Words & Music Monday with Allison Pang

Happy Monday, my lovelies! How would you like to have an enchanted iPod that played a neverending supply of whatever music you wanted to hear?? Um… yeah… me, too. 🙂 Allison Pang created just such a trinket for her main character, Abby Sinclair. You can read all about Abby, Brystion, and the rest of the crew in A BRUSH OF DARKNESS, and the soon to be released A SLIVER OF SHADOW. (Do yourself a favor, go… buy… read… now…!)

I’m thrilled that the imaginer of such a fantastic device wanted to share some of her musical inspirations with us.

You might say I’m a bit of an audiophile. There’s very little of any day that goes by where I don’t listen to some form of music – from my commute, to sitting in my little cubical at work, and yes, when I write.  (I’m actually enough of a music snob that when I bought my new car back in August, I replaced all the speakers and added an amp and subwoofer in the trunk.  Might be a bit extreme, but living outside of DC means I’m stuck sitting in traffic for hours at a time, so I might as well rock out while I do it.)

That being said, much of that musical love is often translated into the Abby Sinclair books. There are a lot of musical characters – Melanie plays violin, Brystion sings, Abby was a dancer.  All of them have dealings with music in some form or another. (And in Abby’s case, she has a magic iPod with an infinite number of songs – this is loosely based on my own iPod which has over 16,000 songs on it. Seriously, sometimes I feel like the crazy cat lady of music – I hoard as much of it as I can. I don’t have a favorite type of music either. I put it on random and let it go.)

As far as the songs in the books go, sometimes it’s fairly specific – i.e. Abby’s love of Tom Jones. That was done on purpose for plot reasons (a connection with her mother.) Sometimes it’s a favorite song that fits a scene…and sometimes it’s just whatever I happened to be listening to at the time I was writing.

I am aware that some readers don’t like it when specific songs are named in books – they feel that it either dates the book or that it pulls them out of the story. I’ve also had readers email me to tell me they’ve discovered new music they weren’t aware of too, so YMMV. I can’t argue one way or the other about the pulling out part, but I don’t think song names necessarily date a book anymore –  especially given the ability to buy and download all sorts of music now.

(Although, I do have to admit I did get some flack in some early contest days where judges indicated that there was no way Abby would listen to Tom Jones since he was too old for her. Which might or might not be true, but it needed to be in there.)

For fun, here’s a little breakdown of the music in A Brush of Darkness and A Sliver of Shadow:

Brush of Darkness:

She’s a Lady – Tom Jones

Last of the Wilds – Night Wish

Sex Bomb – Tom Jones

Laid – James

The Lemon Song – Led Zeppelin

Crazy Bitch – Buck Cherry *uncensored*

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

You Know I’m No Good – Amy Winehouse

Danse Macabre – Saint-Saëns

Under the Blacklight – Rilo Kiley

Sliver of Shadow:

Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In – The 5th Dimension

The Hustle – Van McCoy

Rock Lobster  – B-52’s

Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

Joker & the Thief – Wolfmother

Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield

Defying Gravity  – Wicked

Bad Romance – Lady GaGa

Poker Face – Lady GaGa

Kashmir – Led Zeppelin  (the David Garrett version)

Big thank you goes out to Allison for sharing some of her book playlists with us. For those of you who’ve read A Brush of Darkness, are there any surprises?? Did any of you find any new music to add to YOUR iPod rotation??


  1. Comment by James R. Tuck:

    Hell yes my fellow Word Whore. I know exactly how you feel. I am a certified music hoarder also. lol.

    Last count I have right around 340 gigs of music.(God help if anything happens to the hard drives they are on.)

  2. Comment by Jennifer:

    The two of you are KILLING my paycheck… all this new music I have to buy. But I suppose if it HAS to die… this is a good way to go, lol!!

  3. Ping from Huzzah | Heart of the Dreaming:

    […] I’m over at Books Make Me Happy today, talking about music and writing and a bit about the music you see in BoD and […]

  4. Comment by Lisa Kessler:

    Oh I love Defying Gravity from Wicked!!! Great song!

    Great playlist Allison!!!

    Lisa 🙂

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