Get inside the brain of an award winning author

In celebration of the release of my debut romantic thriller ‘Blood On The Potomac’ out May 21, I thought you might enjoy getting inside the mind of an author.

Whenever people ask me about the writing process the first thing I let them know is that music is paramount in the process. I literally can’t get in the zone without the right song on. I have yet to meet every writer, but most that I know personally write to background music, or nothing at all, they don’t spend hours searching for the right tunes then infuse it into their writing like I do.

The ‘right’ song is merely my interpretation of the music in context with what I might be writing. Matthew Hale is the only protagonist I’ve created who doesn’t think in music like I do, although he’s a big fan of The Man In Black, he doesn’t let it rule his everyday existence like myself, or his counterpart in ‘Blood On The Potomac’, Samantha Locke.  Granted Samantha’s musical taste is influenced by me (I did create her after all) but she listens to more electronica than I do, or at lest until I started writing this and became obsessed with it myself.


Below is a playlist that I created while writing/editing/re-writing/pulling hair out/completing my debut romantic thriller ‘Blood On The Potomac’. Those songs that are either directly or indirectly referenced in the novel are italicized. The titles which have a (+) after them mean that from now until the end of time when I hear that song I’ll instantly think of a man’s final wish (Precious), when we first meet Lilly (Boys Wanna Be Her), or Matthew walking through the streets of D.C. (The Tune). Those particular choices might not mean anything to the reader, but as the author I will forever have a movie playing in my head whenever I hear those songs with a (+) at the end.


The songs with an (*) are far fewer and what I like to call inspirational if you will. The songs were written long before I started the novel, but when I hear them I feel as if they were composed specifically for me to create ‘Blood On The Potomac’ (hopefully those musicians don’t find that offensive). During the early stages of writing ‘Ava Adore’ by Smashing Pumpkins resonated strongly with me, so much that if I were to give the entire novel one song to sum it up, that would be the song to do it. While I believe that ‘Female Robbery’ by The Neighborhood is clearly Matthew’s song (although he’s never heard it much less have a reason to seek it out), ‘Army of Me’ by Björk would be something that Samantha would have on her own playlist and to me personifies the character.


Some of my choices are ‘jokes’ and only something you’ll fully understand after you read the novel, while others are spot on and very specific choices, most gave me the correct vibe when it came to storytelling.   In some chapters there is a song for each POV switch between Matthew and Samantha. Other chapters have a track for each scene.

Basically this is my soundtrack to my debut novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’, and I recommend you check out the music before the novel is released May 21 from Inklings Publishing.





-Precious by Depeche Mode+



-Boys Wanna Be Her by Peaches+

-Hurt by Johnny Cash


The Test

-The Tune by Wax Tailor+

-Strawberry Bubblegum by Justin Timberlake

-Bad Girls by M.I.A.



-Bury Me With It by Modest Mouse

– The Letter Edged In Black by Johnny Cash

-Over and Over by Hot Chip

-Criminal by Fiona Apple


The Last Time

-Bang Bang Boom Boom by Beth Hart

– Wandering Star by Portishead



Locke’s First Mission

-Rollercoaster by Bleachers

-This Is A Trick by (Crosses)+

End Of The Line by Sleighbells+


Looking Glass

Written In Reverse by Spoon

King Night by Salem+

-Man In Black by Johnny Cash+

-Dirt Off Your Shoulder/ Lying From You by Jay Z & Linkin Park

Bad Blood by Taylor Swift

– Terrible Lie by Nine Inch Nails+


Three Women

-No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand

-Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais) by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais

-Wasted Time by Best Coast



Truth or Truth

– Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! By Kishi Bashi

– You Go Down Smooth by Lake Street Dive

– Ava Adore by Smashing Pumpkins*

Ghosts n Stuff (Nero Remix) by deadmau5

– When I’m Small by Phantogram



  • 6 Underground by Sneaker Pimps+
  • Hong Kong Garden (with strings intro) by Siouxsie & The Banshees
  • Let It Fall by Lykke Li
  • Elevate by St. Lucia
  • Young Blood by The Naked and Famous


Night Terrors

  • Harlequin Dream by Boy & Bear
  • Every Day Is Exactly The Same by Nine Inch Nails
  • Gooey by Glass Animals


Damaged Goods

  • The Cat With the Cream by Belle and Sebastian
  • Cut It Out by Kitten


Seven Cards

  • Devil’s Spoke by Laura Marling
  • I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash+
  • No One’s Gonna Love You by Band of Horses



The Broken Promise

  • Highly Suspicious by My Morning Jacket
  • Devil In Me by Gin Wigmore



The Arc

  • Ink by Coldplay+
  • Killer Bangs by Honeyblood
  • Black Out On White Night by Sage Francis
  • Crown On The Ground by Sleigh Bells +


Skin and Bones

  • Lead Me Home by Jamie N Commons
  • Something Is Not Right With Me by Cold War Kids
  • I’ll Believe In Anything by Wolf Parade
  • Always by Blink-182
  • Video Games by Lana Del Rey
  • Somplace by Jake Bugg
  • Breakin’ Dishes by Rihanna+


Maggie’s Night/Saul’s Night

  • Black Tongue by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Phazing by Dirty South Featuring Rudy
  • I Told You I Was Mean by Elle King
  • It’s All Over by Johnny Cash




  • Female Robbery by The Neighborhood*
  • Sing by Travis
  • Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins
  • Tell ‘Em by Sleigh Bells
  • Magic by Bruce Springsteen+
  • Good Lookin Out by Kurt Vile
  • Gamma Ray by Beck
  • Why Do You Love Me by Garbage
  • In Circles (Remastered) by Sunny Day Real Estate
  • Christina by Kitten


Friends with Benefits

  • Bad Girls (feat. Missy Elliott & Rye Rye) [Switch Remix] by M.I.A.
  • Animal (Switch remix) by Ke$ha+
  • The Lament of Pretty Baby by Cursive+

Gasoline and Matches

  • You Don’t Get Me Twice by Sleigh Bells
  • Knives Out by Radiohead
  • Video Games by Lana Del Rey
  • Army of Me by Björk *
  • Bitter Rivals by Sleigh Bells
  • I Know by Fiona Apple+


Golden State

  • To Hell With You by Sleigh Bells+




Be ready to turn the volume up on May 21 when you buy a copy of ‘Blood On The Potomac’ the first in the Hale and Locke series from Inklings Publishing.

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