Words & Music Monday with Lisa Kessler

What… it’s no longer Monday, you say?? Not so… it’s only 9:25 on the west coast!! My attempt to catagorize and simplify my email wreaked havoc on me today, lol. The best laid plans of mice, men, & bloggers, ugh, lol. In any case…

Today’s guest is one of my favorite people to chat with, and has some really AWESOME reads out there!! Lisa Kessler is no stranger to this blogsite, and I’m so happy to have her back today to talk tunes with us.

I’m excited to be on Jennifer’s Books Make Me Happy blog today!

It’s pretty common in this age of iTunes and mp3 for writers to make playlists for their novels.  The music may inspire the tone of the book, or sometimes it’s to drown out the rest of the world while writing, and sometimes it can encourage you to keep typing even when you feel like you can’t write another word.

But I think there’s another huge benefit of a good book playlist…


When I signed my four-book deal with Entangled for my Night Series, I quickly discovered that my book playlists REALLY helped to instantly send me back to my Night Walker world while I was editing!

Although Night Walker has only been on book store shelves for a couple of weeks, I actually wrote the book years ago.  I’ve done edits and made tweaks to it, but when I got my first round edit letter, I hadn’t really looked at the book in almost a year.  I’d been busy writing a new series that was very gritty and contemporary, so jumping back into my Night Walker world of cultured, ancient immortals was a little jarring…

Until I fired up my Night Walker playlist!

I was stunned how clicking the play button instantly transported me back into the world I wrote a few years ago!  Once the edits were in and I waited for the next round, I opened Book 2, Night Demon, which I hadn’t visited in ages.  I cued up the playlist and Bam!  I was right there where I’d been when I first hovered over the keyboard into the wee hours of the morning.

Similar to Pavlov’s dog theory, I think the music memory really helps.  If you were growing up in the 80’s, who doesn’t hear “I had the time of my life” and not immediately think of Dirty Dancing?  If you hear Celine Dion belting out “My Heart will go on” in the dentist’s office, doesn’t the Titanic pop into your head?

Am I the only one? LOL

For my Moon series, I had “I wanna do bad things with you” on my playlist, and when I hear it, I don’t think of the True Blood series on HBO, instead I’m immediately with the steamy passionate wolves.

So when I’m forced to jump between projects, the book playlists really help me shift gears and get back in the right frame of mind for the current work…

When I wrote Night Walker, Calisto had waited over two hundred years for his love to live again, and the night he finally sees her again, she has no memory of him.

It was powerfully passionate, and so is the playlist…

The entire movie soundtrack for the Mask of Zorro was on the playlist including the Marc Anthony duet “I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You” which became one of Calisto and Kate’s theme songs.  It’s really romantic if you want to look it up… J

The playlist also has all of the classical piano pieces that Calisto and Kate play in the book.  I wrote those scenes while listening to the music.  I hope it comes through in the writing.

Come What May” from Moulin Rouge also played often, along with “Cry Little Sister” from The Lost Boys soundtrack.

And like magic, when I hear those songs, I’m with Calisto and Kate all over again! J

What about you?  Have you found your creative mind associates certain books or characters to the music you listened to while you created them?

Thanks for chiming in today!  And thanks for having me on the blog! J


PS – The Night Walker book trailer music is the piano piece Calisto plays in the book during a very dark angry point…  Enjoy! J


  1. Comment by Lisa Kessler:

    Thanks for having me on your blog Jennifer!!! And yes it’s still Monday over on this coast!!! LOL 🙂

  2. Comment by jannashay:

    Hi Lisa – I’m commenting a little late, but it’s still Monday on the west coast. It’s acutally 11:40 pm.
    Loved your post and your play list for Night Walker. When I write I listen to music and like you, when I hear that music, it brings me back to the book I wrote while listening to it.

  3. Comment by Lisa Kessler:

    Thanks Janna!!! Glad to hear I’m not the only one who hears a song and in transported to the characters from my books! LOL

    Thanks for commenting!

    Lisa 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *