Blog Tour: Music Guest Post: Gwendolyn Heasley Author of Where I Belong

Gwendoly Heasley debut author of Where I Belong is here today to do a guest post on music:

I am a big Taylor Swift fan. Although I think Taylor is probably a lot sweeter than Corrinne, I think Taylor’s songs are very teen and helped me reflect on the whole teen experience from first love to friendship to heartbreak.

The songs “Diamond on the Soles of her Shoes,” “Country Roads,” and “Billie Jean” are all parts of the novel, so I spent a lot of time listening to those tunes while editing. I wanted to give justice to those iconic songs.

Most importantly, I listened to songs from 1997 to 2001, the years that I attended high school. Although my high school experience was nothing (I repeat nothing) like Corrinne’s, I wanted to remember what it felt like to be 16. Particularly, I listened to the Cowboy Ugly soundtrack and this song “Dream” by Gabrielle. (“Dream” is amazing, iTunes it!) Those were my friends and my go-to music, and hearing them took me back. I promise any teen out there that you’ll hear a favorite song from now in 20 years, and you’ll feel 16 again. Smell and music are my strongest memory triggers.

My next novel deals with teen suicide. I have spent extensive time researching suicide and listening to any music that even tangentially involves suicide. It’s been very depressing but helpful to my writing process.

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley:

Corrinne Corcoran’s upscale Manhattan life is perfectly on track—until her father announces he’s been laid off and she’s shipped off to Broken Spoke, Texas, to live with her grandparents. All alone in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the glamorous life she’s supposed to be living. But as she grudgingly adjusts—making new friends and finding romance along the way—this city girl begins to realize that life without credit cards and shopping sprees may not be as bad as it seems….

In this sparkling debut that flawlessly balances romance and humor, readers will grow to love sharp and sassy Corrinne as she goes on her totally reluctant but completely irresistible journey of self-discovery.

My review of Where I Belong will be posted on January 24th as part of the Teen Scene Book Tour.