Music played a big part in the writing of The Secret Side of Empty, both from the way I envisioned certain scenes to songs that put me in the right mood for writing. Since the story is inspired by my own story, there are a few songs, there are a few “oldies” mixed in.
Here are my favorites:
The Smiths song “Here Comes Your Man” makes me think of a certain mood that the main character has when she’s around her boyfriend, like she wants to impress him and be more than she is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDzDm-KGCs4
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – M.T., the protagonist, goes to visit a friend in college (even though she’s in high school) and goes to see an a singing group. They do a capella stuff. It’s so deeply unhip that it’s cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0iw89L6aFo I once saw an all-guys singing group do this in a college I visited and the moment always stuck with me.
One Republic’s “Stop and Stare.” I love how this song builds. I bet M.T. and Nate, the couple in the love story in The Secret Side of Empty, had this playing in the background while they were kissing one day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwd6UHasXP4
M.T. likes to ride her bike a lot. She listens to this song while doing it. It’s moody and vibey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l8PSdxy-_s
There is a character named Josh who decides he’s going to take on M.T.’s “musical education” by sending her links to obscure songs. (I think he has a bit of a crush on her, but he’s got a girlfriend and she’s got a boyfriend). Here is one song he sends her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6etaa5hovA
This is another song Josh meant to send but which didn’t make it into the book. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AVd5RVukcs M.T. goes through a lot of hard times through the book. When she is really feeling down she listens to songs like this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqy7SnE-i1c
M.T. doesn’t particularly celebrate her Latina heritage at the start of the book, but when she’s hanging out with her friends she does get into this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zp1TbLFPp8