*insert funny but copyrighted photo from Meet The Robinsons*

First, The Brief Update:

The current WIP (the Cinderella Retelling) is off the ground! Due to circumstances probably in my control, but which felt out of my control, I didn’t start drafting until the first week of February. After a couple of false starts to figure out tone, voice, and where the flip I’m actually starting this story. But now we’re on chapter 3, and about 9,000 words, and I’m really enjoying writing this draft. So much, in fact, that I nearly forgot to update the blog, haha.

But that’s…kind of it. I’m focusing on drafting and building my repertoire so I can be a little more consistent publishing moving forward. Right now I’m planning on trying to get to a point where I can publish roughly a storyline each year, depending on the length of the story, and how long it takes to edit it. That will leave me a little more time to write more first drafts, which is actually my favorite part, but help keep the books coming more consistently. I’ve said this before, that I wish I could edit and draft at the same time, but I just don’t have enough hours in the day with my day job.

But enough about the administrative side of things. Today is special. TODAY, I get to talk a little bit about my writing process. It won’t be a comprehensive view, but it will be a brief dip into one of my favorite parts of writing. And that is my….


I have a soundtrack for every book that I have written. The music that goes into each book varies wildly, and isn’t always what you might expect. For instance, one might expect that for Wednesday’s Book – a retelling of Swan Lake – might in fact include the music from Swan Lake.

It doesn’t.

Instead, it includes a few songs from the Howl’s Moving Castle soundtrack, a couple from the Finding Neverland: The Album (the songs from the play, sung by more well-known artists) and a few instrumental pieces, including songs from The Nutcracker. It’s an eclectic mix, but as a whole, as I was writing it, it captured the whimsy, magic, and depth of Trillion’s story. As I listened to it, I could step into the story in my mind, even if the subjects of the songs, and lyrics didn’t always linearly mesh with what I was writing.

Whenever I start to build a soundtrack – which is usually one of the first things that I do as I start piecing together the narrative and plot – the ability to create the “feel” and “atmosphere” of the story on demand are crucial to me. If I can find that, and be able to have a “back door” into that, then the other parts of the story often fall into place.

So where do I go to find this music? Well, some I just find on YouTube. Some I go through and look for different versions of a song. Some I stumble onto randomly. But if there is one predominant place where I go to in times of trouble and despair, it is:


Some people may choose Spotify, or other music streaming services of their choice, like Apple or Amazon Music, but I really like Pandora. It’s partially because they’ve got a lower price when you do subscribe, partially because their ads aren’t annoying when I don’t pay the subscription price, and partially because on either the free or paid plan, I can create stations that follow a certain mood of music, and curate them to further fit how I want. This is how I created the Oak and Ivy soundtrack, which includes songs by Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, and a LOT of songs by Tommee Profitt (who most people would regard as a creator of movie trailer music.) It’s been by far my most effective soundtrack, even though I spent the least amount of time actually drafting that book (23 days.)

When do I actually listen to this music?

Weirdly, it has depended on the book. With Wednesday’s Book and my Sci-Fi series that I just finished, I only really listened to the music during my brainstorming sessions, and then when I needed to keep a certain energy, like during fight scenes or particularly emotional scenes. When I was writing my Epic Fantasy series, I would always have music playing, and that one was particularly interesting, because it rarely mattered what song was playing, because I knew what was going on in the story. Oak and Ivy, I would constantly listen to music, but usually kept it pretty quiet, unless I needed to tap into a song’s energy. In the Cinderella retelling that I’m writing right now, I haven’t quite decided. Mostly I write without music, but I’m wanting to try it with, because I have a REALLY good soundtrack.

So what’s the point with all this?

I know a lot of different writers with a lot of different opinions on music. Some cannot write unless a room is more silent than a mausoleum at midnight. Some have to have their big boofy headphones on at volumes that would rival a Swedish death metal rock concert. Some prefer classics, and some only listen to songs they’ve never heard before. I personally have varied wildly between all of these things, and it’s okay for you to as well. Your creative needs are going to be different given the different circumstances that you are presented with every day, and that’s okay. The best thing to do is to foster creativity in the moment, and enjoy the process.

This coming month (March 2022) I’m going to be putting together some soundtrack playlists on YouTube for Oak and Ivy and Wednesday’s Book, and posting either an embedded video or a link to the YouTube playlist on their respective pages here on the website. I hope you’ll check them out, and enjoy my perspective on the musical atmosphere of that world.

I hope you’ve had an amazing February!

Onwards and Upwards!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Built with

%d bloggers like this: