Disciple by L. Blankenship and the Playlist
ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a young(ish) writer who churned out half a million words about a girl named Kate. That wasn’t a bad thing, but the half million words had serious problems. OMG, did they have problems. So the story was trunked.
About seven years pass. (insert 7 year itch joke here)
And this song comes along: Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”
And the not-so-young(ish) writer pictures herself walking the streets of the story’s town with a push broom (so she can sweep the streets that she used to own) and starting to think about that story again. And all its problems. And how to fix them.
Then one day, BLAM, she saw how to make it work. The result was Disciple.
Music is important to my writing. I don’t have much skill at creating music, but it has some deep hooks in me. It’s been proven that music moves through different parts of the brain than language, and I’d be willing to bet it can tap different parts of one’s creativity.
I closely manage my music, when I’m writing. I create playlists for each story. Sometimes songs attach themselves to certain characters — sometimes I know why, sometimes I don’t. But here are some of the songs I associate with Disciple’s three main characters. (Note: the video is irrelevant. YouTube just has the most complete collection, and it’s easy to embed.)
Kate: “Losing My Religion”
Not literally. What Kate loses is her innocence, her understanding of how the world works, as her skills develop. The higher ranks of magical ability, in the “Saints of War” universe, involve a small number of people who have good reasons to keep secrets. She leaves the simple life of a peasant-born girl behind as she learns the reality behind the magic.
You’ll notice that the other two characters have two songs apiece — Kate has a second, but I think it would be too much of a spoiler right now.
Kiefan: “Make Me Bad (Sickness in Salvation Mix)”
There was a time when I worried about Kiefan being too goody-two-shoes. I wanted him to be a strong, heroic prince, but worried that he’d be unrealistically noble and come across as a stuck up ass. Then this song (and some others) came along and got me in touch with his dark side, his anger and anguish.
“Less Than a Pearl”
After “Make Me Bad,” Kiefan swung a little too far into the darkness. iTunes randomly picked this song to play while I was writing one of Kiefan’s important scenes in Part III (no spoilers!) and it stuck to him. The emotions matched up well to the scene. I was glad, because it pulled him back from the dark.
Anders: “Tonight/Only Girl in the World”
I love this mash-up. Love it. Anders is something of a playboy, so I’m sure he would’ve sung this to many girls over the years… but eventually he came to mean it in a different way. It took on a note of pleading. But no spoilers!
“How You Remind Me”
Yes, both of my boys have their angry songs. This one is pointed at the whole world, when it comes to Anders — everyone is always reminding him that he’s the ne’er-do-well bastard.
I hope you enjoy the playlist. Want more? There are “theme songs” for the first three parts of Disciple at my blog.
Back cover copy for Disciple, Part I:
The saints favor her, else-wise a peasant girl like Kate Carpenter would never be apprenticed to the kingdom’s master healer. But her patron saint also marks her ready for the duty of tending to a mission that must cross the ice-bound mountains. Their little kingdom faces invasion by a vast empire and desperately needs allies; across the snow-filled pass, through the deathly thin air, is a country that’s held off the empire and may be willing to lend an army.
Kate knows about frostbite and the everyday injuries of wilderness travel. She can heal those.
She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though.
And she isn’t ready for the monsters that harry them night and day, picking off their archers first, wearing the party to exhaustion, pushing Kate beyond the limits her healing abilities.
She must keep them alive, or her blood will be on the snow too.