Sunday, September 3, 2017

Spotlight/Giveaway: Behind the Song

Title Behind the Song
Author Various; K. M. Walton, editor
Release Date September 1, 2017
Publisher Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN 9781492638810

Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul-searching, and wings spreading—all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and personal essays inspired by the songs, the albums, and the musicians who move them.

So turn up the volume and cue up the playlist. This is an anthology you’ll want to experience on repeat.

I got the chance to ask a couple of the authors a question for this spotlight! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my question.

Which song (or artist) inspires you to write? Which song perfectly fits one of your books?

Beth Kephart
I wrote by Berlin Wall novel (Going Over) with David Bowie’s “Heroes” banging in my ear; of course I would. He lived where my character lived; he wrote that song for Berlin. I wrote my monster storm story (This Is the Story of You) with Bruce Springsteen’s “Jack of All Trades” near, because I was writing about a storm-ravaged community in need of his kind of care. Right now, with the world so fragile, so hard, I listen to Sia’s “Never Give Up,” because her voice breaks like our hearts breaks and we will not, I swear it, give up.

Tiffany Schmidt
My next novel, Bookish Boyfriends, tells the story of a modern fifteen-year-old who wishes for a romance as swoony as those she’s read in classic novels. Well, her wish comes true and Merri gets firsthand experience with boys that are like both Romeo and Darcy. Well, any novel with Romeo and Juliet influences needs the Dire Straits song with that same title on their playlist. My playlist had multiple versions, but this one by Matt Nathanson is a particular favorite. It nails the wistful, angsty, emotionality of Romeo.

K. M. Walton
In BEHIND THE SONG each contributor chose one of their favorite songs and used it as inspiration to write a short story or personal essay. This idea of mine, born in my car jamming to Radiohead, has turned out better than I ever dreamed. My list of contributors blows my mind. What an honor and a thrill it was to work with that level of talent.

My short story contribution was inspired by Marcy Playground’s “All the Lights Went Out”, a song that refuses to not be amazing. The slow start, the raucous strum of electric guitar that builds to one of the most satisfying crescendos of all time. It’s a timeless jam. After reading the lyrics a few times, ideas swirled in my head. Ultimately, I decided to write the story of friends, Scarlett and Billy. One has always had secret feelings for the other. I titled it Doomed? which is a nod to a line from the song. I’ve been told the ending packs an emotional punch. You’ll have to read it to see why!

Buy Links

Author Bios & Links

If Beth Kephart could be a song, she would be a song. Not an instrument, not a singer, but the song itself. Instead she is a writer of books, some might say too many books. Memoirs and young-adult novels and middle-grade novels and corporate fables and a book about teaching memoir writing, even an autobiography of a river. She’s still trying to get the writing thing right. Meanwhile, she’s having a lot of fun teaching what she finally does know at the University of Pennsylvania and at Juncture Workshops:
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Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1). She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.
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K.M. Walton is the author of Cracked, Empty, and Ultimatum. She’s editing and contributing to her music-focused YA anthology, Behind the Song. K.M. co-authored Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking for mathematics teachers K - 8. She graduated from West Chester University with a degree in elementary education and spent most her teaching career in middle school teaching language arts. Mean people baffle her – she’s so passionate about acceptance that she gives school presentations—middle school through university level—titled: "The Power of Human Kindness.” K.M. lives in PA with Team Walton, which includes her husband, two sons, and cat. Visit her at
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Do you enjoy reading while listening to music or is silence more your style? Do you have a favorite playlist for when you read? Tell me about it in the comments down below!

1 comment:

  1. "Do you enjoy listening to music while you read or is silence more your style? What's your favorite music to listen to, if you do?" I like Alternative Rock the best. I think the 90s were a golden age for music, for some reason.


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