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  • Lev Lyonne

The Musical Stylings of The Flying Thieves.

I think that writing to music is a lot of fun, but sometimes can be tremendously distracting. It all depends on what kind of mood I’m in.

I’ve been working on As the Crow Flies, and the series as a whole, for about a year and a half. In all this time, I must have made about fifty different playlists that I’m constantly editing or deleting. Every so often, my musical preference regarding the book, the characters, and the themes will change.

I love connecting stories to music. I love listening to playlists for characters and novels and so forth. Spotify is a saint when it comes to literary/musical inspiration.

I have broken down my three different genres of playlists for As the Crow Flies. The first is full of songs that I could consider a theme song for the book. Does your book have a theme song? If not, try and find a couple! It’s very fun to try and match the tone of your book to music.

If As the Crow Flies was a TV show and I got to pick the theme song:

Icarus by Bastille

Alone Again Or by Love

I Want the World to Stop by Belle & Sebastian

Istanbul by They Might Be Giants

Come Along by Cosmo Sheldrake

As the Crow Flies by OZWALD

Roma Fade by Andrew Bird

As for feeling out the story and writing scenes where I’m not sure what’ll happen, I listen to a lot of disco music. It’s very different from the theme of the book, but it helps me get in the

right head space to write. The funkier the song, the better.

Death Scene, Fight Scene, It Doesn't Matter as long as it's Disco:

Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind, and Fire

Fantasy by Earth, Wind, and Fire

September by Earth, Wind, and Fire

Night Fever by The Bee Gees

Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees

That’s The Way (I Like it)- KC & The Sunshine Band

If I Can’t Have You by Yvonne Elliman

Hot Stuff by Donna Summer

Dancing Queen by ABBA

Just an Illusion by Imagination

Really, though, I’ll just find a Disco Playlist and let it roll.

Finally, some songs remind me of individual characters or moments within the books, so I’ve decided to share some of them!

Musical Association:

Riches and Wonders by Eliza Rickman

- I think this song may have inspired the whole thing.

Church by Fall Out Boy

-This song inspired me to rewrite a crucial scene, in a new light. Instead of taking place in a pub, the scene plays out within a cathedral.

Girl Sailor by The Shins

-The character of Gazala Kateb and this song go very well together.

Dust and Ashes from Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812

-This song is about Pierre from War & Peace. It also screams Malachy McNamara to me.

Muddy Waters by LP

-In the summer of 2018, much of the early draft of As the Crow Flies was written to this song.

I Love You by Woodkid

-Both the regular and the acoustic version are always in my playlists. The acoustic version was on repeat while writing the last few chapters of Thick as Thieves.

Kiss With A Fist by Florence & the Machine

-This song is excellent for writing fight scenes.

Strangers by Halsey and Lauren Jauregui

-This song always reminds me of Kateb and Caris.

Nightmare by Halsey

-In the rewrite, this is Apollonia's theme song. She is a woman not to be trifled with.

Boy with a Coin by Iron & Wine

-I'm not sure why, but this song reminds me of Alexander.

Seven Devils by Florence + The Machine

- This song actually comes on more for my short stories. It always inspires me. There is such something about its heaviness.

The Good Side by Troye Sivan

- Anything with Silas and Gabriel together.

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard by Paul Simon

-All I want is a nice chase scene set to this song.

Delilah by Florence + The Machine

- This song should roll at the end credits.

Mess Around by Cage the Elephant

-This is Caris's theme song. It always has been, it always will be.

Hold the Line by Toto

-I love this terrible song and so does Crow.

Also, here are some instrumental albums I listen to for musical inspiration.

No More Words:

Cosmagora by Jo Blankenburg

The soundtrack to War & Peace (2016 TV show)

The soundtrack to Stardust (2007 film)

The soundtrack to Good Omens (2019 TV show)

The soundtrack to Outlander (Season 1 and 2, TV Show)

The soundtrack to Downton Abbey (TV show, any season)

The Endurance by Adam Young

Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Also, sometime in the future I'll post my playlist for draft two. The tone is very different and my song tastes will be probably shift again.

So, what music do you write to? Do you not like to write with music?

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Until next time,