Friday, February 13, 2015

THE CREEPING's Unofficial Soundtrack

Hi. I’m Alexandra and I write novels for teens. My debut is the YA thriller THE CREEPING (coming 8/18/15 from Simon & Schuster). I’m currently editing my second book and wanted to share an essential part of my writing process in this blog – my first ever for the Fall Fifteeners! But yikes, easier said than done. My process varies day to day. I write in different rooms; I sit in chairs; I recline on the floor; I light candles; I drink coffee; I quit it and drink tea; I binge on sour candy; I drink only green juice. You get the picture. And then it was clear. Music. Do I write without it? Rarely. As I’m working on a book I compile a playlist that I continue to revisit at every stage of the process.

THE CREEPING’s playlist has 46 songs on it. And because iTunes is awesome, I know how frequently I’ve played them all. Here are some of my favorites.

1.       I’m already cheating. This isn’t one song; it’s all of Lorde’s Pure Heroine album (32 plays from start to finish). This album is main character Stella Cambren’s theme music. These are her anthems.  In particular The Love Club and Team capture Stella’s attitude when she questions her devil-may-care best friend, Zoey. These songs are strong, deep, vulnerable, complex, and a little bit whimsical, just like Stella.

2.       Wishing Well by Wild Cub (64 plays). This was my go to song whenever Stella and Zoey were at their secret beach with their friends. It conjures up summer and cove days for me. All of Wild Club’s songs made it easy to imagine I was baking in the sun, strawberry seeds stuck in my teeth, hair wet, and skin smelling of coconut sunscreen.

3.       Fire Breather by Laurel. This song is sexy laced with darkness. Its three minutes play out like a seduction. No surprise it was on repeat 174 times. 

4.       All I Want by Kodaline. Guys, this is Sam’s song – SAM WORTH. You don’t know who that is yet, but you won’t be able to miss him.

5.       Cool Kids by Echosmith. This song’s 46 plays put me in the mood for writing a pivotal bonfire scene. It has a laidback feel, but its lyrics are meaningful and poignant, with a deeper subtext.

6.       I’m going to cheat again. These next three are what I think of as my instant dread failsafe: When the Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash, Kettering by The Antlers, and Oats in the Water by Ben Howard.  I love these songs. They’re dripping with imagery, but they also have an eerie tone that puts me on edge when I need it. They’re similar to THE CREEPING in that there’s an undercurrent of sinister that’s difficult to shake off.

And last but not least....

7.       Fangs (District 78 Remix) by Little Red Lung was listened to 286 times. Everything about this song put me in the mood to write THE CREEPING. The song is atmospheric; it’s off-putting but sexy. There are languid, gorgeous sections and then there are intense interludes that take you by surprise. There were nights I’d hear this song in my dreams. It’s hard to let go of and intoxicating.

What am I listening to now? London Grammar is keeping me going as I edit my second book. I’d love to hear what songs inspire you. Tweet them at me. 

Alexandra Sirowy PhotoAlexandra Sirowy is the author of THE CREEPING, a debut thriller for young adults coming August 18th, 2015 from Simon and Schuster’s Books for Young Readers. To learn more, visit or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Great choices! Having read the ARC, I can imagine where they fit and how they'd enhance your prose's already thick atmosphere.

  2. I always love the idea of playlists for each manuscript but I don't do it! Your music sounds amazing. I love the words you use to describe it.