August 29, 2013

Band Geek Thursday: Guest Post by Band Geek Author Courtney Brandt

When Courtney asked us about posting on YAMisfits and told us she wrote books about band geeks, we jumped on the chance to have her do a Band Geek Thursday on her book, CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BAND GEEK! So, without further ado, Courtney Brandt!


Given I was a band geek for years (drumline FTW!), it goes without saying that music has a special place for me and my writing.  Chapters, scenes and novellas often come from songs and lyrics, so I’m very excited to contribute to this post!  In fact, there are a number of friends from my marching band days who are actually making a living in the music industry – either in bands or producing music.  I fully credit their days in marching band as where they got started. 

I digress.

Out of my marching novels, I chose Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek – it’s one of my favorites, to make a playlist for.  I hope you enjoy the selections!

Told in engaging first person, CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BAND GEEK is not your average YA story. Drum set player Julia McCoy is not a typical marching band member. Forced to move across country and become a rookie as a junior, the newest tenor drummer deals with an intense Instructor, a cheerleader and the possibility of love in her own section.  Ms. Brandt is pleased to note that Confessions is under consideration for adaptation to screen!

Another Suitcase in Another Hall – Evita

I used this song as poor Julia is told she is moving across country in literally the first line of the book.  A big fan of musicals, this song seemed like the right fit to convey Julia’s emotions.  She feels abandoned by her parents and forced to leave her current band and best friends.  (Not to worry – Julia McCoy is a very resilient young woman!).

Clumsy – Fergie

In the third chapter, Julia commits a bit of a marching band faux pas – falling down while trying to crabstep for the first time.  She does this in front of her new insta-crush and so the song seemed especially perfect for Julia’s situation.  (Inset evil author laugh – I can be mean to my characters when I want to be).

Typical Situation – Dave Matthews Band

I actually titled a chapter Atypical Situations, which is a play on the title of the DMB song.  (I chose the live version for the playlist, because the duet with Tim Reynolds is especially awesome.)  Additionally, the song and chapter title make sense because Julia, in her new environment (marching band), is thrown into different settings than she’s used to.  Why are you different? Why are you that way?’ are lyrics I think everyone can relate to (regardless if they are the new kid or not).

Simmer Down – Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Another chapter title with duel meanings.  Reactive and feisty Julia pretty much could use this advice throughout the book.  Her inability to ‘simmer down’ often gets her into trouble with her even keeled and stoic section leader, Denny.  Additionally, the ska genre had a big influence and me and my friends in high school.  As some of the members of the marching Warriors are in a ska band, I felt it was appropriate to showcase the Bosstones here.

Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis

Although not especially named in the book, I like to think that (spoiler) this is the first song Denny and Julia dance to at the band camp dance.  Also, having just been remarried in Vegas by the King himself, I like Elvis. 

Battery Cadence

I couldn’t not include one!  For those not in marching band, cadences are those things you hear performed by the battery (the guys and gals that carry drums) in a parade or stadium.  In my books, the cadences are almost always named some sort of inside joke (either for the characters or myself).  Since I don’t have the skills to write a cadence, I included one here that I thought had a good beat and that my fictional drumline would like.

Hey Baby – stands song (performed by the Auburn University Marching Band)

Again, not specifically named or mentioned in the book, but this seemed like a super appropriate song.  If you’ve ever attended a high school or college football game, you know this is the song that really involves the crowd.  It’s fun to play and sing! 

Wind it Up – Gwen Stefani

This song references a routine done by the cheerleaders, led by Julia’s arch nemesis, Liberty.  The pep rally where the routine takes place triggers a bit of a stand off between the two characters and begins a feud which lasts the rest of the novel.  I don’t want to give too much more of the scene away, because it’s one of my favorites!

Back Down South – Kings of Leon

Since it’s my world, I’m pretending this is a song that would be played at the Westlake HS Homecoming.  The song (one of my favorites) ties into Julia’s acceptance with her situation and her new home in the South – it seems a fitting close to the end of the book.


Although I could keep going, I’ll stop here.  While these are my inspired songs, I’d love to know what your favorite marching song (stands or for field) is.  Also, if you’d like to sample some of my work, my last marching novel, Major Pain will be available for free in the Kindle store on September 1-2.  I hope you check it out.

Find Courtney online (she runs a popular marching arts Tumblr account and would love for you to follow):

Her six marching band novels are available for sale now!
Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes

And feel free to tweet: @ABenjaminAuthor


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for having me! And I do hope many of you are able to download Major Pain for free on Sunday and Monday.

Keep marching!

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