Words & Music Monday with Orren Merton


Today’s guest post comes from an author who has a strong relationship with music both in his writing process, and elsewhere in his life. We’re so happy to be part of Orren Merton’s blog tour to introduce the first book in his new NA urban fantasy series, The Sedumen Chronicles. FIREBIRD ALEX is out TODAY!!! See cover and blurb below.


Words and Music of Firebird Alex
By Orren Merton

orrenbw1As a rock musician as well as a writer, music isn’t just in the background to me; it’s part of my soul, it’s in everything I do. I think in music as much as in words. Music tells me about who my characters really are, about what they’re like, about what’s important to them. So it should come as no surprise, when writing Firebird Alex I used music to not just inspire me, but as a way of talking to my characters.

For the first third of the story, Alexandra Gold, the “Firebird” of the story, is alone with her grief, physically and emotionally isolated. And she spoke to me through songs that spoke to her about that loneliness: “Isolation” by Joy Division, “Lost In Paradise” by Evanescence, and “Paradise” by Ember After.

She also had a secret, one that defined her and her world view: her father was not human, but a demon. This lead to songs like “Girl Anachronism” by The Dresden Dolls, “Blasphemous Rumors” and “Wrong” by Depeche Mode, and “Heaven’s a Lie” by Lacuna Coil.

As she dives into the mystery of her parentage and her entire view of reality is changed, songs like “Labyrinth” by The Cure, “Trip the Darkness” by Lacuna Coil, “Sickness” by Disturbed, and “Lie” by Black Light Burns represented her confused emotions.

Alex’s discovery is only part of the adventure: she also finds herself at the center of a murder spree. She had a companion, the tall and sincere Jake Harman. He begins as her cheerleader and co-conspirator, but of course the relationship deepens over the course of the novel. Songs like “Cars” by Gary Numan and “Breath of Life” by Florence + The Machine represented him, while “Sick of It” by Ember After, “Weatherman” by Dead Sara, and “Brackish” by Kittie spoke to me of the crime.

These weren’t the only songs I listened to while writing Firebird Alex, but I think they are a great example of the kinds of songs I used to dialog with my characters and my story. Perhaps you have some other songs that the novel brought to your mind; I hope you do, and I’d love for you to let me know in the comments!


FirebirdAlexAlex knows she’s different; other girls don’t burst into flames when they get angry. After she nearly burned the house down when she was twelve, her mother confessed that her father was a demon. 

Now eighteen and mourning the death of her mother, Alex sinks inside herself until she discovers a dagger that can open a portal into her father’s realm. Although she yearns to meet her father, nothing terrifies her more. When an unknown threat from across the portal menaces her friends and her loved ones, Alex knows she must act.

Alex will do anything to save her friends—even risk appealing to her father. She knows that to face a tormentor from across the portal, she’ll need to learn to fight fire with fire.

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