“If you liked the music collaboration of Maybe Someday, you’ve got to check out Heart Shaped Rock.” — New York Times best-selling author of Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover
“Laura Roppé has written a moving and emotional novel of first love, accurately capturing the voice and mind of a dramatic and emotional sixteen year old girl caught in a maelstrom of grief and loss, love and heartbreak. And then there’s Dean…you’ll just have to read the book, ‘cause I can’t do him justice in a few short sentences.” –Jasinda Wilder, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Falling into You
Sometimes a shattered heart needs to sing to love again . . . Sixteen year old singer-songwriter Shaynee Sullivan hasn’t so much as touched her guitar since her mom died six months ago. In fact, Shaynee hasn’t felt like doing much of anything lately, except maybe playing Whack-a-Mole on her “emotionally intelligent” brother’s head. But when she meets a gorgeous and surprising rocker named Dean, her shattered heart begins to mend . . . and then burst at the seams. Heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and sometimes even heart-racing, Heart Shaped Rock will leave you laughing through tears and rooting for love in all its forms.
Hear the original music performed in Heart Shaped Rock at www.LauraRoppe.com. All music available on iTunes.
Author Laoura Roppe
Laura Roppé is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, audio book narrator, speaker, and former attorney from San Diego, California. In 2011, Billboard Magazine ranked her as Number Three on its chart of the Top 50 “uncharted” artists in the world. In May 2013, Laura began hosting Amazon’s weekly podcast, “Kindle Love Stories,” for people who love hearing about love stories, romance, and happily ever afters.
Her first book is the non-fiction memoir, Rocking the Pink. Her latest is a YA-teen romance novel entitled Heart Shaped Rock, featuring a soundtrack.
Interview with Author Laura Roppé regarding the music of Heart Shaped Rock
Q: Music is really important to the plot and characters in your book, Heart Shaped Rock. I love it when authors post a playlist for their book—but you’ve taken it a step further and written/recorded an entire album of original music to accompany your book.
LR: Yes! Music is my life. Before I ever sat down to write my first book, I was a professional singer-songwriter and performing with my band almost every week. I eat, sleep and breathe music. So it’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that four of my characters in Heart Shaped Rock are singer-songwriters—all in totally different musical styles—and that the songs they perform are central to the story and their character development. After I finished writing the book, I was so invested in the characters and the story, I decided to write/produce the songs performed by the characters in the book. I personally performed the mom-character’s songs, and lucky for me, three other incredible artists agreed to perform the other characters’ songs. I think listening to the songs as you read the book enhances the experience. At least, that’s my hope.
Q: Your hero Dean is a rocker with a heart of gold. Who’d you get to perform his song?
LR: People keep telling me Dean is their new book boyfriend. I based him on someone dear to me, my cousin Matthew Embree, who’s the lead singer of one of my all-time favorite rock bands, Rx Bandits. Every time I “heard” Dean singing in my head while writing, I imagined Matthew’s voice. I was pretty thrilled when he read the book and agreed to perform and co-write Dean’s love song, “Girl in Yellow.” I couldn’t imagine anyone else singing to my little Shaynee. It had to be Matthew. He’s perfect.
Q: How’d you find the voice of your sixteen-year-old heroine, Shaynee?
LR: Singer-songwriter Lauren Coleman portrays Shaynee on the album, and she’s incredible. With her own music, she does folk rock, blues, country with her band Pebaluna—and she’s mesmerizing. Everyone who hears her is like, “OH MY GOD SHE’S AMAZING!” I sent her the songs, and she agreed. Shaynee’s songs were the first songs I wrote for the album, and I cried buckets writing them. I originally recorded demos of the songs with my vocals, just so I had something to send out to whatever artist was going to portray Shaynee to learn the song. Oh my God, if you could hear the original demos with my vocals you’d understand why I’m so happy Lauren Coleman agreed to be my Shaynee. Practically speaking, the tone of my voice is all wrong for sixteen-year-old Shaynee. Also, as a forty-something-year-old mother of two, I have too much life experience to authentically convey Shaynee’s raw vulnerability. (If you read the book, you’ll know what I mean. She’s one giant ball of emotion, that girl.) But most of all, Lauren Coleman is just such a better singer than I am, there’s no comparison. She really took my songs to another level. Like, wow. And when I got them back with her vocals on them instead of mine, I thought I was going to have an aneurysm in the best possible way.
Q: And you performed the “mom” songs, right?
LR: Yes. Writing and performing Mom’s songs for Heart Shaped Rock was the easiest part of this whole project because—surprise!—I’m Mom . . . albeit in an alternate universe where I sadly didn’t survive the cancer battle I waged in 2009; and where I had a girl and a boy instead of my actual two daughters, Sophie and Chloe; and also where I’m quite a bit cooler than I really am. (As a little side-note-Easter-egg sort of thing, if you take a listen to “Cobalt Blue,” Shaynee’s love song to Dean, that’s me singing the back-up vocals on the track. It was important for Mom to be there in spirit for Shaynee—“backing her up,” literally and metaphorically—as Shaynee followed her heart and finally let her feelings out.) I also wrote a song for the little brother called “It’s Not Making Sense.” Total pop, like Hansen or Jackson 5. And it’s performed by this incredible artist named Grae. If you haven’t heard of him yet, remember his name. You will be hearing a lot about him really soon.
Q: How can readers hear the music when they read the book?
LR: To thank early readers of Heart Shaped Rock, I’ve put the entire album up on my website at www.LauraRoppe.com (at the “Music to HSR” tab) through June. You can listen and download all the songs for free (no code or email address required). I hope you love the music as much as I do.