I come from a musical family, and am a musician myself, so it only made sense to incorporate music into my LGBTQ+ fiction young adult debut book, DOES LOVE ALWAYS WIN? My main character, Sam “Shorty” Daniels plays the trumpet (I play the French horn and piano), so I was able to pull from some real-life marching band experiences while I was writing some of the scenes.
When one of the 2023 debut author groups I’m a part of suggested making a playlist for my book, I jumped at the chance to do so. This was a lot of fun to create, it’s almost like a soundtrack for my novel. It really helped me get into the soul of my character and think about what she might be inspired to listen to, or what music might express her feelings. Music is really important to me, and I know my character Shorty feels the same way. The playlist can be found on Spotify here: DOES LOVE ALWAYS WIN?
Top billing is the song “girls” by girl in red, especially because of these lyrics: “I’ve been hiding for so long. These feelings, they’re not gone. So I push them away. I’m acting so strange. I’m not talking ‘bout boys, I’m talking ‘bout girls.”
The lyrics are something I could picture Shorty expressing herself. She had been constantly suppressing her feelings about girls, so when she meets the new girl Kristy, she’s a bit taken back by surprise of her intense feelings for Kristy. Given this new sensation, Shorty, still at times tries to push these feelings away, because she’s not sure how her parents and friends will react.
One of the other songs on there, also by girl in red, is “we fell in love in October,” because Shorty and Kristy’s relationship began to develop throughout September and October. I also had to include “I Kissed a Girl,” by Katy Perry, because it’s a personal favorite that I used to play when I realized I also liked girls.
There are also some fun and random songs I placed on the playlist that I believe Shorty would love. She’s big into Marvel, so I added a song from the Loki TV series and one from Avengers Endgame. Since Shorty is a trumpet player, I also added “Music for the Royal Fireworks” by Handel performed by famous trumpet player Alison Balsom.
I hope you enjoy learning more about my main character and getting a taste of some new music you might never have heard before!