I've been working on a theory about novelists lately: most of us wish we were rock stars. I'm basing this on a few things, like, for example, who wouldn't want to be a rock star? Also, with all our anonymity, social anxiety disorders, and how we tend to be at our best while wearing sweatpants alone in quiet rooms, it makes sense that rock stars would have some appeal. After all, they've got the cool outfits, the literal spotlight…people know their names. Mostly, though, my theory is founded on the fact that we keep writing about them. My latest novel Charm City Rocks features several fictional rock stars, most notably Margot Hammer, who is the former powerhouse drummer of the long-broken-up, all-female rock band Burnt Flowers. After an impromptu performance in Baltimore goes viral, Margot is thrust back into musical relevance, and drama ensues. Never in my writing career has a character's backstory been more different than my own. Also, never in my writing career has a character been easier and more fun to write. I'm not going to claim the words flowed, because in my experience words don't really do that. But when I sat down to write the first Margot chapter, I realized that I already knew who Margot was, what her music meant to her, and exactly how she felt about being world famous for hitting things with sticks. That's because I've been doing research about rock stars via daydreaming since I saw MTV for the first time when I was ten and thought, Wow, I wish I could do that. Below is a literary playlist—ahem—of some of my favorite novels that feature musicians and the seductive lure of rock stardom. Most were published recently, but, like some aging crooner who's trying to sell something new, I threw in a couple classics to round out the set. Have a look and let me know what you think. And if audiobooks are your thing, I recommend turning the volume up as loud as it'll go and telling your neighbors to go straight to hell. * Jessica Anya […]
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