Welcome to another Middle Grade Monday! Today we are thrilled to be the last stop for the blog tour of one of our favorite MG releases in March, The Fellowship for Alien Detection. Author Kevin Emerson stopped by to share the vocal and musical inspirations that helped him tap into his creative muse for the writing of his new book.
Be sure to also check-out the links below for a look at Kevin’s previous blog tour spots, and take a peak of my review of this classic ET adventure!
Novel Novice (Amanda): So Kevin…what does a typical writing playlist look like for you?
Songs for Scenes
All of these songs appear in a giant playlist that I write to, and they are the perfect soundtracks to different kinds of moments.
Deathcab for Cutie: You Are A Tourist: This song is for the author: it says, Wake Up! Go new places! Fear not! Go Now! Shake off the sleepies and the pesky emails, and LET’S DO THIS.
The New Pornographers: The Bleeding Heart Show: Another song that tears you out of your hum drum head and dares you to put it on the page. But this one is more intense. Perfect for writing a pivotal moment.
Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra: Mount Harissa: A mysterious, smoke-shrouded walk through a windy market alley in a far off land… through cool shadows, billows of steam, or maybe just a crowded school hallway. Either way, our character just glimpsed someone who they can’t forget, and now have to find.
Billie Holiday: What A Little Moonlight Can Do: Your character’s getting ready for a big night out feeling dapper, putting on an extra shine, and maybe a classy hat. It’s gonna feel sepia and fast-footed. The other character is going to be there. It’s gonna be on.
M. Ward: The First Time I Ran Away: Turns out this party is the disappointing same-old. When will this town ever change? But then our characters lock eyes from across the room and wordlessly say, ‘Let’s find somewhere new.’ The leave the party, slipping silently away, so happy to be invisible, to be two, and the next chapter can’t come fast enough.
of Montreal: Forecast Fascist Future: Glittering melodies, possibly in a space ship disco, “may we never go go, mental…” your two crushing characters feel like there is no limit to the dark, to the possibility, to the universe. They are breathless. And then they boogie.
Perez Prado: Perfidia: Lunch Break. Perhaps the greatest song to make a sandwich to. Dance party!
Neko Case: Middle Cyclone: Back to the story, after a run through an insane night. “To ride the bus, to the outskirts, of the fact that I need love.” The two characters don’t speak here. They just sit, maybe watching fireworks, or a burning city, aliens descending like jellyfish over a distant town, or just a blur of highway from a nearby hill. Holding hands.
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Whipped Cream: The next morning, a meet up for coffee, then the characters stroll together down the street, balancing on curbs, noticing angles of sun on building tops, seeing the thrum of life like a parade, giggly and too loud and disturbing the frowners and who cares.
Beck: Chemtrails: But then they see something they never expected. Sharing a disoriented wonder/terror at something just witnessed, something almost apocalyptic feeling, they run for shelter after having seen something that will changes their lives, their entire world, forever.
Radiohead: Reckoner: the slow-motion ballet climax of a scene, in spiral, with lots of amber and blue. Your characters are struck still in the surrounding spin, and everything is clear, but sad. They know now what they have to do, and it’s going to be hard.
Beastie Boys: Sabotage: There is no better soundtrack to an action sequence. Boom!
Elliott Smith: Bled White: the character are on an elevated highway with the sparkling just-rained-on city to your left, an ocean of darkness pricked with boats and stars to the right, and their journey is just beginning, off the last page of the book and on to the next adventure.
Novel Novice (Amanda): Well, this list may explain why I enjoyed the mood and tone of the book so much. Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Billie Holiday?! Classics! We must be auditorial soul twins!
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your musical writing journey with us! Come back again (and bring some more of that funky music, white boy!)
Click here to see my review of The Fellowship for Alien Detection from earlier this month.
Bio: Kevin Emerson has never been abducted by aliens, at least not that he remembers. He has been to Roswell, but all he found there was a cool key chain. Kevin is the author of a number of books for young readers, including the Oliver Nocturne series, Carlos Is Gonna Get It, and The Lost Code, the first book in the Atlanteans series. Kevin is also a musician. His current project is the brainiac kids’ pop band the Board of Education. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. You can visit him online at http://www.kevinemerson.net or tweet with him at @kcemerson.
Check-out other stops The Fellowship for Alien Detection blog tour took this month:
Monday, March 4th - Fat Girl Reading – Review, Author Interview & Giveaway
Tuesday, March 5th - Icey Books – Review & Giveaway
Tuesday, March 5th - Jenn’s Bookshelves – Review & Giveaway
Wednesday, March 6th - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Review & Giveaway
Friday, March 8th - Bumbles and Fairy Tales – Review, Giveaway & Author Guest Post
Saturday, March 9th - Read Now Sleep Later – Podcast Author Interview
Sunday, March 10th - Milk & Cookies: Comfort Reading – Author Guest Post: Food from Fiction
Monday, March 11th - The Write Path – Review & Giveaway
Monday, March 11th - Word Spelunking – Review, Giveaway & Video Interview with Author
Tuesday, March 12th - Buried in Books - Interview with the Characters of Alien Detection
Wednesday, March 13th - There’s a Book – Turkeybird Interview with Author
Wednesday, March 13th - The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow – Review & Giveaway
Friday, March 15th - Jean Book Nerd – Review & Giveaway
Friday, March 15th - The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow – Author Interview
Saturday, March 16th - Alison’s Book Marks – Giveaway