People often ask me where I came up with the idea for my book THE PLAYLIST. The answer is easy. It all began with the music.
I grew up in a house filled with songs. My mother loved everything from Motown to Kenny Rogers to Neil Diamond. And my father was always buying me and my siblings cassette tapes so we could record our favorite songs during Casey Kasem's Top 40. Music was not just a part of my life, it was a part of my soul.
A few years back, my family and I were on a plane heading to Florida to visit my in-laws. As was typical, I was listening to music on my iPod, and as I scrolled through song after song, a story started to emerge. It began with the song "Melissa" by The Allman Brothers. I remember thinking somewhere in the world there's a girl named Melissa who knows this song was written just for her. From there, every song that followed added to the story of a girl named Melissa O'Mally, who is called Mel by her friends and family. Soon I had a picture of the guy who would sing her this song, Jackson Grey, lead singer of a local band.
My book is based around the idea that our lives have a soundtrack, a series of songs that capture the memories and milestones of our lives, like a playlist on an iPod. My novel tells the story of Mel and Jack, twenty-somethings who fall in love and watch that love get torn apart when the demons from their pasts rear their ugly heads. Instead of chapters, my book has tracks. I selected songs that span all decades and genres from Van Morrison to Pearl Jam to Lady Gaga.
In my book, music brings people together, makes them laugh and makes them cry. For me, music has a special kind of magic. No matter how I'm feeling, the right song reminds me that somewhere in the world, someone is feeling the exact same way. Music reminds me that I am never alone.
So it started me thinking. What would my life's playlist be? What songs remind me of the milestones and memories of my life? I quickly realized I had no choice over the songs that transported me to my 3rd grade classroom, a middle school dance, a college roadtrip, a tragic death, a new love...
So, if my life had a soundtrack, here is my playlist:
Earliest memory of my parents:
"Through the Years" -Kenny Rogers
My younger sister:
"Silly Love Songs" -Wings
"Jessie's Girl" -Rick Springfield
"When Doves Cry" -Prince
"Thriller" -Michael Jackson
"Dress You Up" -Madonna
"In the Air Tonight" -Phil Collins
"More Than A Feeling" -Boston
"Express Yourself" -Madonna
"Bust A Move" -Young MC
"Perfect Circle" -REM
"Don't Look Back In Anger" -Oasis
"I'm Still Remembering" -Cranberries
My older sister:
"Left Me Far Behind" -Candlebox
My younger brother:
Every song by the Dave Matthews Band
"Into The Mystic" -Van Morrison
"Smile" -Pearl Jam
"Knee Deep" -Zac Brown Band
"Rainbow Connection" -The Muppets
"Bubble Toes" -Jack Johnson
"Uptown Funk" -Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
My Teaching Career:
"On Top of the World" - Imagine Dragons
"Fight Song" -Rachel Platten
So, if your life had a soundtrack, what would your playlist be?