Friday, May 2, 2014

{Guest Post + Blog Tour} Author Jessica Verdi: The Summer I Wasn't Me

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Jessica Verdi's book The Summer I Wasn't Me.  She has been gracious (a.k.a. a-mah-zing) enough to do a guest post!  Thank you so much, Jessica!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Sarah! Music plays a huge part in my writing process, so I was hoping I could talk a little bit about that here.

I got the idea for The Summer I Wasn’t Me one day while listening to Lady Gaga’s “Hair”—in particular the acoustic version she performed on the Howard Stern Show. Check it out here:

It’s such a gorgeous song, and the chorus goes, “I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am… I just want to be free, I just want to be me, and I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties. Don’t want to change, I don’t want to be ashamed.” And I started thinking about all the kids who aren’t loved for who they are, and it made me so sad. And that’s when I knew I had to tell Lexi’s story. I wanted to write about that girl. I wanted to write for that girl.

Music often inspires me when I’m writing or thinking up concepts for new books. Most books I write have playlists that I listen to while I’m writing or songs that I listen to just to get me in the right kind of mood for the scene I’m about to dive into. I truly believe there’s nothing quite like music to inspire you—no matter if you need inspiration for writing, cleaning your house, running a marathon, having a difficult conversation, or anything else.

I also make playlists for my books (and my friends’ books) when the book is finished. Here’s my current playlist for The Summer I Wasn’t Me:

1. “Hair” by Lady Gaga
2. “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths
3. “Unless I’m Led” by Mates of State
4. “Closer” by Tegan and Sara
5. “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama
6. “World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies
7. “We Will Become Silhouettes” by The Postal Service (Lexi’s dad’s favorite song)
8. “Bravado” by Lorde
9. “Brave” by Sara Bareilles
10. “Everyone is Gay” by A Great Big World
11. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert

Pull up those songs on Spotify, and have a listen before or after reading The Summer I Wasn’t Me—I hope they do the same for you as they do for me, and make you feel all the feels! :)

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