You might be wondering, based on the title of this post, if I have a soundtrack for my novel The Digital Sea.  That would be ludicrous, of course.  But, wow, it would be cool.  Music is an integral part of my lifelong experience with books.  I have at time read certain books or series while listening to a particular album.  The Battle Circle trilogy by Piers Anthony will always be linked in my head to the Yes album 90125.

I’ve carried this into my own writing experience as well.  When I write a novel, I pick an artist and listen to nothing but that while I’m writing.  During The Digital Sea, I listened to Coheed & Cambria; and during Ghost and the Nether, the first book in my upcoming Nether Wars series, I listened to the Mars Volta.

Listening to the sounds of a particular artist helps me keep the voice and mood of a novel while I’m writing it.  I don’t, however, take the words from the music as inspiration.  The feel and tone of the music help set the mood and I’m not usually in the habit of listening to lyrics.  Usually that’s my wife’s job to point out interesting lyrics while we’re riding in the car on long trips.

But I have on occasion, found sounds that seemed to fix a certain character or scene from a novel, long after I’ve written it.   The combination of style and lyrics make me think: “Wow, that’s <insert character here>’s song.”

Since The Digital Sea has been written for a couple of years now, I’ve had amble time to find appropriate songs that would make up the soundtrack if this book were to ever become a movie.  And here they are:

Zel Aurora’s Theme – Ricochet! by Shiny Toy Guns

Ubiquitous’ Theme – Fear of a Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree

Opening Scene with Zel – Mother Superior by Coheed & Cambria

Zel zipping through the drowned city – Hold On by The Asteroid No. 4

Battle with the Nebula – A Horse Called Golgotha by Baroness

Sasha’s Theme – The Ghost Inside by Broken Bells

Mekena’s Regrets – Empire Ants by Gorillaz (feat. Little Dragon)

Jartelle’s Song – Right Where It Belongs by Nine Inch Nails

Anesha’s Theme – Make Love Not War by 27

(Couldn’t find this on YouTube!  :/)

Anyway, that’s what I have so far.  If you have suggestions, I’m happy to hear them.  I love the intersection of music and story.  I’ll be quite honest, it would be my dream to work on a book/album collaboration with a talented artist, preferably one that did conceptual albums.  The pinnacle of this dream would be to work with Steve Wilson from Porcupine Tree, though any of the bands listed above would be out of this world.  Maybe, someday.


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

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