Remembrance Day is just an excuse for vampires and humans to throw themselves a parade. They like to pretend they did us werewolves a favor. But I guess it's not all bad. I do get cheap booze, live in an underground lunar city, which some would find cool, and I am employed. Sejanus Industries isn't a benevolent corporate ruler, but they're the devil I made a deal with. My life is quiet and mostly non-violent but one message from my cousin could cause me to lose everything I've sacrificed for my peaceful life.
The salt of my perspiration mingled with the tang of copper and I shifted focus to my ribs, neck, knuckles, and legs. I could feel pools of blood passing through burst capillaries begin to collect under the surface of my skin to form bruises. Air recyclers and purifiers pushed a drifting breeze and the moisture on my body lifted the heat off my skin. I felt a massive swell of energy coming up from deep within the ground through my feet. It surged with something not quite electric, but it had a familiar thrum. The depth of power terrified me. Strange as it sounds, it felt sentient in a way. As though the pool of boundless power wanted me to tap into it. I ignored it, focused on the strength within me, and visualized wisps of gold light filtering through my injuries, pushing away and draining the inflammation around them. The crack in my rib needed more attention, so I let the light linger there, and when it was healed, I eased out of the trance.
Writing Playlists for Unrest
While I was working on Unrest I had two playlists. One playlist specifically for Aless that I crafted over several months to get right, and a playlist for the overall feel of the book. It’s my absolute pleasure to walk you through Aless’ playlist with explanations.
Link : Aless
This playlist tells Aless’ story in chronological order and ties into the short stories found within The Daybreaker Archives.
Mad World – Gary Jules - This song details Aless’ general childhood. She’s cynical, sad, depressed. “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.”
Nutshell – Alice in Chains – Aless feels further isolated and abandoned since she has to live with her aunt and barely remembers her own parents. She feels adrift and disconnected with who she is.
El Tren – Natalia Clavier - Because Aless is South American I wanted to be sure to include a song about her identity in Spanish. She struggles with who she is as a girl, a werewolf, and with her sexuality.
Go – Meg Myers - At this point she’s reached a breaking point with her family and decides to run away with her cousin, Grisela.
Catch Us If You Can – Elle King - Grisela and Aless have fled home and are on their own, being young and rebellious. They have to fend for themselves but for the first time, Aless feels free.
Black Wave – K. Flay - Peak young adulthood. She’s a badass, and already made a name for herself in certain circles. “Stumbling down the street, I swear to God you don’t want to test me,” is the perfect encapsulation of her attitude.
Kill Of The Night – Gin Wigmore – The song works on multiple levels because Aless met her girlfriend Yuki by coming to her aid when she was being attacked by vampires, which you can read about in my Patreon web-series and it’s also about her general philosophy on dating.
Lovesick – Dead Sara - The love song for Aless and Yuki. The vibe is just right. She’s deeply in love with Yuki, but it’s also representative of the last fight they had. “I believe that this time everything will work out.” Ties into the short story Composure
Espérame en el Cielo – Mäbu - The title translates to Wait For Me In Heaven, and ties into the short story Unraveled.
Malevolence – New Years Day - For those who’ve read my short story Collapse this song is the rage Aless feels about Yuki’s death and she makes some seriously poor decisions.
Ain’t Gonna Cry – Larkin Poe - At the end of Collapse, Aless has come to a certain peace about what she did and even though it was the wrong choice to make, she won’t feel regret.
Medicine Man – Dorothy - Aless searches for the medicine to quell her pain and finds it in a whiskey bottle.
Neon Cathedral – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - This song details in painful detail what alcoholism looks and feels like. Aless has waded into this territory with her drinking and isolates herself further.
Dear Sister – The Pretty Reckless - Aless has decided to leave, and this is her goodbye note to her cousin, Grisela.
The Only – Sasha Sloan - She’s in Galilei now, lonelier than ever.
Home - Foo Fighters - Aless is homesick. She misses everyone, grieves for those she lost, but can’t go home. This is the state she’s in at the beginning of Unrest.
You can find my other playlist here. All the songs are relevant to the story and the characters in some way, and it’s got a more aggressive, energetic feel to it. I would listen to each of the playlists while I was focusing on different things. When I was homing in on Aless’ characterization during my editing passes, I would listen to her playlist and when I was focusing more on world-building and plot structures or other characters I’d throw on the other one. Before I go though, I would like to highlight one song on my Unrest playlist:
The Wolf In Your Darkest Room by Matthew Mayfeild. If I could get a book trailer made, or if it got turned into a movie or TV show, I’d use this song. It’s got that perfect menacing feel and lyrics that matches the themes of the book and Aless’ character. The build-up, the vibe, his voice is just…*chef’s kiss*
Victor Arteaga is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories. Though he’s always been an avid reader, his dream to be a writer was jump-started when he got sober in March of 2015. What began as an exercise to keep his sobriety billowed into a deep and unbridled passion to create. His experiences with addiction and being a first-generation American from immigrant parents inject a flavor of unique authenticity to his characters and worlds that he creates. His imagination is given free rein to conjure worlds and experiences on the page which enthralls and captivates readers.
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