Today, First We Were IV author Alexandra Sirowy drops by to share her playlist for her upcoming book – in stores on Tuesday! – plus, we’ve got your chance to win a copy of the book and some other amazing prizes. So keep reading for all the details!
In FIRST WE WERE IV, four best friends invent a secret society to bond them for life. They play pranks on their small town, and when their success makes the Order of IV a legend, other kids want in. What starts for fun, turns into a quest for revenge, quickly escalating and ultimately costing one of the four friends their life.
From book to book, even chapter to chapter, the only constants in my writing process are my laptop and music. Drafting and editing FIRST WE WERE IV was no different. I used playlists to create real-life atmosphere that transported me to the place I needed to be. FWWIV’s elements of suspense, fantasy, mystery, and love made each day of writing feel distinct from the day before. Music inspired me and helped me braid these threads together.
But music played a much bigger role in FIRST WE WERE IV. Here’s a peek:
Harry grinned and lifted up on his knees for a stack of records on his dresser. “I’ve been searching for the perfect song.”
“And you think it might be hiding on one of these?” I tapped a black disc on its paper sleeve. He had hundreds, on shelves, in piles, on the floor—almost every surface covered in vinyl.
“Not anymore. I listened to them and it isn’t here,” he said.
I could imagine that all the light in his eyes came from listening to music, a fleck of gold added with each note. “How will you know it when you hear it?”
Harry and Izzie, two of FWWIV’s protagonists, bond over music, and throughout the course of the book, Harry hunts for the perfect song – his song. Music is his heartbeat. I can’t imagine Harry – or Izzie, Viv, and Graham for that matter – without songs playing in my head. Here are a few of the songs that helped me see the four of them swimming in Viv’s pool, performing their initiation rites, or reaping havoc on their small coastal town.
Viv is a human whirlwind, drama department starlet, vintage clothing enthusiast, and brings flare to the group. Two of my favorite songs to put me in a Viv state-of-mind: Shut Up by Anya Marina and The Greatest by Sia.
Harry is a contemplative school news blogger and day dreamer with headphones on. He’s completely satisfied with the four friends’ outcast-status in school. Whenever I hear Ruth B.’s Lost Boy or The Lumineers Cleopatra I see Harry’s sun-flecked eyes and his quiet smile.
Izzie is a loyal friend who’d do anything to keep her tiny group hanging out even after they all go their separate ways for college. She’s a quirky, sentimental, pizza loving artist, but she has a dangerous streak, especially when she and Graham are together. There isn’t a risk she wouldn’t take for her friends – or for their secret society. Not Gonna Let You Walk Away by Lolo and Renegades by X Ambassadors helped me channel Izzie.
And lastly, there’s Graham. Rebellious. Brainy. Charismatic. And Izzie’s partner in crime. Graham isn’t satisfied with going through the motions, he wants their secret society to have it all – rituals, initiations, rules, recruits, and history. Graham, like his three best friends, has secrets. While writing him I listened to It Ain’t Me by Selena Gomez & Kygo, Unsteady by X Ambassadors, and All Time Low by Jon Bellion.
And finally, one of the many songs I kept on repeat as I wrote FWWIV’s last chapters…Horns by Bryce Fox. It’s the perfect everything’s-spinning-out-of-control song.
I’d love to hear what music FIRST WE WERE IV made you think of! Tweet me @AlexandraSirowy
A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.
Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.
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Alexandra Sirowy is the author of the young adult thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker Award® Nominated THE TELLING, and the upcoming FIRST WE WERE IV. Alexandra attended a women’s college as an undergrad and received her graduate degree in International Studies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to travel, read, eat, and get into mischief. She lives with her husband in Northern California.
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The winner of this contest will receive:
- 1 signed hard cover copy of FIRST WE WERE IV
- Fujuifilm instax mini 9 Polaroid camera in smoky white (& film) like the one in the book!
- Strand of gold stars
- FIRST WE WERE IV swag (temporary tattoos & bookmarks)
- Evie Seo Designed Tote Bag
I love X Ambassadors and now part of this playlist is stuck in my head. Music is so integral in our lives.
These songs are amazing especially The Greatest by Sia! Thanks for the post.
I have to admit, a lot of these songs I’ve never even heard of so I’ll definitely have to look them up. ?