Friday, February 3, 2017

(Updated) Very Superstitio-- Wait, Wrong Song

I have this dumb superstition regarding the novel I'm querying. I'm not usually superstitious at all; I think this is probably my writer brain forgetting that not every little detail is symbolism or foreshadowing. Especially, ya know, in real life.


In November of 2015, I had an idea for a novel about a space carnival. And that was the extent of the plot. A carnival in space and the people who worked in its freak show. I had some characters I liked and a general idea that there'd be a war, but nothing else.

And then I was sitting in the van in our friend's driveway, waiting for my mom, and American Pie came on the radio. I like the song, and it isn't one I hear very often, so I actually stopped to listen.

And it fixed everything about my plot. I mean everything. It gave my character a love interest and the villain a backstory. It indirectly named a lot of my planets. (Vespi 3-14? That's totally named after Ameriggo Vespucchi, whom America is named for, and the first three digits of pi. American Pie. Get it?) A major part of my plot involves music "dying," and if you were to play a drinking game involving really obscure references to the people and events in the song, you'd be too drunk to read past the first few chapters. (Even I don't remember them all, but I think every planet and most characters were tangentially named for something in the song.)

So American Pie became something of my book's theme song, and while I never actively sought it out, the song kept... finding me. In the six months I was writing (not editing, just writing) FreakShow, I think I heard it six or seven times. Sometimes the whole thing, sometimes just catching the very end, and almost always when I was struggling with the plot.

I wrote "The End" in May 2016, and haven't heard the song since.

I listen to the same radio stations, around the same times of day, as I did for those six months. Nothing. So now I have this idea that I won't hear it until the day my book is accepted or published. It's silly, I know, and I don't actually believe it.

But if it does happen, now I have written proof that I thought it might. :D

Have you ever had interesting coincidences happen with your writing? Does your book have a theme song?

UPDATE 2/5/17

Guess what song I just heard.

I'm not even kidding. I'm watching the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (hilarious show, by the way), and Jon Hamm's character started singing American Pie.

I know it doesn't mean anything, but how funny is it that I was just talking about it?


  1. That is an interesting coincident to have happen. Maybe when the book is out for sale, you'll hear the song and every time you do, that means someone bought it. ;)

  2. That is SO weird! I was writing a book called "Falling for Grace" back in the 90s (before 9,000 other authors named their book that) and there was a song called "Fall from Grace" that came on every day as I drove home. I would feel inspired to write as soon as I came home. When I finished the book, I never heard the song again!

  3. That's a cool story. We don't generally notice symbolism and foreshadowing in real life, but that's not to say it isn't there - we just don't have the luxury of skipping back a couple of chapters to check! :-) Fingers crossed you don't have to wait too long to hear the song again!

    1. I like that way of looking at it!
      (and I actually just heard the first lines of the song today! no publication news, though :P)