Music and Inked: The Soundtrack to a Young Adult Novel (and Giveaway)

Inked Cover

Hi everyone!

I’m super thrilled to have Eric Smith, author and publishing extraordinaire from Quirk Books, here at Good Books and Good Wine to celebrate his debut YA fantasy Inked! As you all know, I love music so I’m very excited that Eric is going to talk to us about what kind of music inspired him as he was writing Inked! So without further ado, I leave the floor (erm blog post) to you, Eric:


I’m not sure if I know a single writer who works on their books, blog posts, essays, whatever… without listening to music at some point or another. For me, music keeps my mood up, keeps me driven, and often times, puts me in the mindset that I need to be in while working, particularly when fussing over fiction.

Trying to write YA, my favorite kind of music to blast on the ol’ iTunes or spin on my record player (I love me some vinyl), is generally anything remotely pop-punk-ish. As a teenager and young adult, I definitely was a “scene” kid, checking out bands at cafes, VFWs, and small venues before they got popular. And I don’t mean that in a snooty “I liked that band before you did” kind of way. Just sayin’. That was a big part of my life from age 16 thru my mid-20’s.

That kind of music always put me in the mindset of feeling younger, and were absolutely my tunes of choice while fussing over INKED. These ten records got the most spin time while I was busy writing.


Acceptance – Phantoms: When I was in college, I had an internship at a music PR company that worked with Acceptance, and let me tell you, that was a real thrill. Phantoms is an album I’ve loved for over a decade, from a band that was tragically overlooked and incredibly underrated.

Chances are, this album will always be on my soundtrack lists, for every single book I ever try to write.


Bayside – Acoustic: An older EP from 2006, collecting some of their best older songs with some covers, Bayside’s Acoustic EP was an album I frequently had playing while writing.

JimmyEatWorld_ChaseTheLight Jimmy_Eat_World_-_Invented

Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light and Invented: So these two albums certainly came out long after I was an angsty teenager / new adult in college, but Jimmy Eat World’s hopefully lyrics and upbeat melodies are some of the best to get you going. These two albums can often be found in my record player while I’m writing / editing in my living room.


New Found Glory – Self Titled: This album always takes me back to high school, with its power chords and lyrics about girls. Hit or Miss, Dressed to Kill, Better Off Dead… these are pop punk classics that make me remember those simpler days of being confused in the hallways of my school. A definite “take you back” album, great to write (and sing-a-long) with.

Catalyst and Coming Home also got regular spins, but none as often as this early record.


Punchline – Action: Punchline was one of those bands that I followed all through college, both online and frequently at concerts. Upbeat pop-punk, positive, inspiring lyrics… they are a hard band to dislike. I became friends with some of the band members over the years, and singer Steve Sobeleski even wrote the theme song to INKED, which you can download for free here.

I think their song Battlescars, off their album Action, is one of my favorite songs about heartbreak and learning to grow up.


Sherwood – Sing But Keep Going and A Different Light: Remember Myspace, you guys? Sure you do. Sherwood was one of the bands signed to their record label (yes, Myspace had a record label), and had a lot of success with their fantastic, indie-rock / kinda-pop-punk albums.

Sing But Keep Going and A Different Light are regular albums on my iTunes and record player, as well as singer Nate Henry’s solo work. Their upbeat and frequently happy, sunny music is perfect for summer drives and long writing sessions.


Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This to Memory: Another pop-punk classic, Motion City Soundtrack are great at writing music that keep your mood WAY up. Songs like Everything is Alright are perfect to write to, especially when it feels like everything isn’t.

I also listened to The Conversation from their album Even if it Kills Me a lot while working on this book. I’d met a girl this one summer, who was supposed to leave after the summer was over, and this song was like, my sad-while-writing-theme-song. She stayed.

We’re getting married this summer. Things turned out well.


Something Corporate – Leaving Through the Window and North: And the final two picks, are Something Corporate’s amazing albums. I don’t think I single record makes me feel young the way these two do, with anthems about high school bullies, lovesick scene kids, and dreams (and love interests!) being chased and yearned for. Piano pop-rock at its finest.

And now, as a fun giveaway, you can enter to win an iPod Shuffle and a $25 iTunes gift card, below! Maybe you’ll pick up some of the music I rocked out to while writing. I definitely hope you will. It inspired me, and hopefully, it’ll inspire you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Giveaway is US only)


Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.  Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.  And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can’t escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.  But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.  Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Order your copy of Inked by Eric Smith: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Follow the blog tour!

1/20: The Book Smugglers
The Premiere of the Theme Song to INKED by (Surprise!)

1/21: Cuddlebuggery
On Editing, Revising, & Learning to Leave Things Out

1/22: Snuggly Oranges
What To Do When You Just Can’t: Researching Outside the Box

1/23: The Perpetual Page Turner
A Roundup (And Giveaway) of YA Novels That Inspired INKED

1/26: Good Books & Good Wine
Music & Inked: The Soundtrack to a Young Adult Novel

1/27: Not Yet Read
How Video Games Can Make You a Better Author

1/28: My Bookish Ways
The Best Pieces of Advice I’ve Ever Gotten From Other Writers

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Allison is 27 years old. She is always looking for new books, good music, quality/epic adventures, and a normal sleep schedule. She currently works with the elderly.


  1. You know, I find that whatever songs have been stuck in my head or are popular at the time I finish reading a book I can make fit the mood of the book, but I always have like one song in particular that seems to stick with each book that I personally try to write. In the past, this has included songs from Fall Out Boy, Florence and the Machine, and even… Justin Bieber! haha I like your pick of Jimmy Eat World. You can never go wrong with them. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! 🙂

  2. I love that Acceptance album. Can’t wait to check this one out!

  3. I have Inked for review and I’m looking forward to reading it looking at this list of awesome tunes for the soundtrack! I have been listening to Hozier’s Take Me to Church while reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It fits in different ways.


  1. […] you to The Book Smuggles, Cuddlebuggery, The Perpetual Page Turner, Snuggly Oranges, Not Yet Read, Good Books & Good Wine, and My Bookish Ways for being on my team, and pushing the book out there with my guest posts and […]