Saturday, April 30, 2016

Savvy Saturday: J.C. Mead's Playlist for The Silver Cord

In the summer of 2009 I had an idea for a book. I had never written a book before but had read plenty so I thought, why not?? To quote Shel Silverstein, “If there is a book you want to read but isn`t written yet, write it.”

I had been living in Georgia for almost 5 years and had attended the Highland Games every year. I was absolutely baffled by the popularity of it since I had no idea that there were so many Scots in the area. So I did a little research.

And The Silver Cord was created.

It took one year of writing the first draft and a total of four years of sending queries to agents and publishers before something actually happened with it. All the while, I had been editing, writing, and rewriting.

Things have changed so drastically in the publishing world. It’s not just snail-mailing a query out anymore. There are Twitter pitches, Facebook messages, blogs, conventions, and a ton of other ways to get your work in front of someone. I joined Twitter for grad school and ended up getting published because of it. There was a Pit Mad contest in September of 2014 so I entered for the hell of it. Because writing a query and synopsis of your book isn’t hard enough, this is a contest in where you pitch your book on Twitter in 140 characters or less AND include a hashtag of the genre. No pressure.

Two people favorited it. A publisher and an agent. I sent out the query, synopsis, and manuscript to both parties as requested and waited. After a few weeks I got an email from Champagne saying they wanted my book. It was 5:00 in the morning when I read that email and my entire house knew I had an offer by 5:04 (I read it five times before believing it or else everyone would have known by 5:01).

So how did I do all that as a full time working mother of two (and in grad school during two years of it)?

Music. And coffee. But mainly music.

I always write to music, it changes as my scenes change. Or is it the other way around?

I am a music addict. I listen to music constantly. A friend of mine actually speculated if I could breathe without music playing. It’s on while I’m cooking, cleaning, eating, showering, gardening, driving, working and ALWAYS when I’m writing. So while I was writing and editing, there was always music on in the background. It never failed, I would hear a song on Pandora then look up the group and fall down the rabbit hole known as YouTube where I would happen upon bands I never heard of because I listened to some other band. Writing while listening to music helps me write scenes or work through plotlines. The lyrics or the melody make me think of what my characters are doing, feeling, and thinking in the scene and how it relates to the music. Sometimes scenes are inspired by songs and sometimes I’ll hear a song that reminds me of a scene I’ve already written.

So I thought it would be really fun to include a playlist for my book. There’s a song or two that goes with each chapter and I am starting a whole new one for the second book in the trilogy. The second book in the trilogy is being worked on as we speak, and the music for it is quite different!!

The Silver Cord Playlist:

CH. 1 First Aid Kit "Winter is all Over You (Baauer Remix)"
CH. 2 Band of Horses “Is There a Ghost”
Ramones “I Wanna be Sedated”
CH. 3 She & Him “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”
Dwight Yokam “Turn it on, Turn it up, Turn Me Loose”
Ch. 4 Josh Rouse “Quiet Town”
Ed Sheeran “Kiss Me”
CH. 5 First Aid Kit “Wolf”
CH. 6 Phish “Free”
Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs “The Devil’s in the Jukebox”
CH. 7 Radical Face “Welcome Home”
Mumford & Sons “Ghosts That we Knew”
CH. 8 The Shins “Girl Inform Me”
Bon Iver “Come Talk to Me”
CH. 9 Sia “I’m in Here”
Haim “The Wire”
CH. 10 Iron & Wine “Each Coming Night”
Shinedown “Crow and the Butterfly”
CH. 11 Ms Mr “Hurricane”
The Paper Kites “Bloom”
CH. 12 Ingrid Michaelson “The Way I Am”
Maria Taylor “Clean Getaway”
CH. 13 Ray Lamontagne “For the Summer”
Ingrid Michaelson “Locked Up”
CH. 14 Ms Mr “Bones”
Phillip Phillips “Gone, Gone, Gone”
CH. 15 Celtic Woman “The Sky & the Dawn & the Sun”
CH. 16 Landon Pigg “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop”
Loreena McKennitt “The Mummers Dance”
Epilogue: The Kooks “Shine On”

More about me:

Visit me at or follow me on Twitter @JeanCMead

More about The Silver Cord:

After her husband’s death, single mom Kat Cambridge yearns to get back to nature and resume her practice of witchcraft. She leaves bustling Boston and her high pressure interior design job to raise her kids in a sleepy southern town. To support herself, she and her best friend, fellow single mom Jess Greenleaf, purchase a run-down property they intend to fix and flip. But does the long-dead builder of the house have other plans?

Once she discovers an old painting in the attic, Kat begins to have reality-bending visions of a handsome Scottish soldier. While exploring the house’s history, Kat meets charming Colin MacKay, who unknowingly reveals the identity of the sexy specter.

The soldier summons Kat and Jess to save his drifting soul before it is lost forever. As challenging as that seems, creating the perfect spell is easy compared to choosing between the ghost who knows everything about her, and the real man in her life, who wants to.

More about Publishing and Twitter:

Here are some of the most helpful hashtags to follow on Twitter if you're a (soon-to-be) querying writer: #querytip, #pubtip, #writingtip, #MSWL, #askagent

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