Sarah’s Book Playlists

One of the questions that I’m frequently asked is how I go about planning my novels (and what inspires me to write them). The answer is pretty simple: music.

Ever since I began writing as a teenager, I’ve used music to outline my novels. Before I type the first word, I’ll begin a playlist for a project, and add songs to it as they inspire scenes or characters or big moments in the order of how they’ll appear in the novel. And once I begin writing the novel, I’ll add songs as they inspire almost every word. When I finish that first draft, I’m left with what is basically a musical outline of my book.

As I revise, I’ll move songs up and down in the playlist as the scenes they inspired get shifted in the book; I’ll delete songs if those scenes/moments get cut from the novel, and I’ll keep adding new songs right up until the book goes to print. Which means that my playlists are all very, very long—and very detailed.

While I would love to one day do an annotated playlist for each novel, explaining each piece would be a massive undertaking. However, because so many of you have asked just to see the playlists, I figured—why not?

As of right now, all of my playlists are available via Spotify. You have to create a free account in order to view the playlists, but once you do, you are able to follow my profile and be notified every time I add a new playlist.

However, while Spotify is a wonderful resource, a good number of the songs on my playlists aren’t available. So, I’ll be posting screen-caps of my iTunes playlists below, just in case you’re interested in seeing the full/uncut versions.

I’m so, so excited to share the music behind the books—and more than that, I want to know what music YOU connect with the books, too!

In addition to my personal playlists, there will be individual, community-driven playlists for each of my novels, where you can submit songs that make you think of the novels/characters/moments! You can find these by following me on Spotify here.

Enjoy!