Guest Post: Author Jen McConnel talks witches, theme songs, and why everything’s better in threes + GIVEAWAY

I’m super stoked to introduce Jen McConnel today! Jen’s the coolest! She’s also the author of the recently-released YA novel DAUGHTER OF CHAOS, and she graciously agreed to pop over, talk writing & tunes, and give away a paperback copy of DOC. So after you read about why EVERYTHING is better in threes… be sure to comment so you’re entered to win!

Ok, take it away Jen!

What’s My Theme Song?


I know a lot of authors write with music and create playlists to suit their moods and their stories, but I’ve never been able to concentrate with music in the background. Still, music plays a role in my writing. I tend to stumble into one or two songs during a draft that become the theme songs for that book. Whenever I need a boost before writing, I’ll fire ‘em up and listen to them on repeat a few times, and then I’m back in the groove, ready to tackle another chapter of the story.


For Daughter of Chaos, and the entire Red Magic series, actually, the theme song is R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World.” Whenever I was getting ready to write a particularly chaotic scene, I listened to this song. There’s just something about the frantic pace and rapid-fire lyrics that helped me get into a Red magic head space, and I’ve even started listening to this song before I begin revising, too. I have kind of an obsessive personality, so it’s not unusual for me to fixate on a song and play it over and over again, and that’s true of the theme songs for my books as well as for the music I listen to when I’m not writing.


Even though it came out after I’d wrapped up Daughter, I’ve recently become obsessed with Katy Perry’s “Roar”, and that’s another song I’ll throw on before diving into the rest of the books in the Red Magic series. Darlena is a pretty empowered and powerful character, and even when life as she knows it starts crumbling around her, I could totally picture her flipping Hecate the bird and blasting this anthem.


And, since everything (magic and music included) is better in threes, here’s a third song that makes me think of Darlena: the Cups song (“When I’m Gone”) by Anna Kendrick. Darlena’s still hung up on her ex, Justin, and this is exactly the kind of song she might latch onto to help her mask her feelings (despite the sweet edge, which Justin just might pick up on…)


And there you have it! Two songs that suit Darlena, and a third song which has been my theme song the whole time I’ve been writing the Red Magic series.





What about you? Do you write with a playlist, or do you get one particularly theme song stuck in your head while you work?



Leave a comment below about your favorite theme song…the song you just can’t stop listening to right now…or why you think witches rock.:) Or about one of the videos above. Or just about how awesome DAUGHTER OF CHAOS sounds.:) Good luck! We will randomly pick the winner on July 3, 2014.

Jen McConnel-0034Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

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