Swati Avasthi has a BA from The University of Chicago and an MFA from the University of Minnesota. Her debut novel, Split, received a Silver Parents’ Choice Award, was selected as a New Voices Pick by American Booksellers for Children, and has been nominated for YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2011. She teaches creative writing at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, the Loft, and Hamline University. She lives with her two kids, two dogs, and one (but worth two) husband (s).
This abbreviated list of songs is what I listened to while I wrote my novel, Split, to—seriously, every morning, hour after hour for two years. I write to music because it’s a good way to 1) keep my fingers tapping the keyboard and 2) because the songs help me key into a particular mood.
Sometimes scenes get linked to certain songs. Like, Eminem for the abuse scenes. Once, I think I listened for 8 hours to Rabbit Run, on repeat while revising “the garage scene.” Peter Gabriel’s music really hit on the tamber of Jace’s prickly relationships, especially with his family. If I had to pick one song, it would be “Digging in the Dirt.”
Only two these songs made it on to the playlist for my next book, current title BIDDEN: “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. I have a feeling they might always end up on my playlists since they are about changing (a frequent topic in my stories) and friendship, respectively.