Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Guest Post: Author, E. R Arroyo + Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be hosting another Indie author today! E.R Arroyo is the author of "Sovereign," a post-apocalyptic novel set in a dystopian future. Here's a bit about the book:


“…because of this book I kinda want to create some sort of special shelf for books that go above and beyond genre tropes or something, I’ll think on that more later.”

“…this is a well written book with plenty of twists and unexpected turns that will keep you up at night reading under the light of the moon.”


ABOUT E.R. Arroyo
E.R. Arroyo is an entertainment junkie, equally passionate about books, movies, and music.  In October 2012 she self-published her debut novel, Sovereign.  She looks forward to the future of her career and connecting with more people in the years to come.  E.R. especially hopes to publish more books, and maybe even land a traditional book deal some day   (dream big!).  

ABOUT  Sovereign (Book #1) 
Chemical warfare has obliterated most of the world, including America, and the survivors have turned into feral beasts, save one colony, Antius, the last remnant of civilization. Seventeen-year-old Cori (aka Citizen 1206) only longs for wide-open spaces and freedom. But Antius has no use for such things, just mindless drones to serve in a place with walls, fences, and laws. A lot of laws, which Cori constantly breaks. So she’s spent years plotting her escape, which is the only thing that will save her from the colony’s deranged leader, Nathan. She isn’t looking to be a hero, and she certainly isn’t looking to fall in love, but she just might do both.

Now you know a bit about this up-and-coming author and her book, here is her lovely guest post. I'm a huge advocate of music and arts in general. But I'm always fascinated by how music affects different authors. Today I've asked E.R to share her thoughts on the subject. 


TOPIC: Music and Writing

What a great topic! Many art forms play off of one another, and music is, in my opinion, the greatest universal art form. Imagine watching a movie with no soundtrack. What happens to the impact of the film? Honestly, it’s all but ruined, and I say that as someone who’s watched preliminary cuts of film projects before soundtrack is added, and I can tell you, it’s a different creature. Put music in the mix, and suddenly that dry scene is magic.

With books, you don’t have this luxury. The writing really has to stand alone, and the reader is subject to the sounds in his or her own environment. I, the author, have no control over setting the environment for the reader. What I do have control over, is setting my own environment for writing, and trying my best to have my writing set the mood the reader needs to be drawn into the book.

As a writer, music is a powerful tool, particularly for mood setting. For me, the goal is to find music that is soothing and calm, that puts my mind in the best setting to foster my creativity. This does not mean I’m looking for songs to set the tone for a certain scene. What I’m listening to while writing rarely has anything to do with the subject matter of what I’m writing. It’s all about setting the mood for my mind, for my creativity.

I remember a particular night while writing Sovereign when I was extremely productive, and it was good stuff. That night I was listening to all my Coldplay albums on random. It worked because their music is soothing to me, and there are minimal distractions within the music, whereas if I put my entire iTunes on random, something is bound to pop up that is too loud, or too upbeat, and it’ll break my concentration. Coldplay gave me good vibes that helped me stay in the zone. Coldplay had nothing in particular to do with the subject matter of Sovereign, it just gave me the writing environment I needed.

Occasionally, I write with my entire collection on random because I want to discover songs within my collection that maybe I haven’t thought of in a while, but I find myself more focused on the music than the writing because something comes on that is too distracting and I have to go to iTunes and skip the song. Sometimes I get so irritated, I even delete the song. How did I get all this music??

So, to simplify, my goals for a writing playlist are these: calm, soothing sounds, nothing too upbeat, nothing with distracting drums patterns or random electronic noises. Sad songs also really help tap into my emotions.

Making a playlist or ‘soundtrack’ for the actual book is a different story. These songs need to be relevant to the story or the characters. In the case of Sovereign, I slowly compiled this list throughout the course of writing and editing. I would hear a song and it would resonate so I would add it to the list. Sometimes I would listen to this track list while writing or editing, and if something didn’t feel right, I took it off the list. This list was originally over twenty songs long, but many of the songs were good writing songs, but not really relevant to Sovereign, so I took them off. I feel like the remaining ten songs capture a lot of what’s happening in the novel, so without further ado, here is my official Sovereign playlist. Enjoy!

Sovereign Playlist

1. Prelude 12/21 by AFI
2. The End by Kings of Leon
3. Apocalypse Please by Muse
4. Soil, Soil by Tegan & Sara
5. Say When by The Fray
6. Sparks by Coldplay
7. Misguided Ghosts by Paramore
8. All I Need by Radiohead
9. On Fire by Switchfoot
10. Beautiful Things by Gungor

You can listen to the playlist here:

Jennifer, thanks so much for hosting my blog tour on your site!


You're so welcome, E.R! I've enjoyed getting to host you on my site. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how music affects writers and the mood of novels. I've already checked out these songs and love the mellow and soulful ambiance (for all you music buffs ;p)

Be sure to check out the music and the book asap! And enter the giveaway HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for the giveaway. I'm really sorry but I accidentally entered before checking if it was international. If it's not could you delete my entries or something please?

    I can't pick just one favourite but I can narrow it down to 5 books/series': Divergent, Unwind, The Morganville Vampires, The Hunger Games, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Book Thief. I love lots more too. :)

    P.S. I don't consider Harry Potter to be YA, otherwise that would have been my answer.

    1. Yeah sorry about the non-international thing. But like Sara said, we'll try and hook you up. But yay Hunger Games! I actually haven't read Divergent, Unwind or the Morganville Vamps, and I really wanna see the movie for "Perks." No doubt the book is better, like with most things. :)
      Harry Potter is indeed of its own category, too complex to put in a box! :)

    2. Jennifer, you HAVE to check out Divergent!

  2. We can't send hard copies international... but we will note it and try to get you a copy if we can. Thanks for entering!

  3. Thanks for having the giveaway. One of my favorite YA books is Remembrance by Theresa Breslin.


    1. Thanks for entering, Rose :) Ooh I haven't checked out Remembrance, but I'm about to. Good luck!

  4. Jennifer, Thanks for hosting my tour on your blog!! Good luck everybody!

    1. No problem ER! Thanks so much for your guest post and sharing your novel with us! I can't wait to read it myself :D

  5. Replies
    1. Team Jacob! lol Can't help it...I love me some muscle packed wovles ;p

  6. my fav ya novel is Raksha by Frankie Rose and Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes.. thank you for the giveaway >^.^<

    1. Your welcome :D Never heard of those but I'm about to look them up now. Good luck!