Monday, November 7, 2022


Every time I work on a project, I put together a playlist to help keep my mind in the right space for the atmosphere and tone. Sometimes I post them here so people can use them in their own games if they want. I never listen to music while I write, but do listen to music before writing or when I am just thinking about ideas (I like to sit and think for periods of time between writing). 

Big Sister Hong Na (illustrated by Jackie Musto)
This is the playlist I used for the Sons of Lady 87 book. When I put together a playlist I'm usually looking for songs that address the themes and topics I am working on or, more importantly, have the emotional feel of what I want the book to be. For me, whether I am watching movies or reacting to music, I am most interested in the emotion it makes me feel. Musical genre or place of origin isn't a priority, I'll include pop, rock, heavy metal, music from any country, etc, all that matters is that the overall feel reflects the writing I want to do. 

This playlist has a pretty broad range. I was seeking music that felt like it belonged in a gangster, wuxia or heroic bloodshed movie and had a real moving quality to them or created a strong sense of tensions, longing and atmosphere. Because mobster movies were a big influence, there are songs in like Speak Softly, Love. But there is also stuff like Bjork (which was the theme I used for the Big Sister Hong Na character). The lyrics for Speak Softly, Love actually appear somewhere in the Sons of Lady 87 book but I won't reveal where.

The ordering of the tracks isn't especially important to me. I just play the playlist, sometimes shuffling it. But I placed a song by Pongsit first because I feel the mood of that song captures the Sons of Lady 87 best. Pongsit is a Thai musician with writes amazing songs, and has one of the most emotional and powerful voices I've heard (and he's just as good live). I can't speak very much Thai, but the lyrics have been explained to me as being about an assassin for hire who works for a mobster and is eventually told to kill someone he doesn't want to kill, so he turns his gun on the person who hired him. I may have the details off here, as I am just going by what I was told the song is about. 

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