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May 8, 2015

Lee Wolf: How I Created a “Book Soundtrack” for my novel, Romance is for Other People

Romance is for other people
Have you ever read a particularly emotional break up scene in a book and think, “I could just imagine a song to go to that scene”?  Maybe it’s “Someone Like You” by Adele or “Who Knew” by Pink or “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor.  Or, if it were a scene where the characters finally admit they love each other, you might be thinking of “All of Me” by John Legend, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, or “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney.  The possibilities are endless.

When I was coming up with the idea of my novel, Romance is for Other People, I was already imagining the songs I would like to go with particular scenes, as well.  I went through several different versions, even one with different pop songs.  But the one I finally settled on was with a local Indie band (I’m from Durham, NC) that I’ve become kind of obsessed with, called Jessica Long and the New Kind.  (Don’t worry, I’ll provide a link to them at the bottom so you can check them out.) Jessica Long’s rock pop sound was perfect for the Young Adult novel I was writing.  I arranged ten songs into a soundtrack for the book, first on paper and later onto a Spotify playlist (I will also link below).  I am so excited to show you for the first time my explanation for the songs I chose for the particular scenes.

“Simple” would be played at the beginning of the book before the reader even starts.  In “Simple,” Jessica Long sings about how her love for a guy is simple and easy to understand.  “It’s not fair the way you look at me/I don’t care what anybody says, yeah/It’s not that difficult/In fact, it’s simple.” At the beginning, of the story, Chris and Lydia are best friends who spend all their time together. Their life is well, simple: they go to school, they go home and do homework together and have dinner with their family.  But on the day the story starts, Chris finally agrees to go to Homecoming Dance with Lydia, even though he would rather stay friends, but she is ready to move beyond being just friends…

“Avalanche” would be played in Chapter 3.  Avalanche is all about the rush of emotion when you feel love for the first time; using an Avalanche as a metaphor for those feelings: “Avalanche, come crashing down on me/Avalanche, enraging sea.”  In this scene, Chris quickly leaves after becoming uncomfortable dancing with Lydia, leaving her confused in the middle of the dance floor.  A few minutes, later Chris’s older cousin Jeremy runs into her and complements her and flirts with her, even though he had never done that before towards Lydia.  A part of Lydia really likes how Jeremy treated her (though she doesn’t know why) and this song illustrates Jeremy “crashing into” her.

“Out of Focus” takes place in Chapter 7, during a flashback scene. “Out of Focus” deals with the complicated feelings of love. The first verses show devotion: “If you weren’t here/my sky would fall.” But in the chorus, she questions that that love is not making her think straight: “Have I even lost my mind and not noticed/Was I even in the more out of focus?” In this flashback scene, Chris and Lydia are at a theater camp and the entire camp is participating in a dance party…except Chris and Lydia. Chris told everyone that as best friends, dances really aren’t their thing. Lydia feels differently but doesn’t tell Chris (or anyone else) how she feels. As the last song of the night plays, Lydia just came out of a fantasy about Chris telling her he loves her and kissing her, while Chris feels guilty that he knew Lydia wanted to dance but he wouldn’t do it with her (this also explains why he said yes to the Homecoming Dance). “Out of Focus” perfectly exemplifies the conflicting emotions in this scene.

What about the other seven songs in the soundtrack?  Well, dear reader, in order to do that, you’ll have to purchase my novel, Romance is for Other People and discover the secrets that lie within. If, AFTER finishing the book, you would like to know explanations for the rest of the songs email me at and after answering a trivia question I will send them you. Happy Reading!

Buy Romance is for Other People at Amazon

Jessica Long & the New Kind: Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Link to Book Soundtrack Playlist on Spotify (You’ll need to login to play the music):

About Lee Wolf:
When Lee Wolf was a kid, he first discovered an interest in writing. Homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, this gave him the time to develop fiction at his own pace. He graduated from Durham Technical Community College with an associate in Arts degree, and later graduated from North Carolina State University with a Magma Cum Laude in English. At age eighteen he discovered his other passion, working with kids, when he first started working at Chestnut Ridge Camp and Retreat Center. Becoming a sort of jack of all trades there, he’s helped at the community garden, cleaned and mopped the main dining hall, worked in the kitchen, renovated the back room of the crafts cabin and played with many, many kids.
 blog  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

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