Lock and Key is here!

Thanks to EVERYONE who came out to the Regulator last night to help me celebrate the release of Lock and Key. I also want to apologize for being late—which I never am, I swear!—but between my babysitter getting in a car accident (she’s okay, thank Goodness) and then getting lost on the Durham Freeway (went south when I should have gone north) I honestly felt like I was lucky to even get there. But in the end, I raced up to the bookstore entrance, tossed my keys to my friend Barrett, who went to park my car, and tore into the bookstore. It was 7:03. Whew!

In other news, the winners to my little sweepstakes drawing have been notified, so if you didn’t hear from us, I’m sorry! Hopefully I’ll be able to run something like this again. Thanks to everyone for entering.

Finally, a lot of you know that music has always been a part of my writing process. I don’t actually play it while I’m writing, like a lot of people do—it’s too much of a distraction, to be honest—but while I’m writing a book, there are always certain songs that I’m listening to that I later relate to the story and characters. Others I keep playing to help me get through the harder stretches. With Lock and Key, there are a few of both kinds and I figured on this, the pub day, I’d share them, and why they are important. Just click Pop Out Player below to listen:

1. Angel from Montgomery, Bonnie Raitt and John Prine: This song is specifically mentioned in the book, and it really helped me when I was trying to picture Ruby’s mom and figure out what her story was. We had to get permission from John Prine’s publishing company to quote a couple of lines from it, which is a complex process, but so worth it in the end. I just love this song.

2. We’re All in This Together, Ben Lee. I’ve written here before about how this song was pretty much the soundtrack to my life last year. Lock and Key is a book about connections: making them, breaking them, how they affect us in the ways we understand, and especially the ways we don’t. Plus, I have a serious married girl crush on Ben Lee. Sigh.

3. Misty Mountain Hop, Led Zeppelin. This one is also mentioned in the book, continuing a long tradition of me name checking either a Pink Floyd or Led Zep song in every novel. What can I say, I listened to a lot of classic rock in high school. And Led Zep is always in fashion, I don’t care what anyone says.

4. The Swimming Song, Loudon Wainwright II. My friend Courtney gave me this song on a mix CD a couple of summers back, and it really just struck me. It’s a good song to listen to when you’re feeling discouraged about anything, and it gave me the idea to incorporate some swimming into Ruby’s story.

5. Gravity, John Mayer. Okay, total honesty: this song pulled me out of some VERY dark places during the writing of the book. I always have those days when I feel like I can’t go on, there’s too much pressure, I’ll never make it, etc, etc. That’s when I’d pull out my iPod, put on this song, and just try to breathe. Thankfully, it usually worked.

6. On Your Porch, The Format. I got this song from a free ITunes sampler years ago, and had never really listened to it until right when I started Lock and Key. It reminded me of certain elements of the story—which I won’t go into here, to avoid spoilers—and always got me to that place when I was having trouble.

7. Square One, Tom Petty. I love Tom Petty. American Girl is one of my favorite songs of ALL TIME. But you know how for certain times of your life, there’s a song that just captures exactly where you were, and what was happening? Right when I started Lock and Key I had a couple of rotten things happen to me, and I was really sad. But this song was just so sweet and quiet and lovely, that every time I heard it I’d feel a little bit more hopeful that everything would be all right. And you know what? It was.

8. Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town, Cake. Because I had to have a song with a Ruby in it on this list, and while the Kenny Rogers version is nice and all, I just love me some Cake. Especially at the end, when he’s yelling after her. Priceless.

So there you have it. The songs, and the stories. Thanks again for reading, and for listening.

Have a great day, everyone!

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