Music is universal. it doesn’t matter what the words are, or if you can even understand the language. What is the tone, the feel of it? People react … sometimes without conscious thought. Add dynamic lyrics and let your imagination run wild.
Here is Ellis Carrington to unveil the playlist that inspired the characters and events in her latest story, Immortal Valentine.
What does music mean to you? Do you find joy in dancing? Singing in the shower? Belting out tunes in your car only to have that awkward moment when you realize at a stop that your window is down and the old woman in the next car AND her Bichon Frise are both staring at you? Does that certain song by Love and Rockets take you back to a fumbling first time having drunken sex on a pile of coats? Will U2 forever remind you of the best day of your life? The worst?
I swear, without music my heart would stop beating. I can hardly do dishes without it, much less write a story. As I put a book together and learn about the characters and their backgrounds, I learn about the music they love. So I thought maybe today I’d share the musical inspiration behind my most recent release, Immortal Valentine. I’ve linked to all the YouTube videos in case you’re curious.
Immortal Valentine opens on Valentines Day in Washington DC, just after Caleb has narrowly missed being hit by a truck. He’s standing outside of the National Gallery which has a really awesome ice rink in the winter. Great for romantic ice skating. Only, he was dumped the year before on V-day, and he hears a song from the rink speakers that makes him think of his ex: Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
Ready to call it a day and schlep home, Caleb turns and runs into Angelo. He doesn’t know it yet, but Angelo is a vampire looking not just for blood but a little romance as well. Angelo invites Caleb to dinner. Going to dinner with a stranger might not ordinarily the sort of thing Caleb would go do, but he’s just had a near-miss with an F-150. He’s lonely and reliving a painful breakup. So he goes for it, and finds himself saying things to Angelo he doesn’t usually discuss. He talks about his childhood, his plans to move to Florida because he likes the sunshine, and his favorite song: Soul Asylum’s Without a Trace
Later, when Caleb and Angelo have a fight, he angrily slams around his room while listening to Tired of Sex by Weezer and Soul Asylum’s Somebody to Shove (big Soul Asylum fan, that Caleb). When he goes to his friend DJ Mick for advice about his relationship troubles, Alice in Wonderland by the Psychedelic Waltons is being dropped on the turntables in Mick’s basement. It’s a personal favorite of mine from my days of spinning House records.
Most of the soundtrack for Immortal Valentine is associated more with tones and feelings than particular moments. Some is melancholy and dark, some hopeful:
Nothing – The Script
Stero Hearts – Gym Class Heroes
Changing – The Airborne Toxic Event
End of the World – Matt Alber
Firework – Katy Perry
At the Stars – Better Than Ezra
Misery – Soul Asylum
Like a Stone – Audioslave
And the piece of music that I associate with their happily ever after? Sleep, by Conjure One. Sometimes music can say things better than words.
More about Immortal Valentine (Available from Amber Allure, Amazon, ARe):
After a heart-pounding brush with danger on Valentine’s Day, Caleb runs into a handsome stranger and decides to roll the dice on a one-night-stand. But things don’t work out the way anyone intended when Caleb gets sick unexpectedly. He wakes up alone the next day, extremely confused and utterly embarrassed.
Angelo is an insomniac vampire who leads a solitary existence. He comes out of hiding once a year—on Valentine’s Day—to soothe one lonely human soul while drinking the blood he needs to survive.
But when Caleb falls ill, Angelo winds up connecting with a human as never before, and putting his own life at risk…
About me: Ellis Carrington was born after the Christmas of 2010 when she was gifted a Kindle and discovered the gay romance category on Amazon that same day. Sometimes her heroes are human and sometimes they aren’t, because angels and vampires deserve happy endings too. Her favorite things are great friends, great music, and books that make her sob like there’s no tomorrow. Find out more at EllisCarrington.com or BoxerFalls.com
Looking forward to seeing everyone at GRL!
Ellis is offering up a digital copy of Immortal Valentine (or something from her backlist). To enter, comment below on songs that remind you of your favorite characters … be it tv, movie, or books.
Open until Thursday, July 19th at 11:59 pm (PST). Winner will be selected and notified on Friday.