When Music and Writing Intersect featuring the Zaria Fierce Trilogy Book 1 Playlist

Hallo! My name is Keira Gillett and I’m super excited to be here today at Liberty Falls Down. I am commandeering Liberty’s blog today to talk about the writing process and in particular the part music plays. But first, a quick interlude about myself. I released my first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest on 06 March 2015. See what the book is all about in this minute long book trailer:

Isn’t it wonderful? I couldn’t be any more thrilled. Michele Carpenter is the fabulous voice talent and narrator behind Zaria Fierce. Eoghan Kerrigan illustrated the book and his drawings are marvelous and really expand the impact of the story.

Now, who’s ready to talk about books, music, and writing? 🙂

I rarely listen to music as I read. It doesn’t do it for me. It did once upon a time, but I’ve discovered that it distracts me more than it helps me to focus. I like to be firmly planted in my book world with no distractions. This is why I get most of my reading done during the first hour I wake up and the last hour before I go to sleep. I prefer quiet spaces, blankets, a cup of cocoa, and a big pillow.

You would think that preference to quiet would translate to when I write, but goodness it was the exact opposite for me. I listened to music most of the time while writing the first book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. If I’m honest, I wrote probably 90% of the time with music and 10% of the time without (and when I wasn’t listening to music I was itching to turn it on.) Are there other writers out there like me? Who prefer reading in quiet and writing in noise?

I found music helpful in many ways. First it minimized outside distractions. While listening I wouldn’t be bothered by phones, televisions, computers, video games, etc. The music also provided an internal distraction. Music helped to break up a white page and a blinking cursor. Either by tuning music in or out I could and would get started on the day’s writing with little fuss. Lastly, music could play like a soundtrack to a scene and give it personality.

So I wrote Zaria Fierce and listened to music. My preference as I wrote the first half of the book was classical music and upbeat instrumentals. I figured that type of music would be best because it wouldn’t encourage me to pay more attention to the music than the writing. I also thought it would remind me of movies and their musical scores. It did and it didn’t. After a while, I wanted lyrics. Especially while working on edits for the book. Editing compared to writing is a different beast. I craved lyrics and I wanted to find songs that matched the story. Over time the book’s playlist grew.

For your listening pleasure, embedded is the full playlist of book one in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy:

What did you think? If you’ve read Zaria Fierce, what songs came to mind when you read it?

Thanks again Liberty for having me here today!

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood ForestBook Blurb: On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.

Early Reviews:

“With kids interested in “Frozen,” with Anna and Elsa, this would be a natural progression.” – Judi Oswald, Reference Librarian

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.


Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too. They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.

“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. “Let’s head back to camp.”

“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.

“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”

“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”

Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.

“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”

Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can Marco Polo our way back to the others.”

“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”

Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.

“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”

“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.

“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Keira Gillett author pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

Website: http://keiragillett.com

Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (keiragillett)

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