As the saying goes - a picture is worth a thousand words, and in my world, a song is worth a thousand more. Music plays such a large role in what I do as a writer. A score of something can transform a scene in my mind, and influence dialogue, actions and overall emotions. As I'm writing, a scene can unfurl much like a movie; I can see the action, faces, and sometimes if I'm lucky - the tone of the voice coming from a particular character.
All of this happened as I was not only writing, but editing "Gilded Ruins," the highly anticipated sequel to "Blinding Night."
"Blinding Night" is a modern retelling of the beloved myth of Hades and Persephone - but with a twist. Summer is a girl from the 21st Century, and Darce - he's the God of the Underworld who has been searching for the reincarnation of his Spring Bride.
"Gilded Ruins" continues where the story left off. . .
The Story Continues. . .
Summer and Darce are summoned by the order of Zeus himself to travel to the home of the Gods: Mount Olympus, where they're to face even more ancient Gods and Goddesses.
Summer braces to confront her mother again, illuminating secrets about the truth of her tragic pasts, while also persuading Zeus to allow her to stay with the God of the Underworld, her true love - Darce.
Aboard Poseidon's luxury yacht, Summer meets her mythological family, while also uncovering what exactly happened to her past lives - and the true roles her mother and Darce played.
When Darce and Summer suddenly find themselves separated, Summer must find her inner power and unite them together, before her mortal time runs out.
Be sure to add "Gilded Ruins" to your Goodreads list or grab a copy for yourself on Amazon!
As you venture into the depths of the Underworld, or through the side streets of Athens, here are a few songs from the "Gilded Ruins" playlist you'll definitely want to play as you read!
Dusk Till Dawn: ZAYN, Sia
This song is such a Darce X Summer song. I think the lyrics sort of speak for themselves - "I'll be with you from dusk till dawn. Baby I'm right here." Darce is always promising to be with Summer through everything. Even more so in this novel - their love is tested in many ways.
Fire On Fire: Sam Smith
I remember the first time I heard this song - and I've always associated it as my "Gilded Ruins" theme song. It's a beautiful love song, and it really captured what I was trying to write for this sequel; a passionate love story with obstacles.This is my Gilded Ruins in song form.
Princess Leia's Theme: John Williams (Star Wars)
If you didn't already know, "Princess Leia's Theme" was a huge part of me writing "Blinding Night." It was a song I listened to for much of my writing experience. And so now when I listen to this song, I think of Summer and her going to the Underworld. It only felt natural to have this song return - as we all return to Darce's Kingdom.
Heaven: Julia Michaels
I'd just been watching Fifty Shades: Freed (I knowwwww) avoiding the writing that I knew I should have been doing - but wasn't, when I heard this song play. As I listened, I was suddenly struck by Summer's perspective - as if she were talking about Darce through this song. I could almost hear her describing him, and her feelings towards him. Ever since then, I've associated this as Summer's Song about Darce.
Howl's Moving Castle Theme: Kyle Landry
I always write my novels to the soundtracks of movies or classical songs. And sometimes I'll purposely search for films or emotional songs that will resonate with what I'm trying to write. I knew as I was coming into "Gilded Ruins," I wanted something whimsical like the Main Theme of Howl's Moving Castle. In a strange way, Howl's character reminds me a little of Darce in some aspects, so to bring the magic of that film into my own story - I listened to this main theme over, and over again.
Young & Beautiful: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
As soon as you - as the reader - abroad Poseidon's yacht in "Gilded Ruins," this song will absolutely make sense. "Young and Beautiful" was a song that I listened to, and used often for "Blinding Night" - so finding a new way to bring this song into the sequel was really fun and interesting. As Summer and Darce venture off to meet the Gods and Goddess of Mount Olympus, readers are going to find that they appreciate the good ol' 20s! (Ol' Sport!)
GURL! Are you ready to meet the Goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure and Passion? I can't wait for everyone to experience my new Aphrodite.
And this song is such an Aphrodite song.
Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey): BTS
The way Eros and Darce appear in "Blinding Night"/"Gilded Ruins" were inspired by some very famous Korean actors. (And actual friends in real life!) As I was writing Eros into life, BTS came out with this really catchy song, and it just caught on to be associated with my manuscript (at least to me!) There are quite a few other K-Pop, K-Drama songs on my Playlists, and I hope you give them a listen!
Only Love: Andre Rieu
I actually found this song the night I was writing the ending of "Gilded Ruins" with my editor, and listened to it over, and over, and over, and over again. When you get to the ending of "Gilded Ruins," perhaps take a listen and see if you can "feel" through the music.
Someone To You: BANNERS
This is the sort of song I imagined during the happier times on Poseidon's Yacht - when everyone is drinking champagne, playing in the water - living their best lives, until the twists and turns of "Gilded Ruins" catches up with them. It's just one of those feel good montage songs.
The Night King: Game of Thrones
So the score of "Game of Thrones" as a huge part of the Score Playlist to "Gilded Ruins." Primarily this song and....
A Lannister Always Pays His Debts:
Game of Thrones
This set the mood for the Underworld, and the difficult times that comes to pass for Summer, Darce and Morpheus.
Forever: Lewis Capaldi
To be honest, I've only just recently discovered this song - but it almost immediately felt like a "Gilded Ruins" song to me - empassing love and loss. More importantly a Morpheus song (because even the God of Dreams deserves a song of his own.)
Octopussy (arr. C. Egan) Philharmonia Orchestra
This is just one of those songs that pulls on your heart-strings. When someone says goodbye, when something horrible happens, when someone is declaring their love - and in "Gilded Ruins," almost all of that happens. I always knew I could play this song and feel just enough heartache to nail down the right dialogue, and set the right mood.
I'm Gonna Be (500) Remix
As my editor finished, she left me a note at the end of the Epilogue with - "Credit Song if this were a movie: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" - I took it a step farther to this fantastic remix from Pitch Perfect. I can see the dramatic ending. . . and I'd say it's Book Perfect.
If you'd like to take a list to these full playlists,
you can find them here on Spotify!
Various Artist Playlist and Score Playlist