SHADOW RISING: Official Playlist

We’re just five days from the official release of SHADOW RISING, and as is my custom, I wanted to share a playlist of songs that inspired me while I was writing it.

Usually I choose at least a few tracks that would, in my mind, play in the background as a “soundtrack” to particular scenes, but this time the whole playlist is mostly atmospheric, capturing the overall feel of the story.  Some songs have the quiet intimacy of bedroom scenes and quiet conversation, and others are the sort of thing you’d hear while our vampires are in town taking care of business.  I invite you to listen to the playlist as you read and figure out where each song might go.  

A reminder:  You can pre-order the Kindle version of SHADOW RISING here on Amazon, and I’ve been told that the paperback is already available for purchase?  Not sure how that happened, but I decided not to fret over it.  If you’re reading this, lucky you, you get a sort-of pre-sale!  The Nook version will be available on the 14th; Barnes & Noble didn’t offer me a pre-sale for that one.  On the 14th I’ll have more comprehensive links.

Track Listing

1 – Tori Amos, “Reindeer King”

2 – Young the Giant, “Something to Believe In”

3 – Lamb, “Wise Enough”

4 – Marian Hill, “Breathe Into Me”

5 – Mary Lambert, feat. Angel Haze & K.Flay, “Ribcage”

6 – Lana Del Rey, “Change”

7 – Widowspeak, “Harvest Moon”

This is the only song whose lyrics appear in the book, so I thought was important to include a version of it even though the original (by Neil Young) doesn’t really fit with the musical style of most of the playlist.  (Not a lot of harmonica in the Haven, I’m afraid.) Since Miranda’s performing it in the book, in a quiet setting with her loved ones as the audience, I think this cover is a bit more thematic.

8 – Kaleo, “Way Down We Go”

9 – Natalie Taylor, “In the Air Tonight”

10 – Zeds Dead x Charlotte OC, “Symphony”

11 – Valerie Broussard, “A Little Wicked”


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Just two more weeks till the Storm…

(Or it was when I started this post.  Now it’s 12 days. 12 DAYS!)


SHADOWSTORM will be available for purchase and download in less than two weeks!

Now, I’ve never dealt with Amazon’s CreateSpace before – the Kindle store takes less than a day to approve and list a new book, but CreateSpace and the Nook store might need longer, so I’m planning to upload all relevant files early next week.  What that means for you, gentle reader, is that there’s a chance SHADOWSTORM might be available before the official release date.  If you see it is, by all means, order! Hopefully when Book 7 comes around I’ll have a better feel for how all this self-pub stuff works in my world.

At any rate, over on my Facebook page I’ve been posting songs from the “official” SHADOWSTORM playlist, so if you’ve been entertained by my soundtracks in the past I recommend you hop over and follow me.  I’ll be posting a different song every day (more or less) until March 1.

On to the actual post.  I’ve been asked many times since the Shadow World appeared (and the Agency, too, for that matter) which of the landmarks and businesses in the books are real and which I made up.  I treat Austin as a character in the books, and it seems to work.  So I thought I’d give you an updated list of places in the books that are “real/not real,” not to be all Peeta Mellark about it.

Real (or Once Real) Locations in the Shadow World Novels

Strait Music
Austin Java
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Book People
Alamo Drafthouse
Waterloo Records
Zachary Scott Theatre
The Driskill Hotel
The Texican Cafe
Kerbey Lane Cafe
Zilker Park (the Austin Live Music Festival is not real, but is based on big music festivals like SXSW and Austin City Limits)
Paramount Theater
Amy’s Ice Cream
Freebird’s World Burrito
Brackenridge Hospital
Houndstooth Coffee

Fictional Locations in the Shadow World Novels

The Bat Cave (As in where Miranda records her albums; then again, the other Batcave, David’s office, isn’t real either, but I doubt I had to tell you that.)
Mel’s Bar & Grill
The Winchester Bank Building (It surprises me how many people think this one really exists.)
The Ambassador Hotel
Travis County Psychiatric Hospital
The Torch Song
Slim Shaky’s Espresso Bar  (People ask about this one more than any other.  Sorry, it’s fictional, and yes, it’s a play on Eminem’s alter ego.  Why? Because I thought it was funny.)
The Black Door
Deep Six
The Plague Rat
The Riviera
Hunter Development
Newman’s Deli (the approximate location where Miranda hides while waiting for Kat during Queen of Shadows is actually a Schlotzsky’s)
Anna Hausmann Memorial Clinic
Madre Luna tattoo parlor
IntelliGenetic Labs

Also, I probably don’t have to point out that there aren’t nearly as many empty warehouses and abandoned buildings in East Austin as it sounds like there are.

Locations Outside Austin

In California:
Muir Woods – real
Tower Bridge in Sacramento – real
St. Anthony’s Church – not real
La Caccia – not real
Goodall’s ice cream – not real

Rio Verde, Texas – not real, therefore places like the Verde Inn aren’t real either, although unfortunately Wal Mart is a real thing in the world.

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Shadow World Extra: SHADOWSTORM playlist, v1.0

Whoops – I actually made this a while ago, but forgot I had it all prettied up for you guys.  It’s just for fun – since the book is only half done it’s a bit presumptuous to have a soundtrack for it, but I’m choosing to think of it as Disc 1 of 2.  *laugh*

You can play the list as many times as you want, but due to the site’s deals with record labels they can’t publish the playlist.  I, however, can, so I made a back to the album cover.  After your first listen-through they’ll switch the order on you (another security measure) but still, it’s good mood music whatever order it’s in.

Shadowstorm v1.0 from diannesylvan on 8tracks Radio.

shadowstorm playlist back

Most of these tracks are just inspirational, as I said, but a few have specific places in the story that I associate with them:

Track 1 – As you might expect I think of Deven when I hear this song, particularly in the first chapter when we watch him having a torrid affair with a whole shitload of heroin.

Track 2 – This one is a David/Nico song – I hear it in my head thinking of the two of them finally getting down to business.

Track 3 – Sounds like the sort of music you’d hear in a bar, or at least part of it does, such as when Dev is at Anodyne having flashbacks and a happy chat with the bartender.

Track 6 – This is a very specific song choice; it’s what’s playing in the “movie” version of the story when a very good thing finally happens.  It hasn’t happened yet, but I bet you’ll know it when you see it, and in fact you can probably guess just based on the song itself.

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Shadowbound: The Official Playlist

Tomorrow’s the big day!  I know you’re planning to camp out in front of Barnes & Noble tonight, so to entertain you while you wait, or while you’re reading tomorrow, here is the soundtrack of the book – music that inspired particular scenes, music I feel would be playing in the background of particular scenes if the book became a movie, and songs that are actually in the book itself.  I’ve made a YouTube playlist of the whole thing and it’ll be available on Spotify as well.

Below the video is a list of each song with my notes on where it goes in the story.  Enjoy!

1 – Meg Myers, Curbstomp

I imagine this as the opening credits song for this book – Shadowbound has a lot of scenes involving “Character X walks around town very purposefully” and in particular the chorus of this song feels right during the first scene of Chapter 1, with Miranda on the hunt after a show.

2 – Anna Nalick – Wreck of the Day

Originally this song was actually in the book, but I ended up replacing it with lyrics I wrote myself to avoid worrying about copyright issues; in fact there’s only one song left in this book, #10 on the list.  “Wreck of the Day” seemed like a song that Miranda would cover, especially quietly in her music room while she’s thinking through Important Vampire Business.

3 – Florence and the Machine – Landscape

Mood music, really.  A friend of mine told me this song reminded her of Miranda, and I agree.

4 – Silversun Pickups – Skin Graph

Fight scene music.  There are quite a few fight scenes in Shadowbound.  One of them is an entire chapter long and involves a hayloft and a bulldozer.  *laugh*  This song in particular fits a scene in Chapter Four in which the enemy finds out how utterly stupid it is to attack a certain goth Irish vampire of our acquaintance.

5 – Emily Moldy – My Own One

Speaking of said vampire, you’ll find our Deven gets a lot more focus in this volume – there’s an important reason for that, but in Chapter Eight we find him on a walk someplace very different from the city, with someone very different from…well, everyone.  I first heard this lovely song in the background of a commercial filmed among the giant redwoods, and it stuck with me as something to use if I ever wrote a similar scene.

6 – O+S – Haunts

This being a book about vampires there has to be dark and haunting music, of course.  There are a number of scenes I could hear this in, but there’s one specifically that I had in mind: in it, we see a character turned into a vampire, and it’s extremely sexy and so is this song.

7 – Mimi Page – Jigsaw

“Jigsaw” was in the soundtrack for Of Shadow Born as well, and I chose it again deliberately, because it evokes a very sweet, romantic feeling that is almost a relief – a moment of unvarnished love between two people amid the chaos and darkness of their world.  This song was also originally in the text, but again, I removed it – Miranda plays it on a rickety old piano in Chapter Thirteen during a very romantic moment.

8 – The Neighbourhood – How

More stalking-round-the-city music.  No specific scene for this one, I just liked the feel of it.

9 – Garbage – The Trick is to Keep Breathing

Conversational background.  As always my characters talk a lot.  There’s also a moment where Miranda and Stella are having ice cream (shocker, I know) at Amy’s that it could be playing over the speakers.

10 – Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars – Safe & Sound

This is the only song whose actual lyrics are in the book. Yes, it’s a Taylor Swift song, but it’s nothing like her music; it’s a lullaby originally recorded for The Hunger Games soundtrack and is haunting and quiet.  Miranda sings this to help soothe someone toward the end of the book.

11 – Uh Huh Her – Time Stands Still

More general background music.  There are plenty of introspective moments of characters staring out at things or lying awake at night.

12 – Lana Del Rey – Dark Paradise

This is the end credits song.  Lyrically it’s perfect, and musically it has the lush, epic feel you’d expect to hear while watching the credits roll and trying to make your brain work again so you can leave the theater.

Please don’t kill me.

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Of Shadow Born: The Non-Definitive Playlist

Tomorrow’s the big day – and if past years are anything to go by some of you might be able to find the book in stores today.  Release dates aren’t held as firmly by retailers as you might think, unless of course you’re JK Rowling or similar.

In case you don’t follow my Facebook page, I’ve been posting songs from the “official soundtrack” of the book for the past week – either songs that I imagine playing in the background of specific scenes, or mood music that inspired me while I was writing.  Here’s the whole thing as a YouTube playlist; below the video are my notes on where each track would go.

1 – Digital Daggers – “Still Here”  – I imagine this song opening the “movie,” showing us where things left off and how everything stands as of the beginning of the story.  Given how thematically appropriate the lyrics are I think there are several other places it would fit, specifically Miranda’s early scenes.

2 – Fisher – “I Will Love You” – This one is actually in the book, page 58.  It’s one of the most heartbreaking songs I know, and hearing Miranda play it at this moment in the story is even more heartbreaking.

3 – Mimi Page – “Black Valentine” – Mostly mood music, and would fit in several places depending on which part of the song you used.  The beginning would work for any scene with a character hunting, and the faster piano-led part I think feels like a fight scene, or at least some sort of action.

4 – Amy Stroup – “With Wings” – The way this song builds to a sort of dreamy-swaying repetition feels like it would be good to cry to, and therefore plays during Chapter Four, shortly after Miranda returns to the Haven and is wandering around trying not to fall apart at the seams.

5 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Bad Blood” – In Of Shadow Born we meet two significant new characters; the first, Olivia, is a vampire tattoo artist with a very interesting connection to our heroes.  I hear this song playing over the stereo at the tattoo parlor where she works, and then following her on her walk home.

6 – Mimi Page – “Jigsaw” – Another track by Mimi Page, but this one would come during a much happier moment in the story, long about Chapter Eight.

7 – Lana Del Rey – “Radio” – I hear this as the sort of song Stella the Witch would have playing on her iPod when Miranda comes to visit.

8 – Zola Jesus – “Vessel” – I first heard this in the final episode of The Secret Circle, and it struck me as perfect soundtrack music for a scary magical ritual that occurs in Chapter Thirteen.

9 – Lifehouse – “Broken” – It might seem like an odd choice for this particular playlist, but this song was a major inspiration for the first part of Chapter Nineteen, in which a character basically has a nervous breakdown and is rescued by a surprising new friend.

10 – Collide – “White Rabbit” – An excellent cover, and perfect for the Black Door, or any sort of scene involving vampires feeding or doing other dark deeds.

11 – Garbage – “I Hate Love” – Definitely fight scene music! The big climactic battle would need something along these lines.

12 – Tori Amos – “Liquid Diamonds” – It wouldn’t be a Shadow World playlist without Tori.  In Chapter Sixteen there’s a transformative sequence involving a lot of touching, and the hypnotic quality of this song would fit well.

13 – Vienna Teng – “Gravity” – This one doesn’t have a specific scene; I just imagine Miranda playing it at some point.  Her voice isn’t as high as Vienna’s but I think our girl could make it her own.

14 – Florence + the Machine – “No Light No Light” – Basically end credits music.

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