Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Your Book a Soundtrack

Whether we’re writers or readers, the addition of music to a story can hugely impact our experience of it. Movies really demonstrate this, with music adding an unforgettable element to deepen the emotional punch of the action and dialogue on screen.

Compiling the Soundtrack for MAID OF SECRETS proved to be an intriguing challenge. The story is about a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of spies in Queen Elizabeth’s court – to solve a murder, save the crown, and resist the most dangerous temptation of all… falling in love. But the book is set in Sixteenth Century England, and just for the record, that time period is NOT given to super fun music.

I already knew the girls had a bit of a rocker/punk vibe—much more A KNIGHT’S TALE than CAMELOT. Even my super basic ‘book video’ is backed by a tune that wouldn’t make it to the Queen’s concert hall.

So instead of a true soundtrack, I’ve gathered a series of songs that speak to some element of each of my spy girls and a few other key friends. I include them below – and then want to know… what’s YOUR soundtrack to your favorite book… whether you wrote it or read it?



Meg Fellowes, the heroine of MAID OF SECRETS, has been living a role her whole life… first as a thief, then as an unofficial actress for her traveling acting troupe, and now as a spy to the Queen. But who is Meg really?


Rafe's song: Way Cool Jr. - Ratt

Meg gets some unexpected (and unwanted) help from a mysterious Spanish spy, Count Rafe de Martine. Rafe is the original bad boy, and definitely not someone you can trust… which is why we’re throwing him back to the Hair Band rockers of the 80s to find his song.


Beatrice's song: Material Girl - Madonna

This one will also take you way (way) back to the 80s, but no one captures Beatrice’s confidence and style like Madonna. As the darling of the Queen’s court, Beatrice knows everyone’s secrets. But there’s also a secret of her own that she’s desperate to hide.

Anna's song: Firework - Katy Perry

Anna is the smartest girl in the room—even when she doesn’t want to be. Lost in her world of intricate puzzles and mysteries to solve, she sometimes feels on the outside looking in when it comes to being a part of a group. Her inner light, however, is just beginning to shine.

The youngest spy, Sophia is rumored to have the Sight… only her powers haven’t manifested yet. Despite that, she’s already up to her ears in danger that lurks just beyond the shadows.

Jane hasn’t had it easy. As the assassin of the spy group, she’s seen her share of tragedy, beginning with a deadly attack on her village that haunts her still. Now she must fight the demons in her memory… even as she defends the Queen.


Queen Elizabeth's song: Super Girl - Hillary Duff

Speaking of the Queen: in MAID OF SECRETS we find an Elizabeth I who’s just come to power… at only 25 years old. With half the kingdom praising her and half wanting her dead, it’s going to take a Super Girl to stay on top.

So once again, what about you?? What’s your fav read’s Soundtrack?

Jennifer McGowan has been writing fiction since well before she knew any better. A past Romance Writers of America Golden Heart winner and 2011 Golden Heart finalist, Jenn is represented by agent extraordinaire Alexandra Machinist, of Janklow & Nesbit.

Jenn's debut novel, MAID OF SECRETS, will be published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 7, 2013. You can find Jenn online and on twitter.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea to give each character their own song. I bet it's easier to keep an idea of them/their attitude in your head when you can just listen to the song