Like a lot of writers, I get a massive amount of inspiration from music. I actually go to more concerts than book signings and author events, which I continue to feel guilty about but whatever. The feeling of being in a crowd of people all mouthing the same words and watching the performer do their job on stage is hard to beat unless you’re John Green or Neil Gaiman.
I also make playlists like I breathe: it’s involuntary, and life gets pretty uncomfortable when I don’t do it. I hear a song, and it inspires a mood, and all of a sudden I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole for hours and I have ten or fifteen songs that I’ve arranged and rearranged to make sure it builds the right way, or to make it cinematic, or because I’m really excited about a certain song and it needs to be surrounded by exactly the right beats.
Which is all to say, I’m a nerd for this shit. I’ve enjoyed combing through authors’ mixes for years — on Soundcloud, sometimes on Youtube, and more recently on Spotify, where I’ve been all over Lin-Manuel Miranda’s playlists. Since I’ve always appreciated the window a playlist gives you into other people’s brains — and since there’s no better feeling than the high of discovering a new song that you love — here’s a mix of my own. I listen to it as I’m getting ready for work, when I’m inevitably still half asleep and soft violin concertos just won’t cut it. Nothing gets you of bed like hearing a song and knowing it would be a crime NOT to dance to it.