Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tamara Ireland Stone

Huge thanks to Laura at Novel Magic for hosting me today! I’m honored to be here to talk about the music in Time Between Us.

While Anna and Bennett both have playlists of their own, I think of Anna’s as the primary soundtrack to Time Between Us. And it is a soundtrack, with each song mapping to specific chapters and scenes in the story.

I’m a total purist when it comes to this music. I wanted to be sure that these songs truly represented the music that would have lived on the shelf in Anna’s bedroom in 1995. So the music not only had to exist in 1995, it had to exist within the timeframe of the book: March to June 1995.

I spent many, many hours on Wikipedia, iTunes, and lyrics sites, listening to every line, mapping it to the right scene, and making sure that each song would have existed in Anna’s world.

It was the best, most enjoyable research I could imagine.

Here’s a little background on why these songs matter so much to me, which lines spoke to me most, and where they tie to the story:

1. She, Green Day. (Chapter 1)
Right in the beginning of Chapter 1, you’ll find this line: “…I turn up the music so Green Day is loud in my ears”. In my mind, the song “She” is what Anna hears. It’s a great tune to run to, and the line,“Are you locked up in a world that’s been planned out for you,” would have resonated with her.

2. Corduroy, Pearl Jam. (Chapter 2)
This is the song that plays as Anna and Emma are driving to school. I've always loved this song, and these lines were especially fitting, especially when Anna hears it the second time around:“Everything has chains. Absolutely nothing’s changed.”

3. Nightingale Song, Toad the Wet Sprocket. (Chapter 4)
This has long been one of my all-time favorite songs. It’s short and catchy, and perfect for the moment in this story when Anna’s realizing that her world where “little ever changes” is changing before her eyes.

4. Name, Goo Goo Dolls. (Chapter 9)
A Boy Named Goo came out in March ’95, and “Name” was the most popular song on the album. It’s a perfect tune about keeping someone’s secret. “You can hide beside me, maybe for a while. And I won’t tell no one your name.”

5. Floaty, Foo Fighters. (Chapter 12)
I love the dreamy, floaty qualities of the music and lyrics in this song on the Foo Fighters debut album. Fun fact: This song is a tiny bit of a cheat. Sort of. After Kurt Cobain’s death, Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl, recorded this album entirely on his own. It didn’t come out until July 1995, but the demo was circulating big-time in early 1995. My college radio sources assure me that Justin would have heard in March. “…we float, float away. On the ground we come back down. That's not as big as what's flowin’ around here.”  To me, that “floaty” feeling is time traveling. And eventhat’s not as big as what’s going on between Anna and Bennett.

6. Walk on the Ocean, Toad the Wet Sprocket. (Chapter 13)
This might be in my top five all-time favorite songs. It’s a beautiful, perfect way to kick off Anna and Bennett’s adventure: “We spotted the ocean, at the head of the trail. Where we going? So far away. Somebody told me that this is the place, were everything’s better, everything’s safe.”

7. Today, Smashing Pumpkins. (Chapter 14)
Originally from Chicago, Smashing Pumpkins had to play a role on the playlist, and I had a hard time choosing the right song because I love so many. But the line, Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known,” spoke to me most.

8. Anna Begins, Counting Crows. (Chapter 15)
I’ve always loved this song, but I hadn’t heard it in years. And once I did, in the context of this story, I was hooked. Bennett starts off protecting himself, trying not to care about Anna. She's completely unexpected. He's not ready for her. But in the end, none of that matters. I love so many lines in this song, but I get chills every time I hear: “And Anna begins to change my mind... Every time she sneezes I believe it's love.”

9. Nearly Lost You, Screaming Trees. (Chapter 24)
On the surface, it might seem like this song is about Anna and Bennett. But map it to Chapter 24 and you’ll understand who Anna’s thinking about with the lyrics, “Drag me far enough to know, I'm blind every mile that you burn. There's a rider that's fallen and it's clear there's no time to return.”

10. I’ve Been Waiting, Matthew Sweet. (Chapter 26)
I’ve always loved this sweet and catchy song about being swept up in a new romance. This was a popular song in Anna’s 1995 world, but this is really one of Bennett’s songs. I imagine this is how he’s feeling at the very beginning of Chapter 26: “I didn't think I'd find you, perfect in so many ways, but I’ve been waiting...”

11. Fade Into YouMazzy Star (Chapter 27/28)
One of the most beautiful love songs of the 90’s. And there isn’t a better song for the adventure Anna and Bennett find themselves beginning in Chapters 27 and 28.  “I want to hold the hand inside you. I want to take a breath that's true. I look to you and I see nothing. I look to you to see the truth.”

12. Comedown, Bush (Chapter 29)
Bush was such a big band in the 90’s and I just love Gavin Rossdale’s voice (he’not bad on the eyes either). This song just feels like happiness and not wanting it to end. “I don't want to come back down from this cloud. It's taken me all this time to find out what I need.”

13. Ray Ray Rain, Bettie Serveert (Chapter 30)
It’s an obscure song, but I’ve always liked Bettie Serveert. And how could I ever ignore a song that included this line: “Time and time again it seems, we're always somewhere in between.”

14. Fell on Black Days, Soundgarden. (Chapter 34)
We can all relate to those moments when everything seems perfect and the rug gets ripped out from underneath us. “Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile, sunspots have faded, and now I'm doing time.”

15. If I Could, Phish. (Chapter 38)
I thought this song was so perfect for one particular scene, that I licensed the lyrics from Phish so I could reprint them in the story. They had to be there. “Stay with me till time turns over. I want to feel my feet leave the ground. Take me where the whispering breezes. Can lift me up and spin me around.”

16. You Learn, Alanis Morissette (Chapter 40)
Alanis writes songs about strength, and this is one of my favorites. No matter what we go through in life, we learn from our experiences, and they each impact the people we become. “You live you learn. You love you learn. You cry you learn. You lose you learn.” Anna Greene goes through a lot in this story. And even though she starts out strong, she ends up even stronger.

I hope you enjoy listening to this soundtrack as much as I enjoyed making it! And thanks again to Novel Magic for letting me share some Music Magic from Time Between Us!

You can find Anna and Bennett’s playlists here:

About Time Between Us

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.

Please check out Tamara Ireland Stone
On Twitter: @tamaraistone



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