Friends, I am soooooo pumped up to welcome Leila Sales to Good Books And Good Wine to talk about This Song Will Save Your Life, a book that I absolutely recommend!
The idea for THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE first came to me as two separate, unconnected concepts. One was about a girl who became a secret DJ, sort of a modern-day retelling of PUMP UP THE VOLUME. I envisioned her as someone who was unable to express her feelings through spoken words, who was able to communicate only through playing the right song at the right time. I had this idea in mind for a number of years and nothing ever came of it. It was missing . . . something.
The second idea was about a girl who stages a suicide attempt for attention. You know, that’s so often the critique that’s lodged at teens who cut themselves, or overdose on pills—“Oh, he’s only doing it for attention”—as though that somehow makes the action less legitimate, less worthy of being taken seriously. As though if you just don’t give them the attention they crave, they’ll stop acting out, like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Ultimately this scene, of a girl who hurts herself without really intending to die, became the first two chapters of THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. I looked at what I had written, and I thought there was something there, but I didn’t know what happened next. Where do you go from a half-hearted suicide attempt? Then I remembered my secret DJ concept, and I thought: I wonder if these two things are actually the same story. Here we are a couple years later, and it’s a book.
What saves the protagonist of THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, ultimately, is not just music, but her love of music, her passion for songs that mean something to her. I think that’s what saves us all—not music necessarily, but our passion for and commitment to something outside of ourselves, be it another person, or a community of people, a political cause, an artistic pursuit, music, or books and stories.
For me personally, music has always been something that I turn to in times of crisis. When I listen to the right song, with just the right lyrics, I am reminded that other people have experienced whatever it is that I’m experiencing. Of course your friends can tell you, for example, “I was hurt, too, when my boyfriend broke up with me.” But that’s not always as helpful as listening to the perfect breakup song.
Every time I discover a new song, or book, or movie that hits me just right, I am reminded that this is why we stick around, and why we keep exploring. Because if you live long enough, you will fall in love over and over again; you will never stop finding new things to fall for.
Thanks so much Leila!!
Check out these resources for more info:
- -Leila Sales is part of the September Fierce Reads Tour with Alexandra Coutts, S.A. Bodeen and Marissa Meyer. The tour schedule is on the Mac Kids blog
- -All Fierce Reads info can be found on this Facebook Fan Page
- -Watch the This Song Will Save Your Life Book Trailer
- -Listen to the TSWSYL playlist
- -Follow Leila Sales on Twitter
- -Become a fan of Leila Sales on Facebook