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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

PAH Anniversary Week (Day 3: Story Soundtrack)

Now, for the musical inspiration behind Prisoner at Heart! One thing that I had a lot of fun putting together during both Held Captive and Prisoner at Heart was the soundtrack. I listen to music a lot when I write, and whenever I stumble upon a song that sounds like a character or a certain scene, I copy the lyrics to a document. Well, since I can't share the lyrics without copyright issues, and copying/pasting the links to YouTube videos is too much work, I'm going to be sharing the PAH soundtrack the new-fashioned way!

Meet the PAH Spotify playlist! There aren't many songs, strangely, because I ended up with many, many more for HC and a ton now for Bound and Determined.

Now, I know some of these are obvious and some aren't, so I'm going to commentary on each song!

#1: "Beautiful Things" by Gungor. This is the theme song for this book. When I wrote the quote I shared Thursday--"Maybe it took the ugly things--the ashes, the scraps, the dirt--to make the beautiful thing"--this song immediately came to mind and it flows so well with the entire story.

#2: "Any Other Way" by Tenth Avenue North. This song made its way into my Relient K Pandora station and still sticks around. I imagine it as the song God was singing to Crimson's soul as He called her into His arms.

#3: "Let The Waters Rise" by Mikeschair. This song was quite like "Beautiful Things," in that I pictured it for the story as I was writing it. The lyrics are reminiscent of how Rina feels when she faces Wilde.

#4: "The Last Night" by Skillet. When you hear this song, it's pretty obvious that it doesn't fit PAH. I don't consider PAH a story about depression or suicide, since I barely tough on those subjects. But the friendship between Crimson and Julius sounds a lot like this song, and I still consider it open to interpretation. Maybe it's an Elliot/Crimson thing. *shrugs* All I know is that even if it doesn't fit the story, it fits the characters.

#5: "Hope Is What We Crave" by for King and Country. This song is so beautiful and heartrending. In fact, most of the songs in the titular album are beautiful and heartrending. This one, however, fit PAH so well. I imagine it as the cry of everyone's soul--from Rina and Julius to Crimson and Elliot to even Daisy, the slave girl Scarlette meets and Rina tries to save.

#6: "Fight On, Fighter" by for King and Country. This was a very new song when I was writing PAH, and as soon as I heard it and read the lyrics, I knew it fit for Rina during her struggles with Wilde.

#7: "Fade" by David Dunn. I used to listen to David Dunn all the time, before I started listening to Christian pop rock from the 2000s, that is. "Fade" hadn't ever been one of my favorites of his, but when I was writing PAH, it came back to me and I knew it fit Rina and her new life as a Christian.

#8: "Just Another Name" by Lifehouse. I actually just heard this song maybe a month ago and had to add it to my PAH playlist. Some lines don't quite fit the story, but the song fits Crimson and Elliot's realization that she more than just a name" to a T. I absolutely adore Lifehouse and pretty much every song they ever performed fits either a character or a story of mine perfectly. (Y'all should see my BAD soundtrack so far...almost every single song is Lifehouse.)

#9: "First Time" by Hawk Nelson. I went back and forth on adding this song to the list, because it really fits only one split second and it's not the most, shall we say, inspirational song, but in the end, I couldn't resist. It's kind of like Elliot's song for letting go of the past and embracing love again and giving himself over to God. Not necessarily the meaning of the song, but music is art, art is subjective, and therefore it can mean whatever I draw from it.

#10: "Even If" by Kutless. Now, I used to listen to this song on a WOW CD all the time, but I hadn't heard or thought about it in forever. A few weeks ago, it popped back into my head and I knew that it fit PAH. That one's pretty obvious.

Well, thank y'all for "tuning in" to the Prisoner at Heart radio, 168.4 (see what I did there?)! I hope you guys enjoyed listening to these songs, most of which I listened to while writing PAH, and learning about how they fit my characters/story. Stay tuned, because tomorrow, October 25th, begins the SALE! I'll be posting a purchase link in tomorrow's post, which includes DELETED SCENES and alternate chapters from Prisoner at Heart!

BUT, before you go, read a short excerpt from Prisoner at Heart, when Julius saw his sister for the first time in over ten years.

"The sight of my sister was nearly overwhelming. She stood there on the edge of the quarterdeck, Father’s old spyglass positioned over her right eye as she scanned the army of her adversary with the utmost arrogance.

I bit back an oath. Her right eye. Rina had always held the scope up to her left. That meant...Curse that Wilde! I should have known that he had done to Rina what had been done to him!

But Rina seemed not to care, her face devoid of any emotion. She looked so different now, after ten years. Though my image of her from those many years ago had slowly diminished, I could see every way in which my older sister had changed. She hadn’t grown much taller, but she hadn’t needed to. Even now she would surpass my own six feet and three inches. She had put on some weight, though. Her arms seemed more muscular, her thighs thicker. And she must have partaken of too much of Dorian’s sludge, for her waist wasn’t as small as it had once been.

Her features were just as sharp, the years of endurance and hardness embedded in her expression. But there was a certain glow to her that I hadn’t remembered. Things must be going well for her. Or at least had been, until Wilde had shown up.

From beside me, Wilde’s bosun Lefty let out a low whistle. 'Now, there’s a woman. Whatcha think, Jules?' He elbowed me in the side, nearly causing me to topple out of the cramped boat I had been shoved into.

I shot the impertinent man a glare that made most of Wilde’s crew tremble. 'I reckon I think my sister’s lookin’ right nice, all things considered.'

Lefty’s eyes widened, and he tore his gaze away from Rina with a sneer. 'No won’er Tim’s been after her fer so long. The chit looks like the devil come t’ life.' Those wide eyes suddenly narrowed. 'Y’know, you two don’t look nothin’ alike. I won’er—'

Before I could retort, Crimson piped up from her position across from me. 'Yer wrong on that account, Lefty. They got the same nose; that broad forehead. An’ have ye e’er heard Jules sing? I tell ye, he sounds jus’ like that dead bird up there, he does.' She hooked a thumb at Rina with a haughty smirk that only made her faint freckles all the more visible.

That seemed to satisfy the man, who only laughed at Crimson’s comparison of Rina to a dead bird. 'Ye only say that ‘cause yer more a songbird than any o’ us.'"

Excerpts from Prisoner at Heart: Copyright © 2019 Grace Ann Johnson

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