#OctoberfortheArts Guest Post – Tara Kelly & Amplified #Giveaway

Posted October 28, 2011 by Pixie in Author Guest Post, Blog, Uncategorized / 23 Comments

Tara Kelly is stopping by the blog today to talk a little bit about how music is a must have when she is writing.

I can’t create a story without music. Often times I need to build a playlist before I can even write a first chapter. I start by building a general soundtrack, something I listen to over and over while writing. But I also make a playlist for every important character in the book and play those songs when I really feel I need to get into their heads.

So, I’m going to tell you about how I came to write Amplified. But…I’m going to do it with songs. Hey, nobody ever accused me of being normal.

I started with a song that represented my main character, Jasmine. It had to be a mix of sass and sugar—mostly sass. Something I could see her LOVING and losing herself in. Took me awhile, but I found just the song…

American Dreamgirl by Joydrop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-dFfKjMlFo

Next up was a theme song for Sean, the snarky bassist that drives Jasmine crazy. I needed a little anger, a lot of melody, and a big helping of intensity. This song by Celldweller? Jackpot.

Afraid This Time by Celldweller: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuLCZj5rywA

Then there’s Veta, the singer and one of my favorite characters ever. I mean, I love all the characters that take residence in my head (I often don’t get to choose them, I swear), but Veta has a special place in my heart. In her words, she’s just plain good juju. Mostly sunny with a little angst and fire thrown in for good measure. Garbage is SO the ticket, especially this song.

Push It by Garbage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-CHEnJ7gnc

Bryn…the drummer and self-appointed ‘head’ of the band. Bryn needed a song with a mouth, heavy guitars, and well…mouth. He’s a complicated creature, more so than he seems. So of course the only option here could be…

Shut Me Up by Mindless Self Indulgence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIYhbRiuVK0

Felix made me smile throughout the book. Picture a six-foot four guy with a blue fro in a taffeta skirt. Then throw in funny, sweet, and child-like. You might hear a little something like this in your head…

Lullaby by The Cure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS6t56U9tBg&ob=av2e

Now that I had all these different personalities/songs mashed together in one playlist, I needed to figure out what the band sounded like together. The Birthday Massacre fit the bill quite well, but this song in particular:

Red Stars by The Birthday Massacre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHzsyBag438

I also needed a song for the fun Santa Cruz setting and general mood of the book. Something that would probably play in the opening credits…if it were a movie (a girl can dream). At the time I’d discovered a band called Cut Copy. And let’s just say I listened to their album “In Ghost Colours” over and OVER while writing Amplified.

Hearts On Fire by Cut Copy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgpgkI3eMxM&ob=av2n

There’s a nice little taste for you. If you’d like to hear more songs from the Amplified soundtrack, I’ll be posting them very soon on the Amplified website: http://amplifiedthebook.com

Hope y’all enjoyed learning a little bit more about how Tara integrates music into her writing.


  • ARC of Amplified
  • Regular contest rules apply
  • To enter leave us a comment letting us know which song from Amplified was your favorite. Make sure we have a way to contact you. Easiest way is to have your email linked in your blogger profile but you can leave your email address or twitter name in your comment.
  • Contest ends 10/30

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23 responses to “#OctoberfortheArts Guest Post – Tara Kelly & Amplified #Giveaway

  1. Cool soundtrack! I was already psyched about this book but even if I hadn't been having The Cure on the playlist would've convinced me so I have to go with Lullaby 🙂

  2. Olá,vim te fazer uma visitinha e conhecer seu cantinho,aproveitei para seguir!
    Parabêns pelo Blog,se quiser me visitar,será muito bem vinda e se também quiser seguir,sinta-se mais do que em sua casa!

    Blog Uma Mulher bem Vestida

  3. I love the Cure SO HARD! So that one is definitely my fave! I'm so excited to see how these songs are incorporated into the book! Thank you for this great giveaway!

    Casey (The Bookish Type)
    thebookishtypereviews AT gmail DOT com

  4. Christina Bodden

    It is either Lullaby or Hearts on Fire but if I had to choose it would be Lullaby. Thanks for the giveaway!


  5. I just finished AMPLIFIED and absolutely LOVED it! Darned book made me cry. So flippin good. And thanks for all the great music, Tara! You've expanded my musical horizons. Loving Celldweller!

  6. Wow, there are some pretty awesome songs on that list! I think if I had to choose just one, it would probably be Shut Me Up by Mindles Self Indulgence. I loved the video for it too XD
    melocin94 at aol dot com

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