Shadow’s Fall, the Non-Definitive Playlist

With the book releasing officially on Tuesday, I wanted to share the music that helped me write it.  A few songs are actually found in the book itself, others play as a “soundtrack” to particular scenes, and others are mostly just mood music for the story as a whole.  I’ve added notes on each song below the YouTube window.

You can also find this playlist on Spotify if you’d like to listen to it while you read the book.  *laugh*  That is, if you’re a big ol’ dork like me.


1 ~ The Kills – DNA

General mood music. I imagine Miranda walking very purposefully down the Austin streets to this one – it’s got that “head tilted downward, walking toward the camera and looking like a badass” kind of feel.

2 ~ Ingrid Michaelson – Incredible Love

A background song with a nice groove; there’s a scene where Miranda, Jonathan, and Cora go out for a drink where this might be playing, or snatches of it could be background for one of the many scenes of our characters having important conversations.

3 ~ Tori Amos – Iieee

I love this one primarily for the lyrics and the beat.  It’s a slow-and-sexy dancing song. I’m not sure exactly where it would fit in the “movie,” but it was definitely a mood inspiration for a lot of the book.  It would also be great for a shagging scene.

4 ~ Silversun Pickups – Seasick

Another song for the city scenes or anything that requires brooding.

5 ~ October Project – Take Me as I Am

This one I imagine in the ballroom scene, particularly while the various Signets are making their grand entrances.  It makes me think of couples turning on a dance floor.

6 ~ Birdy – Shelter

Music for a moment where Miranda and David are in bed – not during the fun stuff, but after, in the quiet.  Either that, or with the strong piano component Miranda might be playing it at some point.

7 ~ Double O Zero – The HiHis

This is definitely a Stella and Lark song – they’re the two young human Witches we meet midway through the book.  It has that young and free vibe.  The first time we meet them, they stop for coffee, so this song could be playing on the sound system at the coffeehouse.

8 ~ Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting

Okay, this one is actually in the book; early on Miranda is practicing it, and later we see her play it on stage.  The thing is, the way I hear her performing it is different from how it was recorded.  I imagine it played by a single piano and sung quietly, like a secret between the singer and the audience.  (Which is basically what it is in the book – it starts off as Miranda joking with the audience but she really enjoys performing it, and it becomes her favorite cover.)  If the book is ever made into a movie I want to beg and bribe Johnette Napolitano to record a piano version of it.

9 ~ Katie Melua – No Fear of Heights

This one is also in the book.  Miranda sings it to Stella.

10 ~ Bif Naked – Lucky

More mood music.  Sort of my nod to the show that inspired my generation:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  (It was on the Buffy soundtrack.)

11 ~ Sophie Ellis-Bextor – You Get Yours

The beat and bass line of this song sound like fight music to me.  There’s always plenty of fighting in the Shadow World.

12 ~ The Civil Wars – Poison and Wine

This may seem like an odd choice, but there’s a very specific place I imagine it in the book:  the very last scene, quiet in the background.  It has a sorrowful feel, but not a bombastic one; you could even call it a gentle song, though the lyrics are loaded with pain, like “I don’t have a choice and I still choose you.”  The song, in my head, ends right as the book ends, with the last “I always will” landing on the last line of the book.

13 ~ Live – Forever May Not Be Long Enough

End credits.  Just pretend like it was never in The Mummy Returns.

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Shadowflame: The Non-Definitive Playlist

As my Facebook fans have no doubt noticed, I’ve been posting songs that contributed to the mood or characters of Shadowflame, and now that it’s Book Eve (yay!) here’s the entire playlist in one go, as I did with Queen of Shadows.  Below the list are some notes on the songs.

That sound you hear in the distance is me squeeing all over the place that my second novel comes out tomorrow.  🙂



1 ~ Tori Amos (covering Joni Mitchell)  – A Case of You.  Ideally the version I’d have here is the one sung by Caroline Lavelle, but it’s impossible to find on YouTube.  This is one of two songs that are actually in the book; this one, Miranda sings to David as a lullaby.

2 ~ How to Destroy Angels – A Drowning. A lot of bad things happen in this book. People make terrible mistakes, and there are far-reaching consequences.  This song reflects the feeling of being overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control – as well as by your own choices.

3 ~ The Constellations – Perfect Day.  I imagine this as a background song for several possible scenes involving Kat and Miranda (or Kat and David, as in the first chapter where they’re bonding over beer).  It has a very Austin-y feel.

4 ~ Ani DiFranco – Falling is Like This.  The second song that’s in the book.  Miranda sings this one with her guitar while trying to unwind after a rough night of work.

5 ~ Matchbox Twenty – Bed of Lies.  I know it’s dreadfully uncool to say I like Matchbox Twenty, but I do, so there.  Hey, I never claimed to be hip.  This song gives me chills, particularly the line “I know that it’s weak, but God help me, I need this.”  It has that sense of hopelessness when you realize you’ve done something hurtful you can never take back.

6 ~ Katie Melua – I’d Love to Kill You.  Katie Melua has such a sweet voice that the violence of the lyrics become almost cheeky – except that you can hear the seriousness beneath them and it’s a little unsettling.  This strikes me as something Miranda would cover on stage.  There are several people in Shadowflame I imagine she’d love to kill.

7 ~ Natalie Walker – Colorblind.  This one’s mostly mood music; the piano line sounds very Miranda to me, so she might be playing it in the Music Room at the Haven at some point.

8 ~ Garbage – Push It.  I was listening to this while I was writing a particular sparring scene between David and an old friend.  Shirley Manson is magic.

9 ~ Tori Amos – Lust.  More mood music.

10 ~ Massive Attack – Angel.  This is a stalking-around-Austin-in-a-long-black-coat song.  My characters tend to do that a lot.  It might also play during one of David’s standing-on-a-tall-building-being-Mr. Broodypants scenes.

11 ~ Adam Lambert – For Your Entertainment.  It’s not so much that this song belongs in Shadowflame as it is that Adam Lambert’s look in the video inspired me to completely change the appearance of Prime Deven, who appeared briefly in Queen of Shadows and is a major player in Shadowflame.  Originally he had long hair, but I found I liked his character better once I goth-and-glammed him up a bit with piercings and tattoos.  Some of Adam’s facial expressions in the snake handling bits of the video remind me strongly of Dev, too, although to my knowledge Deven has neither a snake nor a pimp cane.  (Also the line, “Your fallen angel swept you off your feet” sounds like Deven to me.)

12 ~ A Perfect Circle – Passive.  Mood music; possibly background in a bar or club, or even during a fight scene, just for grins. I’m not a big fan of A Perfect Circle but this song is in one of my favorite crappy movies, Constantine, and I’m a sucker for angel/demon mythology, Rachel Weisz, Keanu Reeves, and Tilda Swinton.

13 ~ Dido – Hunter.  This is the “Miranda’s had a Very Bad Day Indeed” song.

14 ~ Alanis Morissette – Everything.  I’m not one for giving my characters schmoopy love songs, but I think that the chorus of this one in particular captures something about David and Miranda’s relationship.  That’s the essence of a soul-mate pairing in the Shadow World universe:  it means having someone who will accept you even when you’re “an asshole of the grandest kind.”  As I’ve said before, bad things happen both to and between the two of them, but nothing can destroy their love for each other, except perhaps for death (and maybe not even that).  Neither of them is perfect, and they both screw up and say things they shouldn’t and make poor decisions, but at heart, they have what I consider a good relationship because they are able to accept all those flaws and still respect each other.  Love without respect is doomed to massive therapy bills.

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Queen of Shadows: the Non-Definitive Playlist

Back when I first posted this list I used Mixpod, which I don’t think even exists anymore – luckily now I can do the same on YouTube with a better result.  I even managed to find a couple of tracks that I couldn’t before.

Below the mix I’ve listed the songs and some notes on why they’re on the list; minor spoilers for Queen of Shadows apply.

1 – Brandi Carlile (live w/the Seattle Symphony) – Hallelujah – This song features prominently in the beginning of the book; Miranda has it stuck in her head.  Everyone and her dog has covered this song, but the version I love most is a live unplugged by Brandi Carlile – this one is similar but has orchestral backing.  The acoustic one was much more emotionally raw.

2 – Daughter Darling – Broken Bridge

3 – Poe – Hello

4 – Jem – Falling for You – Tracks 2-4 are mood music. I imagine “Broken Bridge” as one of those “walking around the city” sort of songs, and “Hello” as something that would be playing in the background in one of the Kerbey Lane scenes. I would have vastly preferred the studio version of “Falling for You,” but I couldn’t find it.

5 – Patty Griffin – Rain – Another that’s actually in the book; David eavesdrops on Miranda playing it.

6 – Anya Marina – All the Same to Me – For some reason makes me think of Sophie.

7 – Tori Amos – Silent All These Years – again, played by Miranda while she’s staying at the Haven, this time on the Bosendorfer.  Tori and her music (and her piano) were a huge influence on the first book and on Miranda’s development as a musician.  Here we see Tori at her own Bosendorfer, and her facial expressions as she’s playing immediately make me think of Miranda (especially crazy Miranda at the beginning).  If you really want to see the depth of wonderful weirdness that is Tori, look up her VH1 Storytellers episode on YouTube.

8 – Florence and the Machine – My Boy Builds Coffins – Mood music for one of the city scenes, probably with Kat.

9 – Sarah McLachlan – Witness – I know Sarah is the epitome of cliched love scene music, but this particular song has a darkness to it that I love, and I had it in mind in the background for the Big Sexy Bit.

10 – Joan Osborne – Man in the Long Black Coat – I had no idea this was a Dylan Cover until I went looking for this version online.  Naturally this song screams “vampires” or at least it does to me.  It wouldn’t necessarily play in a scene with David in it, but it would definitely accompany Miranda’s thinking about him.

11 – Metric – Help I’m Alive – I can hear this in the background of one of Sophie and Miranda’s training scenes.

12 – Bat for Lashes – Moon and Moon – Mood music, possibly the aftermath of the aforementioned Big Sexy Bit.

13 – Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence – Waaaaay back in 1999, this song inspired the very first version of Queen of Shadows. It would play during the end credits if QoS were a movie.

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