I have been waiting so long for this Y.A. romance novel, #LouderThanWords, to come out! I am so happy, I’m jumping around like a Mexican Jumping Bean. And, to make the release even extra special for me, the author, the lovely Iris St. Clair, put together a special post for me and all of you. I’m so thrilled for Iris I can’t contain myself! Squeeeee!!!. Time to run around and go tell more people the great news. In the meantime, enjoy Iris’ post. I expect to hear a lot of singing going on, folks. Oh, and make sure you scroll down to the bottom to enter the #Giveaway!!
Louder Than Words Playlist
I can’t write to music, but I am inspired by it. When I’m driving, my music is playing and I’m often plotting (in addition to minding the road). Music helps set the mood for those mobile mullings. I asked fellow GMMG author, Heather Van Fleet, on Twitter the other day why playlists appeal to readers and I found her answer intriguing. She wrote: “I love playlists because it gives readers the mindset into what an author is feeling/thinking during writing.”
Here are a few songs from the Louder playlist and the why behind my choice. Usually a few lines of lyrics snag my attention. Sometimes it’s the timbre of the singer’s voice. Other times it’s the tempo or atmospheric quality of the song. So, dear readers, hop aboard the carnival ride that is my mind for a few minutes.
1. Bad Day by Daniel Powter.
Louder Than Words opens with a cowering heroine, Ellen. She’s in the girls rooming hiding from a shocking, appalling, confusing experience. Throughout much of the book, there is this sense of this poor girl having one crappy day after another. At the risk of sending listeners shrieking from the room because this song’s been played to death, I still had to choose it. But because you already know Louder Than Words is a romance, you can trust that I’ll give you a happy ending. The lyrics may be about a bad day, but there’s a fun piano score to leave you with the promise that no matter your troubles, it’s really not you … it’s just a bad day.
2. Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
I chose this one because of the pessimistic / optimistic banter between the female and male lead singers. Their playful back and forth belied the serious content of the lyrics. It reminded me a lot of Ellen and Rex and their “little” talks with him pumping her up with his positive outlook.
Her: I don’t like walking around this old and empty house
Him: So hold my hand, I’ll walk with you, my dear
Her: The stairs creak as I sleep, it’s keeping me awake
Him: It’s the house telling you to close your eyes
(Lyrics by Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson
3. Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey
I related two elements of this song to the Louder characters. The husky opening lines set a James Dean vibe. For you young’uns (myself included), James was one of the first “bad boys” of cinema. He’s also mentioned in the lyrics. Weaving in and out of this sultry yearning for a possibly unattainable boy is an ethereal chorus of “I will love you til the end of time.”
4. Breathe In by Frou Frou
Okay, I picked this one mostly because I just love everything by Frou Frou and Imogen Heap (female vocalist of Frou Frou), but this song has always made me think of Ellen and her longing and patience for the day when she could finally win the one she loves.
And I’m high enough from all the waiting
To ride a wave on your inhaling
Cause I love you, no?
Can’t help but love you, no…
(Lyrics by Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth)
It’s got a nice jaunty sound with a strong bass line so there’s a little bit of a push pull between the lyrics and the music that hooked me. And how, exactly, do you ride a wave on someone’s inhaling? And how high would you need to be to do it? Food for thought, that. LOL
5. If You’re Not The One by Daniel Bedingfield
This one I love because it’s a man trying to convince the object of his affections why they are right for each other despite her misgivings. He’s not going to give up on her. His persistence and absolute confidence that she is THE one for him, woos me like Rex did Ellen.
If you want to listen to the entirety of the Louder Than Words playlist, check it out on Spotify. The entire 56 minute list is comprised of:
- Come With Me Now by the Kongos
- Bad Day by Daniel Powter
- Hurricane by MS MR
- Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
- Hot N Cold by Katy Perry
- My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
- Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey
- I’m With You by Avril Lavigne
- Breathe In by Frou Frou
- If You’re Not The One by Daniel Bedingfield
- Message to My Girl by the Split Enz
- A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
- Best Day of My Life by American Authors
- My Secret Place by Joni Mitchell
Release Date: 09/16/14
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson’s life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.
Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can’t let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm’s length.
But by the time Rex’s charm wears down her resistance, it’s too late. He’s put Ellen on the “just friends” shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it’s the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.
About the Author
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that’s another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.
Iris believes in the two-year “fish or cut bait” dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.
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