When working on a project, I often listen to a selection of songs on repeat, which helps me focus. If a particular section, sentence, or image is giving me pause, I sometimes cue up one song and hit repeat until the issue is resolved. This can mean one listen or 100. By the time a project is done, I’m left with a mixed tape of where I’ve been with the work. This, I suspected, was not unique. And so I’ve asked some writers to share their playlists.
Evan Munday is the illustrator of the novel Stripmalling, written by Jon Paul Fiorentino (ECW 2009), and is the cartoonist behind the self-published comic book, Quarter-Life Crisis, set in a post-apocalyptic Toronto. He works as a book publicist for Coach House Books. The Dead Kid Detective Agency is his first novel. He is currently illustrating Natalie Zina Walschots’s DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains (forthcoming in Spring 2012 from Insomniac Press).
I’m simple-minded, so I find it extremely difficult to listen to music and concentrate. This may be because I listen to my music at a volume whereby other people in the apartment can learn the lyrics to all my favourite songs, even when I have headphones on. Accordingly, when I’m writing my first drafts on paper or pencilling illustrations, I’m music-free. But while typing or inking, I do listen to music heavily. It helps me forget it’s three in the morning (or whenever it is).
For my juvenile novel, The Dead Kid Detective Agency, I made a ‘spooky’ mix, to help me get in the macabre mood of the book. This largely involved finding the more ghostly or haunting tracks on whatever CDs I had at the ready. Seems like punk, ska and electronic bands had the spookiest music. Or comprise the majority of my CD collection. Probably a little from Column A, a little from Column B.
Evan’s Spooky Playlist
1. The Specials – Ghost Town
2. VCR – Die Zone
3. The Faint – Violent
4. The Dead 60s – You’re Not the Law
5. Squirrel Nut Zippers – Ghost of Stephen Foster
6. Rancid – Red Hot Moon
7. The Organ – I Am Not Surprised
8. Fischerspooner – Emerge
9. The Coral – Shadows Fall
10. The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – God Is a Spider
11. The Epoxies – Stop Looking at Me
12. The Cure – Jumping Someone Else’s Train
13. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Spellbound
14. The Raveonettes – The Love Gang
15. The Aquabats – Cat with 2 Heads
Have a novel/short story collection/poetry playlist you want to share? Email me at dani dot couture at gmail dot com.