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The Mixtapes #1: Secrets

The Mixtapes is a new YA Highway series where we ask authors to share their writing playlists and tell us how music inspires or impacts their stories.

So because we are all so into music - and we know you are too! - we thought it would be fun to start a new series featuring writer's playlists. They could be for a book, for a setting, for a theme - anything that inspires them! Hopefully, the playlists will bring inspiration to others as well.

 So to kick off the series, I wanted to share with you my most recent writing playlist.  This is a playlist I made while working on a (yet to be titled) set of short stories that'll be released this Spring.  There are two stories, and the theme is "secrets."  So this is the playlist I came up with.

Behind the Mix: So not all of these songs necessarily fit the stories perfectly. Some of these songs are about secret love, some are about lies, some are about confessions. Really, when I was writing I just needed to have a certain vibe - I needed music that made me think about secrets and deception, whether they were the right kind of secrets I was looking for or not.  I didn't always have the playlist on when I was writing, but whenever I wasn't quite "in the mood" to work, I'd turn it on. It always gave me ideas for ways to deal with my characters' secrets.

Does music inspire your writing? Do you make playlists? Tell us about how music relates to your writing or reading experience in the comments!

You can find this writing playlist and many others on our Tumblr.  
Kody Keplilnger

Kody is the NYT bestselling author of The DUFF, Shut Out, and A Midsummer's Nightmare, all from Little Brown/Poppy, as well as Lying Out Loud, Run, and the middle grade novel The Swift Boys and Me, from Scholastic. Born and raised in Kentucky, she now lives in NYC.

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  1. Yay for mixtapes!

    I consider it mainly a form of procrastination, but when I'm absorbed in a certain story, I often notice songs in a different way. Then I stick them in a file and when I desperately need to get back in the mood for that story, I listen to the mix. It's a nice way back into an elusive neural network. :)

    Since my current project is essentially spawned from feelings I had while listening to Howl by Florence + The Machine, I have a pretty great mix right now.

  2. Music is a HUGE part of my writing inspiration. I have playlists I listen to for every book as I draft them, and different ones as I edit them, lol. I'm reluctant to share my latest WIP's list because all the songs are too spoilery. :)

  3. Love this series! Mixes are a HUGE part of my writing process--they help me get and stay in the project's particular mood.

  4. Yeah, I was driving home listening to Switchfoot one afternoon, and I realized that this song The Fatal Wound exactly described the situation my hero was in, in my current WIP. I sort of meditated on that song for a while and came up with the mood for the climax--the evil AI in the hero's head manages to kill him, and he's only saved when his friend travels back in time to foil the AI.

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Item Reviewed: The Mixtapes #1: Secrets Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kody Keplinger