Words & Music Monday with Jennifer Estep

One thing I’ve learned since starting this feature is that the number of people who read/write to music and those who do not, is about equal. I, personally, can’t listen to music with lyrics while reading/writing anything… but there are some who create awesome stories built around the feeling of the music and lyrics they choose. It’s so fascinating to me. Urban Fantasy author Jennifer Estep is one of those who, although she appreciates music, doesn’t use it for writing inspiration.

Greetings! First of all, I want to say thanks to Jennifer for hosting me on the blog today. Thanks so much, Jennifer!

So today, Jennifer wanted me to write something on music. I know a lot of authors listen to music as they write and create playlists for their books and characters – but not me.

Don’t get me wrong. I like music, but I just can’t listen to it while I write. I’m one of those folks who needs what I call dead freaking silence to write. That’s just how I work best. Even on the rare occasion when I do put a CD on when I’m writing, I’ll often just tune out the music entirely, and the CD will be over with without me having really listened to it.

I’ve done a couple of playlists for my books, but I always feel tragically unhip when it comes to music. Plus, songs and playlists are so subjective. What I think ties in with a scene or character may seem like it belongs with a completely different scene or character to someone else. If you want one [theme] song, I would say that “Human” by The Pretenders is a good fit for Gin Blanco in my Elemental Assassin series.

I like musicians like Jimmy Buffett, Kelly Clarkson, and The Killers (some of my favs would be Sam’s Town (Abbey Road version); Losing Touch; and Smile Like You Mean It) and whatever’s on the radio when I’m in the car. Beyond that, I couldn’t tell you much about music, and I never know who sings what song. In fact, when my significant other and I go out to eat and there’s music playing, he’ll often ask me who the band is. Even if I know the song, I usually have no idea who actually recorded it. Of course, he almost always knows who sings what.

Ask me about books, movies, and TV shows, and I’ll talk your ear off. Ask me about music, and I’ll probably run out of things to say pretty quickly. I just don’t feel like I know a lot about music.

I don’t listen to music while I write, but I will crank up the volume when I’m doing other stuff, like updating my blog or social media sites. Plus, rocking out helps when it comes to chores like cleaning out my office. That’s what I use music the most for – to entertain myself and make the time go by a little quicker when I’m doing things like housework.

What about you guys? Do you listen to music while you write? Who are some of your favorite bands and songs?

**There’s a copy of tomorrow’s new release, BY A THREAD up for grabs to one random commenter, so let’s hear it. I’d love to see what fans of the series think should be on a playlist. Post a band or song you think would fit this series or a specific character, and why. If you can’t think of a playlist song, you can still enter by posting a personal band/song favorite.** Contest ends at midnight tonight, pacific time. Winner will be chosen and notified at close of contest. Please include your first name and email address in your comment for notification. We would love to see playlist songs from all fans, but the contest is US entrants only, this time. Good Luck.

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Estep writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional South­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vam­pires, and ele­men­tals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. By a Thread, the sixth book in the series, will be released on Feb. 28.

 Jennifer writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. She is also the author of the Bigtime superhero paranormal romance series. For more information, excerpts, and more, visit Jennifer’s website at www.jenniferestep.com.


  1. Comment by Anne:

    I am not a musically inclined person. I used to listen to the radio in the car, but have switched to audio books which helps me make a slight dent in my TBR list. When I do listen to the radio I switch between contemporary country, pop, rock and oldies. I have read posts by many authors who say they listen to music while they write, but I don’t feel I’d be able to focus.

    Looking forward to the next installment of Gin and friends.


  2. Comment by Jennifer Estep:

    Anne — Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the series. That’s a good idea about listening to audiobooks to help whittle down your TBR pile.

  3. Comment by Carolyn Berthelot:

    Three Days Grace would fit some of the fight scenes really well because many of their songs are powerful (noise-wise) and gritty. “Are You Ready,” “i Hate Everything About You,” and “Home” are three that come to mind


  4. Comment by Jennifer Estep:

    Carolyn — I haven’t heard of them. I’ll have to check them out sometime.

  5. Comment by Amy:

    I can’t think of a song/artist that would fit this series/characters. I think a rock song would be fitting for a badass character like Gin. However, I don’t really listen to hard rock. Some bands I like are Daughtry, Rascal Flatts.


  6. Comment by may:

    I am not someone that can listen to music and work at the same time! I would think something fast and a bit edgy? Gin is such an unique character that I can’t think of any song that would suit her….

  7. Comment by Brandy:

    Cage the Elephant. The song ‘Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked’. If you watch Leverage they used the music for the season 2 commercials. The lyrics are kind of perfect for Gin’s world, though. Every time I hear it I have it in my head for days 🙂

  8. Comment by Jennifer Estep:

    Amy — You could be right. Maybe a rock song would best describe Gin.

    May — I can’t really do that either. I always just end up tuning out the music completely.

    Brandy — I have heard that song. I think it’s catchy too.

  9. Comment by Paranormal Haven:

    Whenever I read about Gin cooking at the Pork Pit, I can imagine hearing some Stevie Ray Vaughan in the back ground.

    Stephanie G

  10. Comment by Jennifer Estep:

    Paranormal Haven — I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll have to check out some of those songs.

  11. Comment by Jennifer:

    Hi everyone! Sorry to leave you all to your own devices for so long… just got home from work. Looks like there are some pretty interesting suggestions coming in!! Thanks, everyone! And thank you to Jennifer for popping in and checking on things! We’ve still got a few more hours for people to enter to win tomorrow’s new release!!! So keep those songs coming!!

  12. Comment by donnas1:

    I think Cake and Cage the Elephant would have some good matches.Especially some of their more recent works (well for Cake that is).

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  13. Comment by Toni:

    I think Linkin Park would be great for those dramatic assassination scenes!

    Rubylin53 at gmail dot com

  14. Comment by whitewolfreads:

    I love the Cage the Elephant and Linkin Park suggestions! I would also suggest Club Foot by Kasabian.

  15. Comment by whitewolfreads:

    Oops forgot my email: whitewolfreads AT gmail DOT com

  16. Comment by Jennifer Estep:

    Jennifer — Thanks for hosting me on the blog. I appreciate it.

    Donna — I’m not familiar with them. I’ll have to check them out sometime.

    Toni — I hadn’t thought of them, but you might be right.

    Whitewolf — I’ll have to check those out.

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