Words & Music Monday with Sandi Beth Jones



sandibjonesI learned years ago that I write best to music without lyrics or when listening to no music at all. But for my new YA  supernatural, BYRONIC, music is vital to the two main characters. I listened to several songs and bands trying to make sure I had the right fit for my two teens. Chelsea Rodgers, the heroine, is an artist. She listens to music while she creates her work. She prefers metalcore and progressive metal because they help her visualize the expressionistic style she prefers.
Her love interest, British-born Geoffrey Ramsey, is a bad boy rebel who embraces loud, screamo music, as well as the bands Chelsea prefers. Geoff uses music to shut out the awful things in his life. It also helps calm him down when he becomes too angry or emotional.
The mutual love of music helps bring Chelsea and Geoff together when they both realize they share a love for the band Periphery.

 The music of BYRONIC:

 Jetpacks Was Yes/Periphery

Periphery is Geoff’s favorite band, and he wears one of their t-shirts. Periphery has several hardcore songs, as well as a few ballads like this one. This is the song that Geoff is listening to in the “fireworks” scene when Chelsea finds him. This song makes me sigh every time I hear it.

Adonais/The Cure

Chelsea compares Geoff to Robert Smith (lead singer of The Cure) in one scene. Geoff has that rebellious Brit rocker look, for sure! I chose this song because it’s a tribute to Percy Shelley, the poet friend of Lord Byron and husband of Mary Shelley (Frankenstein). Adonais was Shelley’s favorite poem he’d written.

Drops of Jupiter/Train

This song was an earworm for Chelsea when she was taking a shower.  It inspired some pretty freaky things to happen. We don’t want any spoilers here so I’ll not say anything else about that scene!
Other songs that I used while writing BYRONIC:

  Here’s the Spotify link to the entire playlist:



22011427When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can’t help wondering who she’s kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father.

Starting over in the South Carolina Lowcountry is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom’s snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn’t make her feel any more at home.

Troubled and reckless after his brother’s mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father’s literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” She’s determined to keep her distance and buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them.

When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints -powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life.

It’s clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Lowcountry is what it seems.

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About the author:
Born and raised in Arkansas, Sandi Beth Jones has worked with books for the past twenty years, first as a bookseller, then as a library media specialist and teacher. She lives on a river, hoards antique books, and travels to places off the beaten path. In addition to writing for teens, she’s also published historical romances for adults. More information: sandibjones.com

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