad and one younger brother watched sports incessantly at top volume; my mom had all the rest of the TVs in the house tuned to the news, cooking shows, and Oprah (at the same time, so she could watch them while she moved from room to room); and my other younger brother, in his bedroom across the hall from mine, was determined to memorize every musical known to man by singing along to them at the top of his lungs (it really is a hard knock life. Annie).
So learning to write with headphones on was a necessity.
But that doesn’t mean what I was listening to was ever just white noise to me. To this day, unlike a lot of writers I know, I can’t listen to classical or orchestral music when I write. It has to have a beat you can do aerobics to (because writing IS a workout), and for some reason, it has to have lyrics.
Sometimes a particular song will, for whatever reason, inspire a character, or even a whole book.
In the case of Runaway, the song that was on permanent repeat while I was writing it was Imogen Heap’s “Good Night and Go.” This is fitting since Em and Christopher say Good Night and go a lot throughout the book.
I was lucky with Runaway. “Good Night and Go” is a great song. Sometimes the song that gets into my head while I’m writing a book won’t even be a song I like. It doesn’t matter: I’ll still be compelled to play it over and over again until the book is finished. I won’t horrify you with the details, but often these songs will end up being playing over the speakers at the grocery store, which is why I can no longer go there.
The creepy thing that’s started happening now is, instead of my books being inspired by songs (whether I like them or not), songs are starting to seem to be inspired by my books. I realize that this sounds insane, but no sooner had I plunged into the second draft of my June release, Insatiable (the song that was on constant repeat for that one: Tony Lucca’s cover of Daniel Johnston’s Devil Town. You could see how Daniel Johnston, who is bipolar, might suspect everyone he knows of being a vampire. But what if, I couldn’t help wondering, everyone you knew really did turn out to be a vampire?) when I heard Lady Gaga’s Teeth.
At which point I realized Lady Gaga was spying on me. Because somehow she has written the theme song for a book I HADN’T EVEN PUBLISHED YET.
In the meantime, the playlist for Runaway doesn’t contain any songs I hate. So I can safely go to the grocery store. For now.
All Time Low
The Academy Is….
Lost in Pacific Time
The Secret Handshake
My Name Up In Lights
Speak for Yourself
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Here is a bit about Runaway! Caution: spoilers for the first two in the series!
High fashion with a touch of sci-fi. In Runaway, the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling and acclaimed Airhead novels by Meg Cabot, Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.
With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can’t explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year’s Eve to look forward to, Em’s reached the end of the rope…what’s thepoint of even going on?
But when she discovers the truth about Nikki’s secret, she knows there’s only one
person she can turn to. Will Christopher be able to put aside his personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved—since if he agrees, there’s every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed—this time, permanently?
Maybe it would be better for Em to just keep on running…
Onto the giveaway! I have 2 $50 iTunes giftcards available! Here's how to enter!
Fill out the giveaway entry form here.
The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. only.
The giveaway will end April 26th at 6:59 pm Central Time.
**iTunes giftcards provided by marketing firm**
**Meg Cabot photo credited to Ali Smith**
Check out the next stop on the tour, BermudaOnion on April 14th which will feature a guest post from Meg's publicist!