Playlists & Writing by Sarah Grimm


I can’t remember a time when music and writing weren’t a very large part of my
life.  Growing up, our house was
constantly filled with music. From Barbra Streisand to Pink Floyd, there was
always some music playing. On the rare occasion the stereo was silent, my
sister was usually singing or one of us was practicing an instrument. That’s
just how life was in my house, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

As an adult, I still surround myself with music.  Even now as I type this, Shinedown is streaming
through the new plasma TV in my bedroom. The only problem? I keep singing along
when I should be typing, which is exactly why the only time music isn’t
blasting through the speakers in every room of our house is when I’m writing.  When I write, I need complete silence. Sad,
but true. That’s not to say that music doesn’t inspire my writing, because it
does. In a big, big way.

I began building stories around song lyrics as far back as the fourth
grade.  A particular lyric or phrase
would stand out, and the next thing I knew, I had built an entire scene around
that phrase. The song would get stuck in my head and the next day I would have
a few chapters scribbled in my notebook based on the theme. In the fourth grade,
I wondered if I was the only one who did this. As an adult, I know I’m not.

A lot of authors write to specific playlists – a set of songs that inspire
them. Some even have playlists set to a particular book they’re working on –
songs that help them get into the right mood and focus on the characters. I’m
one of those writers. Possessing a deep love of music, I can’t NOT have a playlist
of songs that capture the feeling of the book and the characters I’m working
on. Usually, I select a multitude of songs to capture both the hero and
heroine. But sometimes…sometimes I only listen to one or two songs before I sit
down to write.

Music plays an essential role in AFTER MIDNIGHT. Based on a rock musician
and a piano phenom, how could it not? So my playlist for AM must be littered
with songs, right? Rock, classical, alternative or country, they’re all
represented? You’d think so, wouldn’t you?

In actuality, of all the stories I’ve written, all the songs I’ve listened
to across all the genres, I have but one song that truly captures Isabeau, and
therefore, After Midnight. When I hear it, no matter what I’m doing, I’m drawn
right back into the lives of Isabeau and Noah.  The only thing is…right from the first time I
heard it, I did not encounter Izzy’s feelings for a man, but for the one thing
that has been both the best gift and worst torture in her life – her piano.

Evanescence “My Immortal”

I’m so tired of being here

Suppressed by all my childish fears

And if you have to leave

I wish that you would just leave

Your presence still lingers here

And it won’t leave me alone

These wounds won’t seem to heal

This pain is just too real

There’s just too much that time cannot erase


When you cried I’d wipe away all of your tears

When you’d scream I’d fight away all of your fears

And I held your hand through all of these years

But you still have

All of me

You used to captivate me

By your resonating light

Now I’m bound by the life you left behind

Your face it haunts

My once pleasant dreams

Your voice it chased away

All the sanity in me

These wounds won’t seem to heal

This pain is just too real

There’s just too much that time cannot erase


I’ve tried so hard to tell myself that you’re gone

But though you’re still with me

I’ve been alone all along



Thirteen years—that’s how long Isabeau
Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her
mother’s life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now
she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came
to Long Island City with a goal–one that doesn’t
include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the
bar. Coaxing her into his bed won’t be easy, but he can’t get her pale, haunted
eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret
force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?



Sarah Grimm is an award winning author of contemporary
romance and romantic suspense. She lives in West
Michigan with her husband, two sons and three miniature
schnauzers. Between mom’s taxi service, parts runs, and answering the phone for
the family marine repair business, Sarah can be found curled in her favorite
chair, crafting her next novel.

Find Sarah here:



Group Blog:



Buy link:


Author: Barbara Edwards

Riveting Romance with an Edge

6 thoughts on “Playlists & Writing by Sarah Grimm”

  1. Calisa, I haven’t heard Conway Twitty in so long! I love My Immortal, it’s a beautiful song that way it was written (I’m going to assume about a human love interest) but when you know the song and Izzy’s story…it just ‘fits’ her. Especially since the song has piano accompaniment.
    Thanks for visiting with me, my friend, I really hope you enjoy After Midnight.


  2. I can already see how that song suits Izzy, Sarah. I haven’t gotten far into the book yet (ch 2) but I can already feel her pain. Love the group and that song. I have the radio on most days letting the music filter in the background as I write, but every once in a while a song sticks out and holds my attention (right now Rodney Adkins’s Backroads). The new wip is, or was originally, based on an old Conway Twitty country song.


  3. Hello, Ms. Sarah! Sorry I’m so late to the party. Busy day! I love this post. Personally, I can’t write to music, but usually every other time, it’s blaring through one or another speak throughout our house. Well, that and LB NEVER stops singing. EVER! Go Evanescence. Love that band, love that song. And it so perfectly describes Isabeau’s relationship with the piano. Excellent work!


  4. Thanks Vonnie. Your words mean a lot to me! Hopefully you’ll heal quickly. Not just because I want you to finish my book, either. LOL No, because I know how difficult it can be to do more than sleep when on pain meds. Of course, resting speeds the healing process, so I suppose I shouldn’t be wishing you awake, should I?


  5. Interesting post, Sarah. I prefer quiet when I write or soft classical music barely above hearing level. Calvin, on the other hand, has the TV on and down and dirty blues vibrating his study windows. I read a blog once where the preference of writing to music stems from whether a person is right brain or left brain dominant. I wish I’d saved that post.

    I’m enjoying “After MIdnight” although my pain meds put me out before I get too much read. I’m slowly unraveling Isabeau and enjoying the process. You’ve woven a complex story with multi-layered characters and have done a marvelous job of it. Never underestimate your story-telling/writing skills. You’ve got them in spades, dearheart.


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