Thursday, August 29, 2013


by Allison Pang

Before I could ask what Kitsune meant, she pulled something out of a loose bag at her waist and slid it across the table. 

My enchanted iPod.

I picked it up with a rueful smile. "Got everything you needed, I take it?"

"In a manner of speaking. We weren't able to replicate it exactly, but close enough." A frown wrinkled her lips. "I know you said it had an infinite playlist, but it only ever seemed to play Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here'."

"Stubborn thing." I pressed shuffle and the little device immediately began to chug along, AC/DC's "Back in Black" popping up on the screen."

~ A Trace of Moonlight

Music has always been a large part of my Abby Sinclair series, so it's not that I have a specific playlist for each book, so much as they're actually part of the stories.

Kind of hard not to, really - one of Abby's "plot devices" (ha ha) is an enchanted iPod - it never drains its battery and it can play every song every recorded. Although it's mostly just there for effect at times, over the course of the books it began to start showing a bit of personality, as seen above.

(Perhaps a bit of real life sneaking in there...I'm a terrible song hoarder. My own iPod has over 20k songs on it at any given time, so...yeah.)

I suppose it's a bit of a no-no to include actual technology or pop culture type things in UF books. It does tend to date them, though I'm not overly concerned about it. (And I wrote up a bit of a failsafe there...the iPod changes as technology changes, so it won't ever really be out of date, I suppose.)

Some of the songs referenced in the books actually were plot points - Abby's love of Tom Jones, for example. Other songs were whatever I was listening to at any given moment while I was writing. In a lot of ways, reading those books now is sort of a mental history of where I was in my life.  (I tend to do this for a number of things - cross-stitching, for example - there are many pieces where I can point to certain sections and tell you exactly what was playing on the radio that day. The brain is a funny thing.)

In some cases, the music reference are fairly off the cuff - not everyone is going to pick up on them, and that's okay.  (e.g. Abby asking "What's new, pussycat?" at Brystion when they first meet. Since she had just been listening to Tom Jones, I was just sort of running with it - though I had one or two younger readers not understand what I meant at all, and dinged me via review because people "don't actually talk that way." *shrugs*)

Sometimes the references are even more subtle - as in Phin's comment about there being "too many dicks on the dance floor" - which could be taken at face value...or not.

But I'm sneaky like that.


  1. I am a music addict and adore it when authors put music into their books and pop culture references. Hence my love of Abby's iPod, you don't know how much I have wished for one of those!