My Writing Playlists

Confession: I used to *never* write with music. I couldn't. Then, over the last several years something changed and now I have to listed to music when I write. For most of my books, I put together a soundtrack that I listen to for inspiration when I'm writing that particular story - songs that evoke a certain feeling, or harken to how I view my characters, or are just great songs that make my fingers fly over the keyboard.

I was recently asked if I had to name ONE song for each book I've published what it would be. This was a no-brainer. (Except for The Ties That Bind. I was still listening to other playlists while I wrote that one.)

  • Lucky Star - All of Me by John Legend
  • Trying Sophie - This Town by Niall Horan
  • Ruck Me - Perfect by Ed Sheeran
  • Ashes to Ashes - Vice by Miranda Lambert

Want to listen to the playlists yourself? Click on the buttons below.

My Writing Process and How It Came to Be

I keep seeing all these "how to" posts that will help authors write faster but no matter what I try or how often I try it, I'm just not wired that way.

I believe my approach to writing - slow and methodical, editing as I go, going back and re-reading to make sure all the details match up from one chapter to the next - stems from when I first started doing PR and was given an opportunity to write a press release. I had a time limit but I wanted to impress my manager when I passed it off, so I was meticulous about its content, flow, and pacing. The only thing I got wrong? The title (headlines are still a problem for me).

Then, as I moved up the ranks and I was the manager and became responsible for ghost writing technical articles that would be published in outlets like Computerworld and Business Week, there was no one above me to double check what I'd written before it went to the client for approval. I was the last line of defense in delivering something that wouldn't have to be re-written, which would have wasted their time and ours.

So it's no wonder then as I sit here with a chapter from Ruck Me open, I've gone over the first 1000 words with a fine toothed comb - not once but three times over the course of as many days. That paragraph about Aoife's career fair shenanigans? I've re-written a sentence four times to make sure it sounds perfect when I read it aloud.

The chapter where Eoin scores his first professional try? I watched thirty minutes of rugby footage - play, pause, rewind, play, pause, rewind - to make sure I described his movements exactly right. Eoin didn't just catch the ball and get over the goal line. He side stepped his defenders, strong arming them in the process, as he marched steadily toward his target, dragging two men behind him, his powerful thighs flexing with the strain of nearly 30 stone trying to hold him back before finally crossing that thin white line.

So yeah, that's why you'll never get a book every other month from me. Or heck, every three months. It's a miracle I've been able to write as much as I have this year.