The Undercover Soundtrack – Stacy Green

for logo‘Songs to capture sadness, isolation and heartache’

Once a week I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative process – perhaps to open a secret channel to understand a character, populate a mysterious place, or explore the depths in a pivotal moment. This week my guest is debut romantic thriller novelist Stacy Green @StacyGreen26

Soundtrack by Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Mraz, Ray Lamontagne

Thanks so much to Roz for letting me share parts of the soundtrack for my debut novel, Into The Dark. I don’t always write to music, but I tend to turn to it when I’m having trouble getting motivated to write or slogging through a scene that just won’t work.


StacyFall1pressInto The Dark is a romantic thriller at its heart. The book starts off with a bank robbery in Las Vegas. Two masked men storm the bank, and one only has eyes for branch manager Emilie Davis. SWAT and quick-thinking hostage negotiator Nathan Madigan manage to save Emilie, but her life is sent into a tailspin with the stalker’s dramatic escape.

As I wrote those scenes, I wanted to convey the idea of one person’s determination to possess another. The villain, who becomes known as the Taker, spent months planning his kidnapping of Emilie. He is desperate and traumatised in his own way, and the Taker’s most interesting feature is that he isn’t all bad. He’s far from it, and Death Cab For Cutie’s I Will Possess Your Heart captures his torment perfectly.

Storm drains

The Las Vegas storm drains, known as the tunnels, house more than 200 homeless people at any given time. While most are addicts in various stages of addiction, they are also forgotten human beings just struggling to survive. It’s a way of life that breaks my heart, and one I hope to bring attention to.

The tunnels, although only in a handful of scenes, play a pivotal role in Into The Dark. From the moment I heard it, Jason Mraz’s Halfway Home captured the sadness and isolation the homeless must feel, and it was easy to envision the tunnels scenes when this song played.

Romance intothedark333x500BLOGS

At the core of the book is the understated, budding romance between Emilie and Nathan. He’s a SWAT officer, and she is an open case, but he is drawn to her. Because Nathan is driven by a mistake in his past he feels the need to atone for, he considers himself responsible for the Taker’s escape. He sets out to help Emilie, and their forbidden romance is a slow burn throughout the book.

Ray Lamontagne’s Let It Be Me has been Nathan and Emilie’s song from the start, back when I only knew he would do anything to save her, and that they were tied together by their mutual past heartaches.

Thanks again to Roz for having me. If you’re a writer, what music influences you? Readers, do you hear a soundtrack for books when you’re reading?

Stacy Green is fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts at her blog, Turning the Page. After earning her degree in journalism, Stacy worked in advertising before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. She rediscovered her love of writing and wrote several articles for Women’s Edition Magazine of Cedar Rapids, profiling local businesses, before penning her first novel. Her debut novel, Into the Dark, is published by MuseItUp and available on all digital formats and paperback and is $2.99 for a limited period (use Smashwords coupon Code CF97D. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @StacyGreen26

GIVEAWAY and special contest! Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Into The Dark. And sign up for Stacy’s newsletter by January 31st for a chance to have a character named after you in her upcoming Delta Crossroads Series. She says she only contacts subscribers when she has news to benefit them, and they will have exclusive pricing for her upcoming books.

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  1. #1 by Inion N. Mathair on January 16, 2013 - 9:07 am

    Hi Stacy, we enjoyed the post and getting to know you as well as your debut novel: “Into The Dark” which sounds great! My daughter always tells people that we reverse roles when writing. She puts on her headphones and finds classical the inspiration for writing our books. While I, put on my Nirvana dvd. Funny enough, it works! It’s strange how many authors use music to inspire them while writing. In our writing class, which had twenty-five people, all but two said that they keep music on while writing. But if you select any movie you love, try and imagine it without the music in the background at the most pivotal parts. I don’t think Jaws would’ve been half as scary without the infamous basey two note follow in the background. Music wraps around a story and accentuates it’s words deliciously and so it should be used to help our gift pour out of us. Best of luck, and excellent post Roz!

    • #2 by Stacy Green on January 16, 2013 - 1:40 pm

      Thanks so much. That’s so interesting about you and your daughter’s choice of music, and I think she’s got a really good point. Writing is an escape for many of us, so it makes sense.

      So true about a movie without the soundtrack – the music usually is the driving force behind the emotions. I just can’t imagine a world without it.

      • #3 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on January 16, 2013 - 3:36 pm

        Hi Stacy! Forms of escape… definitely. And if you really want to do it well, put on something you wouldn’t normally listen to and see where it takes you.

    • #4 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on January 16, 2013 - 3:35 pm

      Thanks, Inion! I’ve said it before, but I love looking at the workings of writers’ creativity. And your comment about soundtracks puts me in mind of one of my early guests, KM Weiland. She wrote how she had created her novel to the soundtrack of Gladiator, without ever having seen the film. When she did eventually watch it, it was as though the music to her book had been set to something else.

  2. #5 by cydmadsen on January 17, 2013 - 3:59 am

    I don’t write to music but love this blog because it introduces me to new writers and new music I might otherwise miss. The music tracks you’ve chosen Stacy are especially moody and moving. Now I’m intrigued by the book, although it hits a little too close to home. Your blog profile says you’re interested in the criminal mind, and it sounds as if you’ve captured the twists and turns within that mind. The brother of a friend of ours was the victim in a famous Las Vegas murder with a horrific backstory. The criminal mind is complex, and I’m fascinated by what sounds like your understanding of how complex it can be. That’s a tough job to pull off in a novel. It’s good to see writers take on the challenge.

    Thanks again, Roz, for bringing your followers more writers and music to enjoy, and a peek into their process. It’s always a fascinating journey.

    • #6 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on January 17, 2013 - 7:22 am

      Heavens, Cyd, you always contribute an interesting perspective to a post, but what a connection. Glad to have introduced you to Stacy – provided your nerves and memories permit you to read on. Thanks, as always, for dropping by.

    • #7 by Stacy Green on January 18, 2013 - 2:57 am

      Thanks so much, Cyd. This book is kind of moody and moving, now that I think about it. Emilie goes through a real metamorphosis and learns a lot about moving on from the past. Writing the book was cathartic for me as well.

      The brother of a friend? Was it the Weber case that propelled Matt O’Brien to research the tunnels? That is a horrific case, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine going through any kind of murder.

      Thank you so much for your comments – I still consider myself a novice, but I’ve done a lot of research on the criminal mind. I hope it comes out in the text.

  1. ‘Songs to capture sadness, isolation and heartache’ – The Undercover Soundtrack, Stacy Green « Nail Your Novel

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