It’s no secret that teens love music, and author Ivy Cayden skillfully capitalized on that love by incorporating a Spotify playlist into her first novel. All at once, which is part of his Chorduroys And Too Many Boys young adult book series.
“Since publishing my novel, I have learned that other authors refer to songs at the start of their chapters, but I have yet to see another author actually integrate the songs into the story and use a playlist like I did, ”she said. explained in an email interview. “In my particular case, the idea of the playlist existed before I wrote part of the story. My characters are just as obsessed with music as I am, and I wanted the show to reflect that.”
In addition to his new book, Cayden is also writing a music blog, My multitrack mind, who searches for the music of emerging artists and interviews them. Some tracks from Spotify’s 67-song playlist were discovered through her blog.
“Launching My Multi-Track Mind almost five years ago made one of my childhood dreams come true,” Cayden continued. “I consider it an absolute honor to share artists’ stories and celebrate their music. I’m always on the lookout for the best and lesser-known independent artists, and my inbox is perpetually inundated with new submissions for inquiries. interviewing and placing playlists. For me, it’s like mining for gold! ”
Its purpose is both to present new music to its readers and to show them other older artists that they may have missed, which is why tracks like The Cranberries’ 1992 song “Dreams” “and the 1977 Journey song” Wheel in the Sky “are included. .
“I wanted the book’s playlist to mimic the intense, kaleidoscopic emotional range of adolescents, and that required not limiting music by genre or decade,” she explained. “I think the wide variety of sounds makes the story more real. Music can be a great connector; and, since all of my characters have their own listening preferences, the songs they choose to listen to at specific points in the story help readers become more intimately familiar with each of them. ”
“Music served as a bridge between my world and the world of history – and I wanted readers to have access to this entry as well,” Cayden added. “While it seemed daunting, I somehow knew that if I could anchor the songs to the story in a precise and determined way, it would result in an incredibly immersive experience for the reader.”
It works! Even if you don’t have to play the songlist while you read – the story can be enjoyed on its own – the songs add an extra layer of meaning to the characters and what they experience.
Essentially, All at once is the story of a group of close friends, their various changing love interests, the secrets they hide from each other, and the general difficulties of teenage browsing. Expect unrequited love, deep social insecurities, a desire to belong, and fear of the future. It all feels authentic and for older readers it sparks high school memories.
“I believe the key was sprinkled in the really raw, fluctuating inner dialogue of the main characters,” Cayden said of the realism of his story. “What are these individuals thinking despite what they say or how they behave? It has become a delicate balance: how much inner emotion to reveal versus to conceal. And when to give readers a deeper insight into certain characters. I continually challenged myself to dive. beneath the surface of their insecurities, conflicts, hopes and dreams to produce a more authentic story.
“While there is currently nothing autobiographical about the show, putting myself in the proper frame of mind to chronicle the lives of these teenagers sometimes forces me to revisit selected moments from my past. , from those who are worthy and discouraged to the promising and euphoric. ”
The story is also somewhat mysterious as the various characters hold secrets, some as simple as those they have a crush on.
“I try to make my readers guess. All at once, each character holds a distinct share of the truth, but none of them have the whole pie. It’s a bit like real life, with lingering uncertainties and masked emotions that cause us to question the real feelings and real motivations of others, ”she said. inner circles? ”
Cayden grew up in “a quaint coastal town in Rhode Island”. After graduating with honors from the Gabelli School of Business at Roger Williams University, she “was recruited to Los Angeles to work in the corporate sector of the film industry.” Weekend trips to the coast have brought her to Cambria, where she and her husband, Chase, have settled down and are expecting their first child, who may be here at the time of this article’s publication.
“When I found out I was pregnant, one of my first thoughts was, ‘I wonder who will come out first: the second book or the baby? “While the second volume is already well advanced, I took a short break in the series and My multitrack mind prepare for motherhood. As soon as our little package makes its grand entrance and I get used to life as a new mom, I will dive back into writing. I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on! ”
All at once is a cliffhanger, and the next picks up where it left off – a teenage party that ended with a lot of hurt feelings.
“I envisioned the whole story as a vibrant saga that follows the tight-knit group of teenagers into adulthood. Regardless of the total number of books, the Chorduroys And Too Many Boys series will continue to feature Kila Lorens , her older brother, Ethan, and all their friends. And each book will always have its own intricate and immersive reading list. ”
Cayden’s musical tastes are eclectic and formidable. Anyone can listen to the Spotify playlist of the book. Just search for it on Google. Listen, and it might make you want to read this book.
“Music is transporting,” Cayden explained. “When the characters are listening to music at home, in their car, or in a cafe, and you, as the reader, also listen to those same songs at these same times, the characters seem to breathe and the story feels more real. . “??
Contact senior editor Glen Starkey at [email protected]