Music is my greatest writing inspiration. Here’s why:

When I develop my characters, one of the first things I determine is what kind of music they would listen to. Rap? Folk? Electronic? It helps me get to know my characters. I imagine exactly what songs they would listen to, what kind of beat and lyrics would move them. I play these songs over and over. It sets the mood for my story. It helps anchor me inside the mind of my characters. Sometimes a single line of a song or a drum percussion will inspire entire chapters. It’s strange how much music impacts my writing.

I’m sharing the playlists I compiled while writing each of my books. I could probably list a hundred songs for each book, but these are the highlights:

AWAKEN Playlist:

  1. Soul Meets Body— Death Cab For Cutie
  2. Numb—U2
  3. Sour Cherry—The Kills
  4. Summertime Clothes—Animal Collective
  5. I Sing I Swim—Seabear
  6. Blessed—Brett Dennen
  7. Cupid—Amy Winehouse
  8. Only You—Joshua Radin
  9. Close to You—Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  10. Spaceman—The Killers
  11. Starlight—Muse
  12. I Feel it All—Feist
  13. When I Go—Brett Dennen

FIRST COMES LOVE (Playlist #1). To find the two other playlists, you will have to track down the book.

  1. This Is Such a Pity—Weezer
  2. Mysterious Ways—U2
  3. To Be Young—Ryan Adams
  4. Joy Ride—The Killers
  5. Nearly Beloved—The Wallflowers
  6. I Want You—Bob Dylan
  7. Rock and Roll—Eric Hutchinson
  8. Just Like Heaven—The Cure
  9. July!, July!—The Decemberists
  10. Whatever You Like—TI
  11. Tear It Off—Method Man
  12. Fool in the Rain—Led Zeppelin
  13. Hang Me Up To Dry—Cold War Kids
  14. Elevation—U2


1. You Don’t Know How It Feels—Tom Petty
2. Kamera—Wilco
3. Give You Hell—The All-American Rejects
4. Mr. Brightside—The Killers
5. Can You Tell—Ra Ra Riots
6. Shot in the Dark—Augustana
7. Kick Some Ass—Stroke 9
8. Missed the Boat—Modest Mouse
9. Airstream Driver—Gomez
10. You Always Make Me Smile—Kyle Andrews
11. Do it Again—Stroke 9
12. Chinese—Lily Allen
13. Desire—Ryan Adams
14. Wildflowers—Tom Petty
15. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright—Bobby Dylan


1. Fake Empire/The National
2. Help I’m Alive/Metric Fantasies
3. Kontact Me/Boys Noize
4. Amber/311
5. Infinity Guitars/Sleigh Bells
6. Swimming In The Flood/Passion Pit
7. Trail of Lies/Jedi Mind Tricks
8. Where Is My Mind?/Pixies
9. Pursuit of Happiness/Kid Cudi
10. All the Night Without Love/Elvis Perkins
11. Hide and Seek/Imogen Heap
13. My Night With the Prostitute from Marseille/Beirut
14. Electrolite/R.E.M.
15. Dem Na Like Me/The Qemists
16. Heartbeats/Jose Gonzalez
17. Fight Test/Flaming Lip
18. Darlin’ Do Not Fear/Brett Dennen
19. The Cave/Mumford & Sons
20. The Love Song/KOS


10 Responses to Music

  1. Hannah Gates says:

    I /love you so much Exect a important letter from me soon.


  2. Romina. says:

    At Middle Ground, I think, ”Born to die” – Lana Del Rey is one song. I’ve heard this song while reading. And ”Dark Paradise” – Lana Del Rey…

  3. Romina. says:

    Oh, and, ”Just give me a reason” (P!nk & Nate Ruess), or ”In My Head” (Loreen) AND ”Breaking the habit” (Linkin Park). :*

  4. Pingback: MIDDLE GROUND SOUNDTRACK | the official website of KATIE KACVINSKY

  5. Pingback: Second Chance on Kobo and Nook | the official website of KATIE KACVINSKY

  6. lilly says:

    I’ve always listen to the album bad blood from bastille when i’ve read middle ground 🙂

  7. jayden (alex) says:

    you should listen to zomboy or skrillex i was one of the kids you talked to in lodi

  8. Adhvi says:

    I always listened to Team by Lorde whenever reading Awaken and Middle Ground…

  9. Jule says:

    Missed the Boat—Modest Mouse ❤
    I Want You—Bob Dylan ❤
    I really love it!

  10. Ann Malene says:

    I love listening to imagine dragons, U2, twenty one pilots, Vance Joy, AWOLNATION, Muse, mainly alternative music, it really sets the mood of the events in the book for me. ^.^

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s