To celebrate the release of Andrea Laurence’s first southern contemporary romance, Facing the Music, we asked her to tell us a little bit about her musical inspiration. After reading her thoughts below, check out the contest she’s holding on her website: the Southern Movie Sweet Sixteen playoff bracket from September 15th to September 30th. Visit Andrea’s website ( each day to vote as two classic southern movies go head-to-head. Your votes will help determine who goes on to the next round. To find out which southern movie reigns supreme and for a chance to win a prize back that includes the  film and a copy of Facing the Music, play along and follow the hashtag #SouthernSweet16.

I typically have a playlist for every book. Look on my iPhone and you’ll find hidden amongst the 80s and Old School Hip Hop playlists are ones called “Wade & Tori,” “Brody & Samantha” and “Bree & Ian.” Selecting the songs and listening to the playlist while I’m writing the book really helps me get in the mood. I found this to be doubly true when I was writing Facing the Music. My heroine, Ivy Hudson, is a rock star. And not just any rock star – she’s built her entire career on dating bad boys and then writing songs about them when it goes south. Sound familiar?

Whereas the nugget of a story idea came from the hijinks of Taylor Swift, the character of Ivy is really a composite of several different female artists combined into one super rock icon. Those characters are reflected in the Facing the Music playlist. It’s a little schizophrenic as playlists go. It’s a little bit country and a little bit

rock n’ roll. (My mom would be so pleased I worked a Donny & Marie reference in here.) There’s angry break up songs, sweet love songs and sad, soulful songs about love lost. Put all together, it was a great inspiration for the book and the songs I wrote for it, including Size Matters, I’ve Never Stopped Loving You and Do You (Want Me)? Here’s the breakdown!


Break Up Anthems – This is probably my favorite category and the main inspiration for the kind of music Ivy was writing. It includes:


“Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and “U + Ur Hand” by P!nk

I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

“Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry


“My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue

“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

“White Liar” by Miranda Lambert

“Bust Your Windows” from the Glee soundtrack. (You’ve discovered my guilty pleasure! At least through season 3.)

Sad Songs of Love Lost – This category kinda balanced out the angry stuff. Like any breakup, there are phases of grief including sadness because even if he was a jerk and made out with a cheerleader, it’s hard to forget about the good times, too. This list has:

adele“What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flats

“Already Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

“Without You” by the Dixie Chicks

“Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk

“Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.

Happy Love Songs – This is a romance novel after all. I couldn’t just have a whole list of songs like “Bust Your Windows”. It’s a love story too, and the playlist reflects that with gems like:

bryan“Just a Kiss” and “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum

“I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain

“I’m Ready” by Bryan Adams.

I think all in all, it’s a pretty awesome and inspiring playlist.

But here’s a question for you – what songs are on the playlist for your last or current relationship (good or bad)?