by sarahenni on January 18, 2013

The main character in my WiP (and pretty much everyone else in the book, too) is in love with a fictional band I made up, formerly known as Idioteque 1 I’ve written so much about the band (describing their sound, nailing down their influences, creating a wildly charismatic frontman, even writing a fake interview with them) that this week I decided to do a Very Nerdy thing and create a playlist that represents the band’s debut album, which I named Behold! The Melon 2.

It started as kind of a lark, but actually I found making the playlist to be 1) fun (perhaps most importantly), but also 2) an interesting new way to engage with my book before I dive into yet another round of revisions and edits.

Anyway, making this playlist has had me dancing at my desk all week. If you enjoy noisy head-nodding rock, I think you might enjoy it, too. Take a listen:

What about you? Have you made up bands, books, or movies in your work? Have you made a poster, flyer, zine or anything IRL to go along with it? If so PLEASE link! I’d love to see it 3!

  1. They are pending another name, after astute beta reader and Much Better At Googling Necessary Stuff For Books Guru Lindsey Roth Culli pointed out that Idioteque is such a genius band name that it is, in fact, a real life band’s name. Grr.
  2. How 90s is that? I love it.
  3. And if not, I really encourage you to try!


Horror Writing Playlist

by sarahenni on August 17, 2012

There’s something about fall. The leaves turning, the weather cooling, and one of my favorite holidays ever, Halloween. I’ve definitely been getting excited for fall during this sweltering August, and I’ve  noticed that a fever for Halloween and other spooky things has been popping up in publishing, too.

Agents: I want to acquire YA horror! Send me YA horror! Authors: write YA horror so agents can send it to me!! #HORROR #SayHorrorOneMoreTime
T.S. Ferguson
LOVE all these horror fans today - I smell a resurgence of it. Not too late to make 2012 the year of horror:)
Lindsay N. Currie
If you missed it yesterday, I announced the sale of two new books, including (dun dun dun!) a TEEN SLASHER:
Stephanie Perkins

The hunt for something scary is on! And to everyone considering writing a novel that errs on the creepy side (or anyone just feeling a little Halloween-y), I’ve started a playlist to get you in the right frame of mind.


What do you think? Any songs I missed?


RTW: The Sounds of Summer

by sarahenni on August 8, 2012

Welcome to another Road Trip Wednesday, a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway posts a weekly writing- or reading-related question and anyone can answer it on their own blogs. Check out their post for links to other Road Trippers’ answers!

This week’s topic is:
What has been your soundtrack for the summer?

I have a couple different ones to share: the playlists that I’ve listened to while writing, and the ones I’ve just been listening to for fun. Each of these songs come from a complete album that I’ve listened to, seemingly on endless loop, while drafting my WiP 1. (I love listening to full albums while writing—it helps the music become more like background.)

And these are the tunes I’ve been listening to for fun 2. A lot of the new music I find is thanks to KEXP, a Seattle-based independent music station that you can stream on any computer or mobile phone. It has the absolute best new music, and it’s saved my sanity at the day job many a time!

What about you?? Do you listen to different music when you write? What new artists or songs are you getting really into? I love new music—share please!

  1. If you don’t have Spotify, you can listen to the music here.
  2. If you don’t have Spotify you should be able to listen to it here.


2011 in: Albums

by sarahenni on December 26, 2011

Well, here we are friends! Though it seems like we just welcomed 2011 in, but its final days are winding down. That can only mean one thing—a deluge of fantabulous end-of-year lists to help us remember and commemorate the 12 months that was! In addition to being a wild year for me personally, 2011 was a fantastic year for writing, books, music, etc! To celebrate, some friends and I organized a week-long blog circus where we’ll share some of the best albums, books, and characters that we discovered in 2011 (not necessarily things that were new this year), and we’ll also look ahead to what’s in store for 2012!

We’re kicking it off today with the list of the best in writing music. Everyone’s different when it comes to writing—some prefer silence, some a loud cafe, some prefer full albums and some curated playlists. I go through phases, but usually you can find me using long playlists consisting of several full albums that help me lose myself in the music, the moment, I own it… oh—wait. No. No, Eminem did not make this list.

Here are my top 5 for 2011 (in no particular order), and the links to everyone else’s  response is at the bottom!

The Civil Wars “Barton Hollow”

This is about as Prairie Home Companion as I get, I’ve got to say, and what pushes this group past twangy kitsch is their undercurrent of southern gothic (best represented here). To me, the best of their music embodies the delightful American myth of a part of the country where the ghosts of your ancestors and their mistakes are nearby, haunting. Where long walks through never-quite-silent forests can lead you to any generation’s hell. If you’re writing a book that’s a little creepy and/or a lot wicked, I’d recommend adding one or two of these songs to your playlist.

Radiohead “The King of Limbs”

Radiohead is my spirit animal. One day, many years ago, I was a 13-year old punk endeavoring to download the entirety of Napster when I decided to search for songs with the name “Sarah” in them. I was in the market for a theme song because, obviously. I came across Lucky, and my universe tilted half a degree to the left. My friend Jessica recently used Radiohead as a verb to describe something that was so beautiful, and so sad, that it made you feel joyful in this nihilistic, invincible way. I almost kissed her because it was so, so perfect. ALL THIS TO SAY. Radiohead has made me feel inspired, and helped me unlock my inner weird, creative person for more than half my life. I love them, and I love that they consistently put out new music like this, that works so, so well to write to.

Jeff Buckley “Grace”

I know guys, I KNOW. I am THAT girl who is putting Jeff Buckley on her playlist. But there is simply nothing more gorgeous and haunting than this man’s voice, and for some reason listening to this CD while I was writing this year unlocked a certain character completely for me. If you haven’t listened to Jeff Buckley before, you absolutely must (but you might want to be sitting on a porch on a warm summer evening with a bottle of wine to get the total effect).

Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs, “God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise”

If you’re writing a song about two young people dealing with crippling loneliness in the far west desert of Texas … Ray does the trick.

1. Local Natives “Gorilla Manor”

Ethereal, surf-pop inspired, steady beats, vocals in three-part harmony… Yeah, this album was basically my complete and utter jam. It struck that perfect balance between ‘soothing enough to be background music’ and ‘fantastic enough to just listen to normally at other times’.

And in honor of the #1 pick, I will also share one of my absolute favorite online videos of all time, a French online music magazine’s live version of Local Natives’  song, “Who Knows Who Cares.”

Check out what everyone else had to say:

Caroline Richmond

Corrine Jackson

Erin Bowman

Kaitlin Ward

Kate Hart

Kathleen Peacock

Kirsten Hubbard

Kristen Halbrook

Kristin Otts

Lee Bross

Lindsey Roth Culli

Lynn Colt

Phoebe North

Stephanie Keuhn

Sumayyah Doud

Veronica Roth