Creating a Book’s Playlist

Running the Red Light CoverGuest blog by Kelsey Browning, author of Running the Red Light (Texas Nights)

Yes, I’m one of those writers who listens to music while writing. It didn’t start out that way. When I first began writing, I needed total quiet. I’ve since learned that’s a pipe dream with two dogs, a 14-year-old, phones ringing, TV blaring, landscape guys mowing, construction down the street…You get the idea.

While I was doing content edits (always tough for me) for Running the Red Light, I needed to block everything out. So Smarty Boy gave me a pair of Bose headphones—dubbed “edit phones”—for Mother’s Day. Hallelujah! My brain now knows when I slip those puppies on and click on the playlist that it’s time to go to WORK!

I build my playlist as I draft the book and listen to it throughout the revision and editing process. Today, I’m sharing the songs on Running the Red Light’s (Texas Nights) playlist and the logic behind them!

  • Photograph” by Nickelback – Nickelback just gets guys’ issues, so I have at least one of their songs on each of my playlists. This one speaks to Jamie’s love/hate relationship with his hometown, Shelbyville, Texas.
  • Walk Like A Man” by Tim McGraw – This song is on both Jamie’s and his brother Cameron’s list. As the kids of an alcoholic, they could have walked in their father’s footsteps, but their mom encouraged them to become better men.
  • Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by Tracy Lawrence – Late in the book, this song is referenced in a scene at Dirty Harry’s bar while Roxanne is deciding whether Ashton Davenport is still a foe or is becoming a friend.
  • How Bad Do You Want It” by Tim McGraw – All his life, Jamie Wright has wanted to be a success. To make it. And he wants it bad. But he might find out he wants Roxanne even more.
  • Roxanne” by The Police – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Roxanne’s lingerie store is named after this classic.
  • Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good” by Nickelback – I chose this song both for the reference to the shower and the fact that both Jamie and Roxanne know their physical relationship may feel good, but neither of them plan for it to last.
  • Some Days You Gotta Dance” by The Dixie Chicks – Sometimes you just have to say screw it and act like everything is all right, which is how Roxanne pushes through her problems.
  • Angel Boy” by Tim McGraw – Jamie looks like a hot-shot, bad-ass attorney to other people, but only he knows about the doubts inside him.
  • Real World” by Big & Rich – Again, this song speaks to Jamie’s internal struggle between success and true happiness.
  • I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight” by Toby Keith – Roxanne and Jamie’s relationship is supposed to be short-term only, but Jamie realizes he doesn’t just want tonight.
  • Jamie’s Cryin’ by Van Halen – I love me some old Van Halen, and this one directly relates to how Jamie is struggling with his messed up life and priorities!

If you notice, my playlist is always heavy on country music. That’s probably for two reasons. One, I was raised on classic country from artists like Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Don Williams, and George Jones. Two, I don’t think any other music genre tells a story quite like country does!

Do songs draw pictures in your head like they do mine? Can you “see” the song’s story?

Kelsey Browning - HeadshotKelsey Browning Bio:

Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and cozy Southern mysteries. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a Canine Companions for Independence puppy. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series. Give her a shout at or drop by For info on her upcoming releases, subscribe to her Sass Kickin’ News.

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Running the Red Light

Release Date: January 6, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Format: e-book

After wearing a “Least Likely to Succeed” label all her life, Roxanne Eberly is hell-bent on making her Red Light Lingerie store successful. Although the residents of small-town Shelbyville, Texas, are a little…lingerie-resistant, she’ll win them over eventually. So when a former employer sues her, putting a major wrinkle in her careful plans, she reluctantly accepts help from hot-stuff Houston attorney Jamie Wright.

Jamie’s on track to become his firm’s youngest partner, but discovers an unwritten prerequisite—marriage. Turns out, the only woman he wants is Roxanne, but peddling thongs and sex toys isn’t a suitable career for the spouse of an up-and-coming attorney.

Jamie’s tangled up in Roxanne’s lawsuit, her life and her lingerie. But if they’re ever going to make it work, Roxanne’s big-city boy will have to decide what he values more: the career he always thought he wanted or the woman he never thought he’d fall for.

Buy: Running the Red Light (Texas Nights)

Author: Guest Blogger

Guest Bloggers featured at Love Romance Passion are romance authors, various industry personnel, and readers just like you!

6 thoughts on “Creating a Book’s Playlist”

    1. Angela – Oh, I need to listen to more oldies! My mom had a case of 45s that we used to play when I was a kid–Elvis, the Beach Boys, Shangrai-Las and more.

      So glad to hear I’m not alone in writing to music.

      Thanks so much for stopping my today!

  1. Great playlist!! Can’t go wrong with Tim McGraw EVER….but I do love me some Van Halen and Big & Rich……of course I’d have picked “Save A Horse…Ride A Cowboy” and preferably Cody Tuggle at that. I think I’ve just been re-inspired 😉

    Happy Release Day, Kelsey!
    Can’t wait to see what’s going on in Shelbyville this time.

  2. I thought the reference to Tracey Lawrence’s song and I thought it was perfect. I chuckled when I read it. I love playlists. It adds to the behind the scenes of writing a book and you get to understand how the author sees things. Thanks for sharing and Happy Release Day!

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