Stay With Me: The Music and The Book Trailer

We’re only five months out from the release of Stay With Me. Last month, I wrote about the settings, and this month, I’m blogging about the music in and related to the novel.

Over at Catholic, the author interviews always include this question:

“If you could no longer work with words, what medium would you work in to create art?

I don’t know whether I’ll ever be asked the question, but I’m ready with an easy answer: music.


I have a long love for music nurtured by playing the piano and pipe organ and simply listening to a variety of genres. I also harbor a secret ambition to play the fiddle. It’s no surprise then, that music played an important role in the writing of Stay With Me.

A thread of music winds its way throughout the book: Rebecca’s ongoing quest to identify a Dave Matthews Band song. It becomes a little game she plays with Chris that culminates in. . . well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Mention of only one Dave Matthews Band song (“Crash Into Me”) makes it into the book, although the band’s song titles are the source of the twenty-six chapter titles.

During the writing, I assembled a playlist of songs in the order that they appear in the book. Eleven of the thirteen tracks are mentioned either by  name or by artist. Two are noticeably absent: “Stay With Me,” by Amos Lee and “All Your Life,” by The Band Perry.

In early drafts, I quoted directly from the songs. Due to copyright issues, my editor/publisher Ellen Gable encouraged me to draft original lyrics. In the end, I think my original lyrics are better since they are custom-tailored to the narrative. The Amos Lee and The Band Perry songs mentioned above served as inspiration, and I included them here.

Music also plays a significant role in the book trailer. Jonathan Lang’s original track, “Take A Chance,” is the perfect complement to the images and scenes used to depict Chris and Rebecca’s story. Again, Shenandoah National Park has a starring role.

On their first visit to the park, Chris plays a song for Rebecca on his guitar, and I think Jonathan’s voice captures that kind of honest, earnest tone that Chris would have.

If you like “Take A Chance,” you can find Jonathan Lang – Scarlet online and available for purchase.

There was a little learning curve to iMovie, but I’m pleased with the results.

What do you think of book trailers? Do they make you want to read a book?

How do you feel about music in books? Do you seek out the songs when you’re done reading? Do they enhance your enjoyment of the story?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

12 thoughts on “Stay With Me: The Music and The Book Trailer

  1. I’ll listen to these today! Except “December 1963,” which I CANNOT STAND. The only other song in your playlist that I already know if “I Will Wait” and I’ll be happy to listen to that one frequently 🙂

    I think it’s fun when music is included in books as part of the narrative and I love that technology allows authors to share playlists that go with their novels!

  2. Pingback: Stay With Me: The Recipes, Part I | Carolyn Astfalk

  3. Pingback: Playlist | Carolyn Astfalk

  4. Pingback: Stay With Me: The Recipes, Part II | Carolyn Astfalk

  5. Pingback: Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Ways Music Helps Me Write | Carolyn Astfalk

  6. Pingback: Stay With Me: The Recipes, Part III | Carolyn Astfalk

  7. Pingback: Seven Quick Takes Friday | Carolyn Astfalk

  8. Pingback: Playlist |

  9. Pingback: Stay With Me: The Recipes, Part I |

  10. Pingback: Stay With Me: The Recipes, Part III |

  11. Pingback: Stay With Me: The Recipes, Part II |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *