Soundtracks for Novels

There’s a discussion about the music writers listen to while they write. I put together soundtracks that help focus me on the story, but that I think may influence the mood and shape of the books, too.

But I thought this might be of interest to readers as well as writers — to have the same soundtrack running in the background while reading the book that was running while it was written. Maybe not — but in the interest of science … or something like that … I’ve posted the soundtracks for both of the upcoming World Gates books here.

The soundtrack for The Wreck of Heaven (on the shelves in April, which is sneaking closer) changed as I worked on the book. This was the final version.

Stand By Me, Ben E. King
Burning For You, Blue Oyster Cult
Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
Secret Garden, Bruce Springsteen
Let The River Run, Carly Simon, Working Girl Soundtrack
Breathless, The Corrs, Visit For More Hits and Albums
Don’t Dream It’s Over, Crowded House, Crowded House
Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
Overcome, Live, Ecstatic Fanatic
Time of Your Life, Green Day, Nimrod
Lightning Crashes, Live, Throwing Copper
Time Will Tell, Sara Hickman, Necessary Angels
The Fishermen’s Song, Silly Wizard, The Best Of Silly Wizard
Cello Suite No.1, 1. Prelude, Yo-Yo Ma, Bach: 6 Suites for Unac. Cello
Cello Suite No.1, 2. Allemande, Yo-Yo Ma, Bach: 6 Suites for Unac. Cello

Here’s the first soundtrack I did for Gods Old and Dark. I just cut and pasted from iTunes, so this is the order in which the songs were played, including repetitions. You’ll notice heavy rotation on Goo Goo Dolls “Acoustic #3” which turned into the them song for the first 3/4 of the book. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is Molly’s theme, “Bad Moon Rising” is Baanraak’s theme, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is Lauren’s theme, “I’ll Be” is Pete’s theme.

J. S. Bach- Bouree I & II, Andres Segovia & John Williams, The Art of the Guitar
Ferrington Guitars, Albert Lee, Ferrington Guitars
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Stand By Me, Ben E. King
Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
Turn the Page, Bob Seger, Greatest Hits
Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
No Particular Place to Go, Chuck Berry
Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier, Civil War, The Civil War
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
The Fairy Queen, Clannad, Celtic Collection
Fanfare for the Common Man, Copeland
Don’t Dream It’s Over, Crowded House, Crowded House
Turn the Page, Bob Seger, Greatest Hits
Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
Come Again, Damn Yankees, Damn Yankees
High Enough, Damn Yankees
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Where You Goin’ Now, Damn Yankees
The Dreaming Tree, Dave Matthews Band, Before These Crowded Streets
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Taking You Home Don Henley, Inside Job
Classical Gas, John Williams
Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik, The Absolute Hits
I’ll Be, Edwin McCain
Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
Epona, Enya, ENYA
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Exile, Enya, Watermark
Storms In Africa, Enya, Watermark
Classical Gas, Eric Clapton
This Kiss, Faith Hill, Faith
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
When I Come Around, Green Day, Dookie
Time of Your Life, Green Day, Nimrod
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Fisherman’s Song, Irish Descendants, Look to the Sea
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
Classical Gas, John Williams
Far and Away, John Williams
Hanging by a Moment – Acoustic, Lifehouse, No Name Face
Concerning Hobbits, Lord Of The Rings OST, The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring
Overcome, Live, Ecstatic Fanatic
Lightning Crashes, Live
Prisoner In Disguise, Linda Ronstadt / J.D. Souther
Name, Goo Goo Dolls

My needs changed significantly for the last 3/4 of the book and for the revision, where I suddenly discovered what the whole thing was really about. So I did a second soundtrack. “Acoustic #3” maintained heavy rotation, but the book picked up a new theme song — “Superman” by Five for Fighting. Baanraak picks up two new theme songs, “Every Breath You Take” and “The Unforgiven II”. Lauren gets “I Will Never Be the Same” and Molly’s new theme is “I Don’t Want to Wait.” June Bug and Heyr get the “Adagio for Strings.”

Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Ferrington Guitars, J.D. Souther, Ferrington Guitars
Canon for Three Violins, Pachelbel
Concerning Hobbits, Lord Of The Rings OST, The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Like The Way I Do, Melissa Etheridge, Melissa Etheridge
Canon in D, Pachelbel
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Every Breath You Take, Police
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Pachelbel, Rachmaninov
Fields Of Gold, Sting, Ten Summoner’s Tales
Ruins, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
The Bridge Of Khazad Dum, Lord Of The Rings OST, The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Yo Yo Ma – Bouree, Bach
I’m The Only One, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Adagio for Strings, Platoon Soundtrack
Come To My Window, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Downeaster Alexa, Billy Joel, Greatest Hits Volume III
Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
I Will Never Be The Same, Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Run Around, Blues Traveller
Fields Of Gold (Acoustic Unplugged), Sting
Acoustic #3, Goo Goo Dolls, Dizzy Up The Girl
The Unforgiven II, Metallica, Reload
What A Wonderful World, Paul Simon, James Taylor, & Art Garfunkel
I Don’t Want to Wait, Paula Cole
Superman, Five For Fighting, America Town
Catch The Moments As They Fly, Lifescapes, Celtic River

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

4 comments… add one
  • Olgu Oct 18, 2020 @ 10:17

    soundtracks of novels

    https://www.snovs.com/

    nice website for it.

    • Holly Lisle Oct 20, 2020 @ 9:47

      That’s an odd, spiffy little resource. Thank you. 😀

  • Rob Slater Mar 12, 2003 @ 19:34

    Hooy,
    You rock. Seriously. I’ve often hada CD that got regular rotation on a particular story, but I hadn’t thought about creating a soundtrack, though I have my creative writing students make a list in class. Doh! Sometimes I should take a lesson from what I’m teaching. Usually, I do, but… I’m pleased to see some less common acts and a bunch that I listen to a lot. Have you heard Goo’s Gutterflower. It doesn’t reach quite so brilliant heights, but is quite consistent.
    SIFI (<--Haven't typed that in a while) Rob

  • Rick Feb 7, 2003 @ 16:07

    I was hoping you’d post something like this. Imagine my surprise! You have some very very good songs on there. Of course, you’re OK in my book if you like Goo Goo Dolls AND Melissa Etheridge.

    Musical encouragement sent your way!

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