“Soundtrack to Your Life” is a feature that will have authors list 5 songs/artists/albums that ______ (changed their life, made them cry, make them want to be a rockstar, anything the author picks!) This time I’m very pleased to have Lenore Appelhans, author of the upcoming Level 2!
I love compiling playlists, so it was really hard for me to narrow this exercise down to only five songs. I decided to go for five life-defining songs.
Tori Amos – Tear in Your Hand
I discovered Tori in high school, and her debut album Little Earthquakes pretty much defined those years. To this day I am a huge fan: I’ve been to 32 concerts, met her 6 times, and have bought even her obscure B-sides. My Tori top ten (which is ever changing) includes Sugar (the live version), Precious Things, Strange, Beulah Land, Virginia, Hotel, Spring Haze, Bouncing off Clouds, Winter, and Cooling. But Tear in my Hand was my favorite song in high school, because as a wallflower girl with tons of unrequited crushes, I felt the following lyrics intensely:
I tell you there’re pieces of me you’ve never seen
Maybe she’s just pieces of me you’ve never seen well
Better than Ezra – At the Stars
University life was all about Better Than Ezra. I had them on repeat so much that my roommate loathes them now (sorry Margui!). If they were anywhere in KS, MO, OK or TX you better believe I drove there. My first concert (in Lawrence, KS) went from the ultimate high (I got backstage passes and got to hug Kevin Griffin) to an extreme low (on our drive back to Wichita, a deer ran into my car and nearly totaled it). I still find their lyrics extremely insightful, but this one from At the Stars especially struck a chord:
Everybody loves to love you when you’re far away
Wolfsheim – Kein Zuruck
About a year after I graduated from college, I moved to Germany for an internship with a German ad agency. Germany is where I met my husband, learned to write advertising copy and improved my German immensely. For many years, my husband and I dreamt of illustrating (him) and writing (me) children’s books, but we were so busy working overtime at our jobs, it stayed just a dream for many years. That’s why this particular Wolfsheim song hit home:
deine Träume schiebst du endlos vor dir her.
Du willst noch leben, irgendwann,
doch wenn nicht heute, wann denn dann?
Denn irgendwann ist auch ein Traum zu lange her.
You keep putting off making your dreams come true
You want to really live, someday
But if not today, then when?
Because at some point even a dream is out of reach
The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
So, yay – in 2008, Daniel finally got his first book deal (IS YOUR BUFFALO READY FOR KINDERGARTEN?) and in 2011 I finally got mine. From the time I started writing LEVEL 2 until the book went to print in August 2012, I lived and breathed this novel. While it’s true that Tori Amos’ The Beekeeper was partly an inspiration for the futuristic hives in the afterlife, Bloodbuzz Ohio became the theme song that I played over and over. How fun is this lyric?
I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees
Röyksopp – What Else is There?
Now that I’m in the thrall of LEVEL 3, I’m really into What Else is There?, which I’m using as the theme song to get me pumped up for writing and revising. The atmosphere is just a perfect match. Maybe these lyrics will give you a little hint as to where the sequel is going …
There’s no room where I can go and
You’ve got secrets too
I don’t know what more to ask for
I was given just one wish