Sensational Sophomores is a periodic blog series highlighting authors who are releasing their second books. Today, I am honored to be welcoming Miranda Asebedo, author of The Deepest Roots, as she shares a playlist inspired by her upcoming novel A Constellation of Roses. You can read my review for A Constellation of Roses here.
My number one requirement when I’m writing is having a playlist that really fits the mood of the book. Sometimes it’s songs that remind me of a certain scene I want to write, or a tune that perfectly matches the attitude of a character in the manuscript. I write in a lot of different locations—in my kids’ dance studio lobby, my car, the coffeeshop, and occasionally, even in my office! But having a playlist helps me get in the right mindset quickly so that I can get as many words written as I can in whatever bit of time I’ve managed to squeak out.
Here are three of my favorite songs from my playlist for my upcoming sophomore novel, A Constellation of Roses, out November 5, 2019 from HarperTeen!
“Somebody’s Daughter” by Tenille Townes. I found this song while I was editing A Constellation of Roses, and it just fit so perfectly with the book. The song is about who the homeless woman on the corner “used to be.” She was somebody’s daughter, sister, friend, first love. And she still is, even though she’s been reduced to this one moment in her life. Trix begins the story as a homeless teen, looking to stay under the radar while she keeps an eye out for her mother, Allison, who’s struggling with addiction and has disappeared. Later in the story, when Trix is sent to live with her extended family, she’s forced to reckon with her identity as a daughter, and how much her relationship with her absent mother affected how she sees herself.
“Towards the Sun” by Rihanna. This is actually from the kids’ animated movie, Home, and I immediately fell in love with the soundtrack, but had no idea it would someday inspire me while I was writing a book. The overall message is about running from your shadows, which is very much where Trix finds herself in the beginning of her story. Trix eventually finds this warm and loving family that accept her, but until Trix is ready to face her past, she’ll never outrun her demons, and can’t make a real home anywhere.
“You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell. It’s about how the singer is experiencing this perfect moment, except that his friend isn’t there with him because he died, and how much the singer misses him. This song is actually for Jasper, who plays Trix’s new love interest in the book. Jasper seems like the perfect, sunny golden boy who’s got this great crew of friends and a lot of talent, but he’s actually struggling with depression after losing his brother a year earlier. If Jasper was actually a country music crooner and not a seventeen-year-old pie delivery boy, he would be singing this song.
Here are some of the other songs I listened to while working on A Constellation of Roses:
- “Skinny Love” by Birdy
- “River Lea” by Adele
- “Burning House” by Cam
- “2 Poor Kids” by Ruth B.
- “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” by Colin Hay
- “Roots” by Imagine Dragons
- “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor
- “Ophelia” by The Lumineers
- “Titanium” by Madilyn Bailey
- “Wild Horses” by Natasha Bedingfield
- “Skipping Stones” by Claire Guerreso
- “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes
- “River” by Bishop Briggs
- “Pieces” by Rob Thomas
- “Carry Me Home” by The Sweeplings
- “Trigger” by Otis English
- “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran
- “Spirit Cold” by Tall Heights
Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.
Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda’s not writing or reading, she’s most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.
Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.
Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.
Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.
With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.
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