Over at My Sphere of Domesticity, Kate has a great post on character anthems.

I am one of those people who cannot write or paint without music. As I worked on Hemlock, I quickly realized that certain characters, pairings, and scenes each had their own theme song.

Though the entire playlists have become too large and cumbersome to list, I thought I’d share which songs have become central.

Patty Griffin, “Every Little Bit” – This became Mac’s theme early on. The song makes me think of someone who is just struggling to get by when life keeps hauling the rug out from under her and that’s very much what happens to Mackenzie in Hemlock.

Matthew Good, “Weapon” – This song has always belonged to Kyle though I also used it when writing one of the more violent scenes. It’s one of those rare songs that makes me feel like I could explode into pieces. It sums up Kyle’s love/hate relationship with himself quite well.

Aimee Mann, “The Scientist” – I didn’t think I could ever love a cover of Coldplay’s The Scientist. It’s one of the few songs I consider absolutely perfect. A few weeks into the rewrite of Hemlock, I found out that Aimee Mann had recorded a live version. As soon as I heard it, I knew it was Mac and Kyle’s song.

Aimee Mann, “That’s How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart” – It’s probably not surprising that I ended up with two Aimee Mann songs on my Hemlock playlists. What is a little surprising is that each Aimee Mann song represents Mackenzie’s relationship with either Kyle or Jason. Kyle got the Scientist and Jason got this one.

You might notice that there’s no theme song for Jason, the other point in the triangle. The truth is, I could never get a handle on his theme song. Certain Garbage songs — Temptation Waits, Bleed Like Me, Only Happy When it Rains — come closest but have never quite felt right.

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