Playlist – The Improbability Volumes

Are You Still Talking About That Crazy Thing You Did?

By now, I’ve screamed enough from the rooftops about National Novel Writing Month. (No-way-near-humble-brag: this year was my second official NaNoWriMo.  Once again, I made it to “winner” status by achieving the goal of 50k words in the month of November.)

Improbability’s final count was around 56k, and for the whole month, I listened almost exclusively to the same music.

As always, for a story of this magnitude, I created a playlist to help set the mood for the daily word output, but I also had another ace up my sleeve – someone else’s playlist.

Since Improbability is a futuristic enemies-to-lovers romance as well as a spy-vs-assassin suspense novel, setting the mood was crucial. I needed a dark tone, but one that hinted at possibility – something sexy but not mushy, and futuristic but not cheesy.

I ask a lot from my playlists.

“Dark tone” crossed with “futuristic” equated electronica. Sexy without mush meant slower beats but no flowery violins, and “not cheesy” meant that I needed to stay away from the ’70s sci-fi synthesizer sound.

Start With The Bones

I started with my primary protagonist, the ethical hacker working for a government agency, newly transferred to a field assignment. Logically, this led to coding mixes on YouTube inspired by THE MATRIX. Within minutes I’d found a coding mix with killer Matrix-inspired visuals and a playtime that clocked in at over two hours.


(If you play this while you read the posted drafts, you’ll be immersed in the world I imagined as I wrote it.)

In The Car, At The Library, In The Shower

Most of these songs ended up on my own personal mix as well. When I’m working on a project, I obsess on it, which means I need a portable version for the car, or my phone, or wherever I am – and I’m not always plugged in enough to play YouTube.

This list contains singles from several different artists, though one entire soundtrack was nearly ideal for the mood I was trying to create – “Halt and Catch Fire” by Paul Haslinger.

Everything else is listed below, but there are two standouts. Trentemoller’s “Take Me Into Your Skin” and Blank & Jones “Florent 2 A.M.” were the sexiest tracks on the list, and absolutely the environment for the shift in the sexual dynamic for the two main characters. (The first encounter between Denna and Katja is edgier than this, and required something more tense – Reznor and Ross’ “Intriguing Possbilities”.)

The rest of this list:

  • Trentemoller, “Evil Dub”, “Like Two Strangers”
  • Colin Stetson, “Like wolves on the fold”
  • Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, “Complication With Optimistic Outcome”
  • Solar Fields, “Outlined Surfaces”, “Insum”
  • H.U.V.A. Network, “Indigo Room”
  • Charlie Clouser, “For Alaska”
  • Gus Gus Vs T-world “Anthem”
  • Mega Drive, “Converter”

On to the next story…and the next playlist.

Give the gift of romance –  give BIG CITY BLUES to your favorite lesbian fiction reader!