YA Wednesday: A Guest Post From Richelle Mead
We asked Mead if she would do a guest post for us answering commonly asked questions from her fans. She sent us the guest post below answering one question in particular and you can see her answering others in a special video at the end.
Music plays an important role in any young adult's life (and the music of those years often remains beloved long after it's become embarrassing) so it's no surprise that the question Mead chose to share with us is about what music she listens to while writing. After reading the post below I feel like I have some insight into her Bloodlines characters--do any of the song/character match-ups below really surprise you?
People often ask me what I listen to while I write, and the answer is kind of boring: nothing. I have to have silence while I write, or else I get distracted. But, when I’m out and about in my car or at the gym, I listen to a lot of music and can do some of my best “mental writing” when I hear songs that remind me of characters or scenes. In honor of The Golden Lily’s release, here are the top five songs that most remind me of the book’s main characters.
Song: “Other Side of the World” by KT Tunstall
This song is actually about a long distance relationship, but a lot of the lyrics remind me of Sydney. The lines that struck me the most when I first heard it were: “She’s waiting like an iceberg/Waiting to change/But she’s cold inside/She wants to be like the water.” There’s so much longing in that, and it perfectly describes Sydney. She puts on such a proper—and yes, at times cold—face for the world, and there are moments when she almost believes that she truly is cold on the inside. But, as the book progresses, we—and Sydney—see that there’s so much more to her. There’s a vivid, passionate nature within her that’s waiting to be released, and the song’s mood captures her yearning for that.
Song: “Hurricane Drunk” by Florence and the Machine
This is a harsh song, a song of self-destruction and the pain of losing love. It definitely describes Adrian’s mood through much of the original Vampire Academy series and the Bloodlines series. He keeps experiencing all these hurts and throws himself into the aftermath full force, almost as if he’s relishing—or maybe challenging—his pain: “No walls can keep me protected/No sleep, nothing in between me and the rain/And you can’t save me now.” These dark moods of his both fascinate us and make us ache for him. I wish I could say the storms are over for him, but he’s still got a few to endure. Hang in there, though, because he might eventually get some sun.
Song: “Hero” by Nickelback
Yeah, I admit it: I’m a Nickelback fan. I like this song for Eddie because he is a real-life hero. He’s tough and brave and trying very hard to be a “mini-Dimitri.” But what really hit me when I took a closer look at these lyrics was this verse: “Now that the world isn’t ending/It’s love that I’m sending to you/It isn’t the love of a hero/And that’s why I fear it won’t do.” In many ways, that perfectly describes Eddie’s feelings for Jill. He doesn’t think he’s good enough for her—or rather, he doesn’t think Eddie the man, the ordinary dhampir, is good enough for her. And so, he refuses to acknowledge his feelings and focuses solely on being a perfect, larger than life guardian because that’s all he thinks he can be for her.
Song: “Just a Girl” by No Doubt
When thinking of a song for Jill—sweet, innocent Jill—I immediately figured I’d go with some plaintive ballad. Then, I remembered this song and realized that my initial instinct for her is exactly what this song is describing: everyone writes her off as this helpless young creature that has to be sheltered. “Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite/So don’t let me have any rights.” This has been the story of Jill’s life since she found out she was royalty. Everyone’s been making her decisions for her and moving her around like a game piece. The interesting thing is that as the song goes, we start to see the tone become defiant: “Oh, I’ve had it up to here.” The song’s singer isn’t going to put up with the coddling anymore…and neither is Jill.
Song: “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette
Angeline’s song is another that surprised me. When you think of her, the kneejerk reaction is some angry girl song or “Wild Thing.” But I actually lean toward this song because it’s about the contradictions we all carry inside of us. “I’m green but I’m wise/I’m hard but I’m friendly baby/I’m sad but I’m laughing.” Angeline is no different. She puts on a tough exterior but is secretly terrified of the new world she’s in. She acts brash but is cool and collected in a fight. We’re going to see more and more of the real Angeline and learn that she’s a lot more than just a backwoods girl who’s good for comic relief.