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  • christinedoremiller

The Soundtrack of the Starry-Eyed

Updated: May 5, 2019

When I began the journey of writing this novel a couple years ago, I started by first creating the main characters: Andrea, Josh, Harper, Carter, Ethan, and Stephanie. Their descriptions, life experiences, and emotional complexities poured out of me in the early character development work. The more breath and color I added to each character, the more inspired I felt to bring a thorough integrity to this glimpse into their lives. When I was ready to tell their story, I created this Spotify playlist to represent the narrative that became Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed. This soundtrack put me deep into the headspace of Andrea's journey and I listened to it every minute that I wrote.

The playlist opens with "The Funeral" by Band of Horses, which I can perfectly envision as the ambiance of that first hazy, gripping scene in the book. I can feel "Belle of the Boulevard" by Dashboard Confessional eloquently whispering to Andrea in the height of her struggle. "Swim" by Jack's Mannequin gives her strength during a particularly dark moment, and the Leona Lewis cover of "Hurt" feels like a poignant representation of another emotionally charged scene. Jay Brannan's cover of the Cranberries hit "Zombie" speaks to Josh's intense anger and inner darkness, where oppositely "Belong" and "Stolen," more Dashboard Confessional classics, bring the much-needed fresh, romantic breeze to the soundtrack that Carter Wells brings to the story. And I can't listen to Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue" without picturing Ethan and Andrea driving to that pivotal party, singing at the top of their lungs like they could erase the past and just be airy, carefree teenagers again before reality swallowed them back up. These songs, along with the others on this playlist, became a critical part of my writing process, which, as you can probably tell, is emo and angsty as hell.

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