Please welcome to YA Misfits Seth Z. Herman and The Guardian Lineage!
First off, I cannot tell you how excited I am to be on YA Misfits. You guys are such rock stars! I am so unbelievably honored to be here.
Now, to business – a playlist for my debut, THE GUARDIAN LINEAGE, a YA/UF that’s kind of like Harry Potter meets Underworld. To be honest, I don’t listen to music when I write, because I also write music (more on that in a minute), and my brain switches into composer mode whenever I have iTunes playing. So for me to write (books), I need utter and complete silence.
But here’s a list of music that really embodies the feel of the book. Fair warning – it’s a little bit angry. Er, make that a lot-a-bit angry. But as the novel moves along, the emotions evolve, and so does the music. So keep on scrolling down, even if you don’t like the heavy metal influence towards the beginning. Also - I have it on good authority that the main character, Mike, has at least five of these songs on his old clickwheel iPod.
Because you can get the blurb on any book site anywhere (like here), I’ll give you a short excerpt, just so you can get a taste of the story’s style:
Mike stepped into the living room, his mouth agape. The place reeked of smoke. Shards of glass lay scattered around the standing lamp. Another part of the wall was waterlogged, like someone had turned on a fire hose or something. The couch was ripped to shreds, and the two metal folding chairs had been sawed in half. There were scorch marks on the wall, as if it had been sprayed with a flamethrower, and the animal’s carcass laid in the corner, unmoving, a green pool of gook spreading on the carpet.
“Michael,” Mom said, wiping blood from her cheek, “We need to talk.”
Now, without further ado, the music:
1) Heaven – Brian Adams
“I’m findin’ it hard to believe we’re in Heaven…”
Before Mike’s life got turned upside down, he was dating the most amazing girl, playing on the high school baseball team, and rocking a summer job at the town dojo. Considering he’d moved from town to town his entire life, Queens was starting to feel like heaven.
2) Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
“Trust I seek, and I find in you…”
As Mike gets to Windham Manor – his new home – he’s desperately in search of someone he can trust. Unfortunately, in a world of spies and necromancers, trust is a currency that’s hard to come by…
3) Hells Bells – AC/DC
“If you’re into evil you’re a friend of mine…”
“I won’t take no prisoners, won’t spare no lives…”
The Black Brethren are a group of necromancers hell bent on destroying the Guardians and their gargoyle clanmantes. Mike learns right off the bat that the Brethren believe very strongly in the second lyric provided above.
4) Unforgiven III – Metallica
“How could he know that this new dawn’s light would change his life forever?”
I’m sure Mike has thought about that over and over, since everything began…
5) Hero – Skillet
“It’s just another war, just another family tour…”
“I’ve got to fight today to live another day.”
War comes to Windham, sooner than Mike would like… and unfortunately, it is just another family tour…
6) Sound of Madness – Shinedown
“Yeah, I get it, you’re an outcast, always under attack.”
When rumors fly of a spy at Windham, and everyone think it’s Mike, he puts this song on repeat and blasts it through his ears…
7) One Day – Matisyahu
“One day we’ll all be free, and proud to be, under the same sun singing songs of freedom…”
Everyone’s dream, yet all the more potent when people are trying to kill you…
8) The Path – Zvi Herman (ft. Kenny Schames)
“The world we live in breeds mass confusion, impossible to tell real from illusion”
So, yeah, I write music also. No biggie. If your curiosity is bursting, email me and I’ll give you the link (see? this isn’t just a blatant self-plug). Anyway, this song is my favorite, for many reasons… but it’s definitely tied to the book, because in Mike’s world, nothing is as it seems, and it is literally “impossible to tell real from illusion.”
9) I Just Want You – Ozzy Osbourne
“There are no unwinable wars”
Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like that…
10) Don’t Cry – Guns & Roses
“And don’t you cry tonight… there’s a heaven above you baby…”
Without giving too much away, at the end of the novel, Mike’s probably got this song going through his head…
Growing up with a strange combination of Clancy, Crichton, Tolkien, and Rowling probably gave birth to Seth Z. Herman’s YA/fantasy/thriller style of writing. Seth hails from Queens, New York, where he grew up as an (admittedly sheltered) Orthodox Jew. A lifetime of experiences later, he now lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three children, where he poses as a rabbi teaching Judaic studies at an American post-high-school seminary.