Warm up your MP3 players and drag out those iTunes gift cards. Here’s the playlist for Breaking Point.

    As I’ve said many times, I love music more than almost anything else. Music keeps me sane, but it’s also they key to my being able to focus and write. If the tone, lyrics or “feel” of a song puts me into the minds of my characters and the emotion of the story, then it becomes a valuable tool for me.

    At one point, there were several other songs on it, so I’m limiting my post here to the songs that were special to this book. The fact that I turned to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” to keep myself awake at 2 a.m. is really of no importance.

    I have to say that Pandora helped a lot this time around. Having gotten so much writing mileage out of Nickelback (Hard Evidence) 3 Doors Down (Unlawful Contact) and Staind (Naked Edge), I created a playlist using the songs liked most as seeds, and ended up discovering some new artists and new music.

    None of it is actually new but given how isolated I live most of the time, it was new to me.

    Shinedown was a new-to-me band, and they had a few tunes that felt very Zach to me, especially “Breaking Inside” and the first few lines of “Call Me.” As the story developed “Easier to Run” by Linkin Park became my favorite. I fell in love with it.

    For Natalie, “Bring Me to Life” was perfect. It almost seemed to have been written for her. That’s very kind of Evanescence, don’t you think?

    There are a lot of tortured lyrics in these songs, and, listening to the playlist a few days ago, Benjy told me it was a bit on the “emo” side.

    So here are the mainstays of my Breaking Point playlist, coded blue for Zach and pink for Natalie (how very original of me!). Perhaps they're all familiar to you. Perhaps there’s something new here that you will enjoy. If you want to try reading the book while having these tunes around, I’d love to know how it impacts your understanding of the story.

    Now, pop in those earbuds and enjoy!

    Breaking Inside (iTunes Session) — Shinedown, iTunes Session
    Call Me (iTunes Session) — Shinedown, iTunes Session
    If You Only Knew — Shinedown,
    The Sound of Madness (Bonus Track Version) Pain (Main Version) — Three Days Grace, Pain (+ Acoustic)
    Beautiful Day — Saving Abel,
    Saving Abel
    Drowning (Face Down) — Saving Abel,
    Saving Abel
    Learn My Lesson — Daughtry,
    Leave This Town
    Easier to Run — Linkin Park,
    Meteora (Bonus Track Version)
    I Will Not Bow — Breaking Benjamin,
    Dear Agony
    Bring Me to Life — Evanescence, Fallen
    Broken (feat. Amy Lee)— Seether,
    The Punisher (Original Soundtrack)

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