Music Break: Heir to the Underworld

As I’ve mentioned before, music is a pretty important part of my writing process. I always make a playlist for my books, and I use certain songs to help get me in the right headspace to write a scene. A few months ago, I did a blog about the playlist of songs from my first book, The Beauty’s Beast.

Today I thought it might be fun to do one for my second book, Heir to the Underworld.

Heir to the Underworld tells the story of an average teenage girl, Freddy, who’s suddenly caught in the toils of a group of feuding ancient gods. Here’s the blurb:

Frederica Fitzgerald is just one day shy of her sweet sixteen when she’s nearly run over by a tall, dark dreamboat on a big black horse. Freddy can deal with the running over part—no harm done. The problem is the rider, Mr. Sex Bomb himself: Polydegmon, son of Hades and heir to the Greek Underworld.

Freddy’s hooked on Polydegmon from the start (although dude, togas went out of style several thousand years ago). Being near him is enough to make her tingle down to her toes. But he’s got secrets he isn’t sharing, and trouble follows him closer than his own shadow: rabid dogs running around the suburbs, insane crows stalking Freddy and, worst of all, the feral fairies of the Wild Hunt trolling her hometown for their next bit of human game.

The closer Freddy gets to Polydegmon, the weirder her life becomes, until Freddy discovers something about her own past that changes everything she ever thought she knew about herself. And her world…

So, the songs. It was kind of an odd mix because on the one hand Freddy’s a modern girl with modern tastes, but on the other hand, we have Greek gods, Celtic gods, fairies, monsters, intrigue! So the playlist got a little…odd.

One of the big relationships in Heir to the Underworld (really the emotional spine of the book to me) is the one between Freddy and her dad, Colin. I had a lot of Beach Boys on the soundtrack to help me get the feel of Freddy and her dad. I think the fact I always used to listen to the Beach Boys with my mom also contributed to this association. Also, the Beach Boys is quintessential California, and a big part of Heir is its Southern California setting.

“Don’t Worry Baby”–The Beach Boys

At the other end of the modern musical spectrum, in the opening scene I had Freddy rocking out to Regina Spektor. Regina Spektor has this great strength and power in her singing, but there’s also a thread of vulnerability beneath. She’s great as a “voice” for my heroine, Freddy.

“Your Honor” — Regina Spektor


In addition to these more modern tunes, I also wanted some Celtic flavor in there. Cue THE LORD OF THE DANCE! Or the soundtrack, at least.

“Stolen Kiss”–Lord of the Dance

As with all my books, I also listened to a lot of film scores. My go-to score for Heir to the Underworld was from the HBO series Rome. I really liked this track in particular:

“Caesar Reunites with Servilia”–HBO’s Rome Soundtrack


Sort of along the same lines, this song below from West Side Story became the “love theme” for the book. There’s a scene in Heir that is a sort of homage to this moment from West Side Story, and I pretty much played this song on endless repeat while I was writing it. Nowadays I can’t hear this song without thinking of Heir to the Underworld.

“One Hand, One Heart”–West Side Story Soundtrack


If you liked this collection of songs maybe you’ll want to try the book? Not coincidentally, my first book Heir to the Underworld is Free on the Kindle for the next three days.

Go here.

Heir Cover

August 7, 2013
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