We are delighted to welcome L. Rockwood (secret unicorn lover) into the clubhouse for the first time to celebrate his debut novel!
Defiant Revival Playlist
By L. Rockwood
Music has always been a huge inspiration to me in crafting stories. As a kid on long car rides I'd make up a new story or movie or something with the soundtrack provided by the songs in my headphones. Even now, much of my writing happens in my head while I drive before I can put pen to paper (or finger to tablet, more accurately.)
Nearly every word of Defiant Revival had music playing in the background. I don’t remember every song that gave me inspiration as I wrote, but I do know I was listening to Joy Division on repeat and binging on yaoi frequently. I think that combination has a lot to do with the almost dichotomous vibes of cheeky cuteness and macabre violence throughout it.
As I grew my characters I started to attribute styles and lyrics to them. I compiled a playlist of the songs I love that I think connect with them best. I'm going to share that with you all and do my best to explain the connection without any direct quotes. I am very lyrically focused, so it'll be hard for me not to gush, but I'd rather not get sued if I don't have to.
Billiam: The Smiths, Hand in Glove
My picture of my protagonist Billiam’s face is basically young Morissey with a mustache, so of course I had to pick a The Smiths song. Beyond that though I feel this song perfectly encapsulates his drive to save, and love for Micah. Its not just an ‘I love you’ song, it's an ‘I'll tear apart anyone, even the whole world to be with you’ kind of song. It even touches on the forbidden nature of their love, so it's extra perfect.
Micah: Metric, Help I’m Alive
You were just in a coma for four years, you were dead for one, and now you're suddenly alive (not to mention naked, being handled by a stranger and drug into a pool of water.) Micah’s consciousness was thrust on him so suddenly he hardly had a chance to remember how to breathe, let alone catch his breath. Thus, this song perfectly describes the anxiety, not just excitement, that comes along with his rebirth.
Shemmy: Architecture in Helsinki, The Cemetery
Okay, so I really wish I could quote this one. It is just so irreverent and fun. It treats the subject of death and the dead with none of the fear or stigma our society usually associates with them. I think Shemmy would appreciate that and dance along to it with some her enchanted companions.
Leke: New Order, Ultraviolence
Leke the narrator is stoic, intelligent and has great judgement. Well, that's what everyone thought, at least. She unfortunately makes mistakes as well.
Zan: The Smiths, I Want the One I Can't Have
The title says it all with this one. Not only is Billiam’s stilted lover missing out on him, but Zan is consumed by his envy of humans. He wants the one he can't have, as well as the life, appearance, and behaviors he cannot, either.
Jessica: CocoRosie, Butterscotch
So this is touched on more in the second book, but Jessica loves sweets. She is a chocolate girl mostly, but the cute and innocent sounding female vocals of CocoRosie suit her perfectly.
Katrina: Tame Impala, The Less I Know the Better
Katrina is perpetually in the dark and also way too invested in someone that isn't right for her. No one seemed to tell her anything, and although this may seem cruel in the beginning, I feel like the more Kat learns about her companions, the worse her life gets.
Roland: Interpol, Roland
This song didn't remind me of Roland nor is it related to his character. He was actually named after it.
Loretta: Xiu Xiu, Hello from Eua Claire
So this song is personal for me, too, and maybe relates more to me than her, but I still think it fits. This song is a perfect vocalization of gender dysphoria. There is a line, I will paraphrase, about it being ridiculous that someone would take the female vocalist for a man. That's the one that stabs me in the gut as a trans guy. The song switches perspectives in each stanza while keeping the same vocalist so that it can relate to anyone: trans, gender nonconforming, etc. Loretta was a character I struggled with some because I don’t feel like she is a great representation of a trans woman in our universe. I use her in more of a gender fluid way, that I know if I tried to do, myself, would rip my heart to shreds. I feel, however, in the universe my story is set in, having her have to switch back and forth, so to say, is more realistic. There is no word as to who she is, but my characters give her all the respect and understanding she deserves.
L. Rockwood: The Unicorns, I was Born a Unicorn
I may not be a character, but this is still a 100% accurate anthem for me and necessary for me to share.
So that's the playlist! I hope it inspires you to look up some of these and see what I mean. If you already know them, I hope you can see the connection as well. I'd also love to know, when you read the novel, if you hear any songs that suit the characters or any bands that fit on the planet Corseca. If so, please let me know!
Have a listen HERE!
To free the kingdom from the depravity of Cardinal Aldrious, Prince Micah Helvendeere must take his rightful place as ruler.
Unfortunately, the prince has been dead for a year.
Billiam Grimhart, former page to the prince, knows Micah’s assumption of the throne is the last chance to purge Casperland of the cardinal’s corruption. And for that to happen, the prince must be revived. Only one person stands a chance of achieving the nearly impossible: exiled enchantress Shemmy DuBois, a raunchy bog witch with an affinity for corpses and a heart of gold. Billiam sets out to coax Shemmy to their cause, despite what wading through piles of bodies will do to his favorite shoes.
If he can accomplish it, Billiam might finally get to consummate his love for the prince—something Shemmy is keen to witness. But first, they’ll need to steal Micah’s body, brave a land inhabited by vicious faeries, and accept the help of accomplices as vile and perverse as their enemies. They might be far from typical heroes, but sometimes those are the only people who can get the job done.
If you like dark and edgy high-concept fantasy that’s not for those with delicate sensibilities, join Billiam, Shemmy, and their Faelock allies as they stage their revolution.
Release date: October 28th 2016.
About the Author
L. Rockwood is survived by his artist wife, Rae, and their three adorable but stupid cats. He is also quite alive however terribly morbid. It is thanks to this macabre fascination (and likely his Scorpio moon) that death and rebirth is the central focus of all his works. L. definitely has a lighter side, usually manifesting in hot pink or glitter, as he is just as obsessed with all things kawaii.
L. is an out and proud pansexual, transgender man. He draws from his own experiences, striving to celebrate the various and beautiful ways love and sexuality can manifest through his characters. His time is split between the Central and Lost Coasts of California. He has yet to spot his favorite animal, the unicorn, in his travels, but he will never give up hope.