Author: Stephanie Lawton
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Pages: 295 paperback
It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.
Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.
None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.
I am absolutely THRILLED to have author, Stephanie Lawton on the blog today! She recently (as in yesterday!) released her newest book with Evernight Teen, Shrapnel. Shrapnel sounds like it is just one giant bundle of awesome. I mean with old war sites, a paranormal reality show, ghosts, and three teens with special abilities, how could you really go wrong!?!? The answer is, you cannot go wrong; it’s just not possible. Stephanie has put together some pretty amazing things for you guys today. First we have a guest post entitled Haunting Melodies & Southern Flare and second we have my favorite, a book playlist! Enjoy!
Haunting Melodies and Southern Flare
By Stephanie Lawton
When starting a new story, some writers outline. Some do research. Others fill out character profiles. I do all those things, but I also put together playlists for each book. While I can’t listen to music when actually writing—I need silence or background noise—I listen to the list of songs in the car, while folding laundry, making dinner … I pretty much surround myself with them to get into the correct mindset.
When writing Shrapnel, I focused on songs that had haunting melodies and lyrics, as well as those with Southern flare. Below is the playlist I compiled while writing the story of Dylanie, Jake and Ashley, but one song deserves special mention. I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for my son to finish his gymnastics class when “Your Surrender” by Neon Tree came on. Although the melody was upbeat, the lyrics struck a chord. And since Shrapnel’s working title was “Surrender,” I figured it was fate. Then, lead singer Tyler Glenn released a special, stripped-down version of the song that’s much more melancholy. It was perfect.
There’s one verse in particular that really resounded with me and the relationship between Dylanie and Jackson:
“I can’t have you close so I become a ghost
And I watch you, I watch you
Maybe if you stay we could die this way
I won’t stop you, I won’t stop you”
The idea of surrendering comes up a number of times in the book, and speaks not only to letting go of emotional baggage, but it also speaks to the Civil War aspect of the book.
Here’s the strange mix of genres I pulled from to write Shrapnel, and many thanks to Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands for having me today!
- “Southern Belle” — Elliott Smith
- “Barton Hollow” — The Civil Wars
- “Every Day is Exactly the Same” — Nine Inch Nails
- “Erase My Scars” — Evans Blue
- “Sweet Dreams” — Emily Browning
- “Die Trying” — Art of Dying
- “Make Me Wanna Die” — The Pretty Reckless
- “Time is Running Out” — Muse
- “Creep” — Radiohead
- “No You Girls” — Franz Ferdinand
- “Drown” — Carolina Liar
- “Psycho” — Puddle of Mud
- “Your Surrender” — Neon Trees (stripped-down, Tyler Glenn version)
- “Dixie” — as performed by Bob Dylan****
- “The Perfect Space” — The Avett Brothers
- “Haunted” — Evanescence
- “Sex Type Thing” — Stone Temple Pilots
- “Wicked Game” —Three Days Grace version***
- “The Killing Moon” — Echo and the Bunnymen
- “Mausoleum” — Cameron Rafati***
I have put together a Spotify playlist for you guys featuring nearly all the songs that Stephanie used to help create her book (the ones not included in the playlist below were not found on Spotify, but I do have them as YouTube videos at the bottom of this post). I hope you guys enjoy this random yet totally awesome mix of music!
Dixie by Bob Dylan
Wicked Game by Three Days Grace
Mausoleum by Cameron Rafati
Your Surrender by The Neon Trees (acoustic version)
Where To Find Stephanie:
Where To Purchase Shrapnel: