Turrim Archive Playlist

I don’t always listen to music when I’m writing. I don’t always make pinterest boards for my books, either… which I guess makes me odd as a writer. Sometimes, though, a certain type of music will appeal to me as I sit down to write and I either pop in a CD, or pull up a playlist on iTunes, or go find a soundtrack on youtube to listen to as I type. Not often… but sometimes. And the music doesn’t always really go with the story I am telling. I’m just not one of those authors who can point to a certain song and say, “That. That is the soundtrack for THIS particular scene, and I listened to it over and over to set the tone as I was writing.” Shrug. I listen to what inspires me, and what helps me write… and sometimes that playlist is a bit odd.

With the second book of the Turrim Archive, I have been listening to music of late while I type. And it has followed the flow of having nothing to do with the story I’m writing. But it does inspire me. So I thought some of you might be interested to take a gander at some of the things I’ve been listening to. I’m afraid it won’t tell you much about the book I’m writing… but perhaps it will give you an insight into the way I work! (Or not… probably not. I think my mind works in very strange ways).

If you have never listened to Gordon Lightfoot, you are missing out. His music and lyrics are so beautiful and they inspire me to be creative. I love that he doesn’t sing songs so much as he performs ballads… which is why he and his song “Minstrel of the Dawn” was the main source of inspiration behind the character of Kiernan Kane. His music continues to inspire me, and it is soothing to write to. And while none of his songs can really be pointed at as inspiration behind any of the characters or storyline of the Turrim Archive, I have been listening to this CD a lot as I write.

Another favorite CD of mine to write to is Sarah Brightman’s “Winter Symphony.” I will admit that since much of the story I’ve been writing lately has been taking place in wintertime and in the snowy mountains, the songs on this album have provided the “feel” of winter that I’ve been trying to infuse into the story. (Of course, the deep piles of snow we’ve gotten this winter in real life have also helped)!

Anne Murray’s music has also made its way into my playlist for this story. I’m not really sure why. I mean, I love her music, but it really has nothing to do with the story… Maybe I’ve just been in a mood to revisit some favorites from my childhood.

Ah, finally! Music that makes sense! I can’t remember who recommended this particular soundtrack, but I have definitely been listening to it a lot as I write. It definitely provides that fantasy, otherworldly sort of mood and setting. And it is beautiful and exciting and great for when I’m writing battle sequences or my characters are having mysterious conversations…

Celtic music always makes it into my writing playlists in some way or another. While none of my stories take place in Ireland or really in a Celtic setting of any kind, I think there’s a sort of Celtic feel I’m always kind of striving for in most of my fantasy worlds at some point. I’ve really been enjoying this particular album of late.

And that’s about it for the Turrim Archive playlist. Kind of an ecclectic, nonsensical mixture… but there you have it, an insight into the very strange wiring of my mind.

Do you like to listen to music when you write? Do you listen to music that “goes” with the scene you’re writing (and how do you manage to find it?!), or are you more like me and simply listen to music that inspires you, regardless of whether or not it goes with the story you’re working on? I’d love to hear from you!

~ jenelle


Madeline J. Rose

Ooh, this is so fun! I love coming up with playlists for my novels. It really sets me in a writing mood and I love listening to scores while I write. Also, SKYRIM MUSIC IS AMAZING… *ahem* Yes.

DJ Edwardson

Interesting choices. Though I always write to music, I’m amazed at your ability to write to words with songs. That’s something I really don’t do. The words become too distracting. But I’m glad you’re able to do it as it gives you a much wider selection to choose from!

And yes, Gordy is the king of ballads.


It has to be music where I know the words so well they barely register. I also got quite talented at tuning things out when I was in college and needed to do homework when my roommate and our friends were over NOT needing to do homework! :)


I love Sarah Brightman! I’ve never listened to any of the other artists you named, though. Maybe I’ll have to check them out during my next writing session! I usually write to music, though it doesn’t usually correspond with what I’m writing. Usually I just listen to whatever I’m in the mood for.

Jenelle Schmidt March Ishness 2017

[…] go with the story and the elements I was writing… so they aren’t random, despite my conversation last month about the randomness with which I often pick my writing music – apparently the random-levels […]


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