Writing to the Beat

Besides books, the bulk of my writing inspiration comes from music. I make elaborate Spotify playlists for all my projects and listen to them on repeat throughout every stage of the writing process. It helps keep me in right mood and headspace for the book, and I also get lots of great ideas while zoning out to the music.

So for my post this week, I thought I’d share a few of the songs that influenced me most as I was working on Temper:

“Sticks and Horses” by George Maple

I am the best thing and the worst thing you know
That’s why I am so hard to control

This might have been the first song I ever added to the Temper playlist. I had it on a playlist for another WIP but it didn’t quite work. Then I realized it perfectly captured the attitude of my main character, Kira, and since then it’s been my go-to song whenever I want to get into her head.

“The Pretender” by Tessa Rose Jackson

What if I say I’m not like the others
What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays
You’re the pretender
What if I say that I’ll never surrender

(Yes I know this is a Foo Fighters song but I like this cover better.) I came up with the idea for Temper on a flight to London in summer 2016, and on the flight home, I remember listening to this song several times in a row as I brainstormed scenes.

“Blu” by Verre

Love me, love me ’cause I don’t love myself
The crazy thing is I know nothing else

I don’t think I fully understood the character of Joanna until I heard this song. I kept it in heavy rotation when I was frantically adding her POV to the book in the lead-up to Pitch Wars.

“Your Body is a Weapon” by The Wombats

I don’t come here for the exclusivity
I just come here for the view

The ultimate Spence and Kira song, need I say more?

“Touch” by July Talk

We had to keep each other in a cage
On the stage, on the stage, on the stage
Don’t want to give myself away too much

This unsettling duet is basically the theme song of Temper. Like if Temper was a movie, this song could play during the trailer or the end credits. I listened to it constantly throughout the process of writing Temper, but the night I first typed The End on a draft, this was on repeat in my headphones.

If you have a Spotify account and want to check out the full Temper playlist, here’s the link:

(I also have playlists for all the main characters with custom aesthetic cover art, because I am extra af.)

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Layne Fargo

Layne Fargo has Master’s degrees in theater and library science, which seem slightly less useless now that she writes very dramatic books. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor and a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets. Her debut, TEMPER, will be published by Scout Press in the summer of 2019.

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