A surprising amount of my stories’ plots come from listening to popular music and making them apply to my characters. Now that I’ve typed that sentence, I’m not so sure I should admit that. But I’m coming clean here.
So for my Letter “I” entry today, I thought I’d share with you some of the songs I’ve been listening to that have subtly (or otherwise) contributed ideas for Shadow of the Portico. I’ve added YouTube links where I can. I actually have a ridiculously long playlist, but let’s just start with these.
Too Close – Alex Clare. Shadow starts with a break-up, and this song feels like it nails what was happening with Giovanni. Also, very cool video. I also think For No One by The Beatles has some poignant lines for a couple about to break up.
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran. My kids are so sick of this song, but they know it’s my jam. “People fall in love in mysterious ways / Maybe just the touch of a hand.” If you want more information about that line, be sure to read Chapter One of Shadow of the Portico. Oh, and that video… I’m becoming a big Ed Sheeran fan, just saying.
Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop – Landon Pigg. Again, if you don’t get the reference, read Chapter One, linked in the previous song. Such a pretty song!
Dog Days are Over – Florence + the Machine. This song is edgy like Sarah, and her dodging and hiding from happiness as it hits her is perfect.
Rude – Magic! Of course, Sarah’s father, Doug, doesn’t approve of Giovanni. I can see him singing this to Doug, “Why you gotta be so rude / I’m gonna marry her anyway.”
From Eden – Hozier. The contrast between a dark, traumatized character and a light, innocent one reminds me of Niccolo and Emilia, my two characters from 1578 Bologna. “Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago.”
Demons – Imagine Dragons. Beautifully written song, but the lines “Your eyes they shine so bright / I want to save that light / I can’t escape this now / Unless you show me how” are so perfectly written for a hopeless Niccolo and his hope, Emilia.
Let Her Go – Passenger. Let’s just say that Giovanni and Sarah’s path to love isn’t an easy one.
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz. A perfect love song. “And just like them old stars / I see that you’ve come so far / To be right where you are / How old is your soul?”