Theme music – The UNSETIC Files and The Lost Angel Chronicles

Every writer has their little things that they do to jar loose their creativity, things that help them get into particular characters or remind them of particular characters. In this, I’m absolutely no exception. Music is something that I use when I’m writing to sink me into the right mindset to get rolling.

Now, I don’t have set playlists for specific projects (if I did, I’d have a ridiculous number of playlists), but I do have absolutely massive playlists for the specific universes I work in. I started doing this back before iTunes got rolling, in the days of Napster and AudioGalaxy and other free music sharing resources that may or may not exist anymore (yes, I’m old enough to remember the days when the dorm networks at GVSU were legally full of scads of free music for download–we used to share entire folders of music on the campus networks for our fellow students to snag). Writing to music has become part of my process and over the years certain songs have begun to relate to specific characters–sometimes overall, sometimes for isolated period of their lives and stories. I’ll often say to my friends (those who are familiar with my work and the characters in it) “You know, this is a Tim song” or “This song totally reminds me of The Measure of Dreams” and “I could see Bryn singing this song at the top of her lungs in the shower.”

Don’t laugh. It’s happened.

On that note, at various points in time I’ve put together much smaller, tighter collections of music at the behest of one of my first readers (Jen Willard reads pretty much everything UNSETIC and Lost Angels as I’m working on it–and considering that Reece Bailey and Kate Berkshire wouldn’t exist without her, I’m totally okay with this) to listen to while she’s reading.

What you see below are two of those playlists. Some of these songs correspond to a particular character or pairing. Others just seem to especially fit the universe of the UNSETIC Files and the Lost Angel Chronicles. There’s one or two that correspond to characters and projects that as of this writing will be unfamiliar to anyone stumbling over this post but may make a lot more sense in the future.

Volume I

Name Artist Additional Notes
Carry You Home James Blunt
Breaking Inside Shinedown
Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams) B.o.B
Building a Mystery Sarah McLachlan Hadrian’s theme
Crack the Shutters Snow Patrol Tim and Kate’s theme
Second Chance Shinedown
Firework Katy Perry Kate’s theme
Live Like We’re Dying Kris Allen
Hanging By A Moment Life House
Hallelujah (Vancouver Winter 2010 Version) k.d. lang
Welcome to the Black Parade (Radio Edit) My Chemical Romance
The End of the Innocence Don Henley
Awake (Live) Josh Groban
If Today Was Your Last Day Nickelback
Landing In London 3 Doors Down Jim and Bryn’s theme
Shattered (Turn the Car Around) O.A.R.
Time After Time Quietdrive

Volume II

Name Artist Additional Notes
Broken (New Version) Lifehouse Tim’s theme
Iridescent LINKIN PARK AJ’s theme
So Close Jon McLaughlin Michael and Jade’s theme
Toy Soldiers Martika
Shooting Star Owl City
All Through the Night Cyndi Lauper
Mercy OneRepublic Tim and Brigid’s theme
Glitter In the Air P!nk Brigid’s theme
All We Are OneRepublic
Clocks Coldplay
For You Calling Scott and Sierra’s theme
From Where You Are Lifehouse
Not Meant to Be Theory of a Deadman
Nothing Left to Lose Needtobreathe
Seasons of Love Rent
Secrets OneRepublic Michael’s theme
Shadow of the Day LINKIN PARK
Taste Lorna Vallings

If you’ve read any of the UNSETIC Files or Lost Angels books, I’d be interested to hear your feedback on these choices–are there songs on this list that you don’t think fit?  Are there songs that are missing?

The first three books of the UNSETIC Files (Bering Songs and Silence, Between Fang and Claw, and The Measure of Dreams) and the first book of the Lost Angel Chronicles (What Angels Fear)are available where ebooks are sold.

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A love theme?

A great deal of my work centers around relationships–both friendships and romantic entanglements.  Today, while working on the rough draft of Epsilon: Redeemer, I found myself listening to Josh Groban’s “Awake,” which struck a chord–it’s a beautiful, almost haunting song about loving someone but knowing that perhaps you’ll lose them someday.


A beautiful and blinding morning
The world outside begins to breathe
See clouds arriving without warning
I need you here to shelter me

And I know that only time will tell us how
To carry on without each other

So keep me awake to memorize you
Give me more time to feel this way
We can’t stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today

If I could make these moments endless
If I could stop the winds of change
If we just keep our eyes wide open
Then everything would stay the same

And I know that only time will tell me how
We’ll carry on without each other

So keep me awake for every moment
Give us more time to be this way
We can’t stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today

We’ll let tomorrow wait, you’re here, right now, with me
All my fears just fall away, when you are all I see

We can’t stay like this forever
But I have you here today

And I will remember
Oh I will remember
Remember all the love we shared today

It’s a perfect love theme for that whole universe, I think, since it touches on a lot of the emotions and themes embedded in the romantic relationships in the Epsilon series.

Of course, anyone who’s read my work can feel free to object–but at least listen to the song before you do!

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Some When All’s Said and Done music…

Thought I’d share some of the theme music for When All’s Said and Done.  Some of it’s old, some of it’s much newer.

The original songs for Kyle and Hadrian:

Kyle and Hadrian’s song: When I’m Gone, by 3 Doors Down

Hadrian’s song: Building a Mystery, by Sarah McLaughlan

New song for Kyle and Hadrian: Broken, by Lifehouse