February 27, 2014

Band Geek Thursday: SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron

Hey, Misfiteers! Welcome back to Band Geek Thursday! Today we've got a guest post from Erica Cameron, author of the upcoming Sing Sweet Nightingale, which releases from Spencer Hill Press on March 4! Not only is the cover gorgeous, and not only are the words gorgeous, but Erica's got some pretty gorgeous music to go with it, too. So without further ado, check out the songs that provide the backdrop to YA's newest nightingale!


So, Dahlia asked me one day, “Do you want to post a playlist on the site?”

And I went, “Well, I don’t write with specific music… but I have songs I find later that relate. Will that work?”

Luckily, my darling Dahlia said yes, so here we are!
My debut novel Sing Sweet Nightingale has a strange relationship with music. The book was inspired by music. Two songs in particular: “Creation Lake” by Silversun Pickups and “Mariella” by Kate Nash (which I named my female narrator after). After that, though music plays a part in the story, I wasn’t attached to any sort of writing soundtrack. In fact, while writing the very first draft of this novel (which in no way resembles the book the world will read in March), I didn’t listen to music at all. I watched disaster movies.

After the book was written, I started hearing songs that reminded me of my world or my characters. Eventually, I made a list with the idea that I would post the songs on the series website one day. When Dahlia asked me about a playlist, I went back to my old list of songs. After some updating to reflect the massive revisions SSN has undergone this year, I split my list up into three categories, one for each of my two narrators and one for the world in general. Some of the songs match the story more literally than others, but they all capture a moment or a feeling in some way.

Before I get into the music, here’s some more about Sing Sweet Nightingale!

Mariella Teagen hasn’t spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow causes the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella’s life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

It’s wonderfully creeptastic. :D

And now, music!

General: The songs in this section are in no special order, but they all reflect the story or the relationship between two or more of the characters in some form.

Creation Lake – Silversun Pickups
This song is haunting and beautiful, but it was this one line in particular (“There's 24 parts in a day that divides me from you”) that caught my brain and made me ask, “Well, what about the 25th hour?”

The Lightning Strike – Snow Patrol
There are some songs that take over my entire brain when I hear them. This is one of them. Also, I’d quote lyrics, but there are too many that have significance cause this song is about fifteen minutes long.

Speed the Collapse – Metric
An incredible song from a powerful band, this song is a strange blend of hope and fear and strength and mistakes. Just like my characters. “And then the storm was overhead/All the oceans boiled and rivers bled/We auctioned off our memories/In the absence of a breeze/Scatter what remains

Afraid – The Neighbourhood
Hudson and Mariella have been to a world most people don’t know exists, a place of magic and possibilities and a darkness hiding under it all. This song reminds me of that double-sided battle. “Keep on dreaming, don't stop breathing, fight those demons/And sell your soul, not your whole self/If they see it when you're sleeping, make them leave it/And I can't even see if it's out there

Female Robbery – The Neighbourhood
Another song from the same band as the previous, but the connection to SSN is most obvious in this section here: “I'm thinking they'll know just about everything,/I bet they planned it all out,/Like the shows/Went everywhere I go./Walked into the store right behind me,/Stood in line right beside me and followed me to my home./ I'm sure they figured it out early on/That I would never run./That they could shoot but that's not fun,/Cause then they're killing their stolen son.

Cosmic Love – Florence + The Machine
There’s something about Florence + The Machine and Sing Sweet Nightingale. I don’t know what it is, but her music really connects to my world. Several of her songs on this list! In Cosmic Love I’ll call out this particular section: “No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight/In the shadow of your heart/And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat/I tried to find the sound/But then it stopped and I was in the darkness/So darkness I became

No Light, No Light – Florence + The Machine
In this song, I especially love this section: “You are the hole in my head/You are the space in my bed/You are the silence in between/What I thought and what I said

This Place is a Prison – Postal Service
There's guards at the on ramps armed to the teeth/and you may case the grounds from the Cascades to Puget Sound,/but you are not permitted to leave”—There’s so many reasons this section makes it on to my list <3

Sing Sweet Nightingale - General by Jenny Kacz on Grooveshark

Hudson: Hudson is strong and broken and beautiful and scarred and I adore him. The songs here are in a special order that relates to his journey through the course of the book, but I don’t want to spoil too much, so I won’t say much more! For each song I’ll just highlight either my favorite section or the part that best reflects the book.

Anthem of the Angels – Breaking Benjamin
There is nothing left of you/I can see it in your eyes/Sing the anthem of the angels/And say the last goodbye/I keep holding onto you/But I can't bring you back to life/Sing the anthem of the angels/And say the last goodbye

Leaving Tonight – The Neighbourhood
I'm leaving tonight,/I'll be gone in the morning./I saw it from afar,/But my eyes have always fooled me/It looked to me like all the sidewalks started walking./I swear to God the voices wouldn't shut up,/I figured it all to be love,/But this isn't lovely.

Pompeii – Bastille
Oh where do we begin?/The rubble or our sins?/And the walls kept tumbling down/In the city that we love/Grey clouds roll over the hills/Bringing darkness from above/But if you close your eyes,/Does it almost feel like/Nothing changed at all?/And if you close your eyes,/Does it almost feel like/You've been here before?/How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

Heartbeats – Royal Teeth
To call for hands of above to lean on/Wouldn't be good enough for me, oh/And you, you knew the hand of the devil/And you kept us awake with wolves teeth/Sharing different heartbeats in one night/To call for hands of above to lean on

It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
So this is where you fell/And I am left to sell/The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell/Right to the top/Don't look back/Turning the rags and giving the commodities a rain check/I don't ever wanna let you down/I don't ever wanna leave this town

Time is Running Out – Muse
I think I'm drowning/Asphyxiated/I wanna break this spell/That you've created/You're something beautiful/A contradiction/I wanna play the game/I want the friction/You will be the death of me

Wanted – Vanessa Carlton
I have wandered far and wide/for something real something to die for/but I have found you and you do not see/all that is me all that is true/I am more than you will see,/I am more than you will need,/I am more than you will see,/more than wanted

I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
If Heaven and Hell decide/That they both are satisfied/Illuminate the "No"'s on their vacancy signs/If there's no one beside you/When your soul embarks/Then I'll follow you into the dark

Sing Sweet Nightingale - Hudson by Jenny Kacz on Grooveshark

Mariella was probably the hardest narrator I’ve ever tried to write. She’s stubborn and complex and strong, which is good. She needs to be all those things in this book. Like Hudson’s songs, the list below is in a special order that reflects her state of mind in different moments. No spoilers, but there’s a lot of good stuff here! 

Mariella – Kate Nash
Like “Creation Lake”, this song is the other half of my inspiration. And the reason she’s named Mariella! Also, my inspiration for her silence: “She got some prittstick/And she glued her lips together/So she never had to speak

Private Radio – Vanessa Carlton
When the night comes/When no one knows/I can hear it/I've got my private radio/Find me out of my pillow/'Cause I'm lyin' here, but I am ready good to go/And on a whim I leave this town

Rinse – Vanessa Carlton
She'd do anything to sparkle in his eye/She would suffer, she would fight, and compromise/She's been wishin' on the stars that shine so bright/For answers to the questions that will haunt her tonight

Eet – Regina Spektor
It's like forgetting the words to your favorite song./You can't believe it; you were always singing along./It was so easy and the words so sweet./You can't remember; you try to feel the beat./…/You spend half of your life trying to fall behind./You're using your headphones to drown out your mind./It was so easy and the words so sweet./You can't remember; you try to move your feet.

Pretty Baby – Vanessa Carlton
You light me up and then I fall for you/You lay me down and then I call for you/Stumbling on reasons that are far and few/I'd let it all come down and then some for you/Pretty baby don't you leave me/I have been saving smiles for you/Pretty baby why can't you see/You're the one that I belong to

Drumming Song – Florence + The Machine
There's a drumming noise inside my head/That starts when you're around/I swear that you could hear it/It makes such an all mighty sound/There's a drumming noise inside my head/That throws me to the ground/I swear that you should hear it/It makes such an all mighty sound/Louder than sirens/Louder than bells/Sweeter than heaven/And hotter than hell

Hurricane – MS MR
Welcome to the inner workings of my mind/So dark and foul I can't disguise/Can't disguise/Nights like this/I become afraid/Of the darkness in my heart

Bring me to Life – Evanescence
How can you see into my eyes like open doors?/Leading you down into my core where I’ve become so numb/Without a soul my spirit's sleeping somewhere cold/Until you find it there and lead it back home

Thistle & Weeds – Mumford & Sons
Spare me your judgements and spare me your dreams/Cause recently mine have been tearing my seams/I sit alone in this winter clarity which clouds my mind/Alone in the wind and the rain you left me/It's getting dark darling, too dark to see/And I'm on my knees, and your faith in shreds, it seems

Wake Me Up – Avicii+Aloe Blacc
Feeling my way through the darkness/Guided by a beating heart/I can't tell where the journey will end/But I know where to start/They tell me I'm too young to understand/They say I'm caught up in a dream/Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes

Blinding – Florence + The Machine
Everything. I can’t quote from this song because it’s everything. All of it.

Sing Sweet Nightingale - Mariella by Jenny Kacz on Grooveshark

Erica Cameron knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That piece wasn’t her best work, but it got her an A. After college, she used her degree in Psychology and Creative Writing to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality. Sing Sweet Nightingale will be published in March 2014 by Spencer Hill Press. It is her first novel. 

A short story called “Whatever It Takes” released August 27th, 2013, in an anthology called Doorways to Extra Time. The story gives readers an early peek into The Dream War Saga universe. “Whatever It Takes” follows a girl named Valari as she tries to save her best friend Will and includes time travel, mistakes, ass-kicking, and love.

You can pre-order Sing Sweet Nightingale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or The Book Depository!

Websites: http://www.byericacameron.com and http://www.thedreamwarsaga.com

To Order Doorways to Extra Time:


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