Kindle Fire Giveaway & "Desolation" Author, Travis Simmons' Top 10 Listened Song While Writing

Writers Workshop Blog Tour

As part of the "Desolation" blog tour, I'm happy to have Travis Simmons tell us all about the top 10 song he listened to while writing "Desolation". Take it away, Travis!


It’s no secret that I listen to music when I write. Even now, as I type this top 10 list, I have my Pandora channel set to Enigma. Why Enigma? New Age music helps to relax me enough that I can tap into my mind easier, the simple flow of the music helps the words come out in a more artistic form than if I just hammer away at the keyboard haphazardly without any music.

Music creates a story within me, it helps me tap into certain emotions that can really help write a scene. When writing fantasy, I typically listen to New Age, maybe light some incense and bash away at the keyboard. If I write a fight scene, I will put on heavy metal.

For DESOLATION it was different. Asher St Paul is a very troubled, and a very damaged young man. He has gone through a lot. He has had to kill all of his family when the zombie virus struck his home and when the book opens he is losing another person very dear to him. For this, I needed a very sad playlist. In fact, the playlist is entitled “Asher’s Sadness.”

In order, one being the most helpful in creating the feel for the book, and 10 being the least effective, these are the songs that helped me pen DESOLATION

1. Dark Paradise ~ Lana Del Rey
a. You will find a lot of Lana on this list because her music is so haunting, so personal, and so depressing that it easily speaks the language of Asher’s soul. Dark Paradise could really be the theme for DESOLATION because every survivor in the book as a haunting
past they are trying to survivor more than they are trying to survive the zombies.

2. Summertime Sadness ~ Lana Del Rey
a. Another Lana song that hits the spot.

3. Twenty-one ~ The Cranberries
a. Ever since I was a teen The Cranberries have helped me feel pretty emo, so they were a pretty good fit for DESOLATION even if this song doesn’t specifically speak about the story at all.

4. Born to Die ~ Lana Del Rey
a. No real reason other than what I’ve said before about her singing.

5. Cut ~ Plumb
a. This is another really good one. Asher deals with a lot, and at some point he comes to an understanding with his emotions that everything will work out, and he can’t live in the darkness of his past. I think this song really emulates that message.

6. Damaged ~ Plumb
a. This song reminds me a lot of my youth, and the ups and downs of love. It really doesn’t have a message to the story, except maybe realizing what’s in the past can’t be changed or un-said. It is more a song that reminds me of depressing times, and so it made it on to the list.

7. Home ~ Phillip Phillips
a. This song is an amazing song, the timbre of his voice, the music, I love everything about this song. But it fits within the confines of DESOLATION also. Asher has to relax into this new life, he has to find a way to live and Cleave, a doctor at Refuge, helps him do that. Cleave becomes a strong point for Asher, and while Asher isn’t the “damsel in
distress” character, he does need someone to see what he is going through, and to help him through all of that pain. He needs to find a place of safety, a place to call home.

8. Need to Destroy ~ THC
a. Not really sure, just love the song, and it helped.

9. Overfire ~ THC
a. Again, no real reason, just has a nice haunting tone.

10. Winter Ghosts ~ JBM
a. I found this song for free on amazon and I downloaded it (probably because it had played on my Pandora) and love it. It’s a nice slow song, and helped with the emotional aspects of DESOLATION.

So there you have it, my top ten list. I think you can find most of these songs on YouTube to check them out. Just keep in mind Dark Paradise while reading DESOLATION, and feel free to stop by my Facebook page and tell me if you think it fits, or if the song helped you understand Asher any better.

I would love to hear back from you, why don’t you come over to my Facebook page and we can start a conversation? Tell me what songs you think best fit the book and why, or just tell me what you thought! I can’t wait to hear from you.


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Asher St Paul thought it was just a typical zombie apocalypse like in the movies, until the necromancers crawled out of the woodwork. Since the undead have chased the living into hiding, the necromancers are able to roam freely in a new America of their making. Asher is seeking safe harbor. The need for safety is what drove him from his home in Philadelphia Pennsylvania before it was shelled. He has searched from quarantine to quarantine, always finding them overrun with zombies until he hears of The Refuge, a military compound in Binghamton New York.
With his family and lover lain to rest by his own hand, he has nothing left to lose and gives everything he has to reach the safe haven. But questions arise when he reaches The Refuge, mainly, how has he been able to sustain multiple zombie bites and not change? He thinks he has found safety in the military compound turned quarantine, but he was wrong. Even now there is a necromancer trying to make The Refuge their kingdom of the dead.

Travis Simmons

I have been writing since I was 14. I began writing a book called “The Calling of the Two” and while writing that on and off I started uncovering another idea.
“Yes, this is all well and good, but what about before? What happened in the world before these characters came into it?” I always knew there was a “before” and as I started wondering about it I got ideas. At first they were little ideas but as I discovered the names for my characters a whole story about them emerged.
I started working on The Revenant Wyrd Saga several years back and I am very happy I did because hearing and documenting Jovian and Angelica’s story has been one wild ride.
I live in a remote part of upstate New York and honestly just hoofing around my neck of the woods gives me a ton of inspiration for my novels. I love research, and I love speculating on different ideas and theories.

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