Music is always one of my go-to sources of inspiration, and whenever I’m working on a story I put together a playlist of music and songs. Right now I’m working on a dieselpunk/historical fantasy series set in 1920s Los Angeles. A lot of my selections are not necessarily from the 1920s; since I’m writing historical fantasy, I don’t mind deviating from exact historical accuracy, especially for my personal playlist. I just want to evoke a flavor and mindset of the Roaring 20s to help immerse me in the glittering magical world of Mrs. Jones.
So here is some music to write by:
Theme from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
I love this show, and it’s a fun way to get myself into Roaring 20s mode. While I’m not writing murder mysteries and my heroine is no Phryne Fisher (though they do have a few things in common), the music is a great thing to have on my playlist.
Dandy Wellington and His Band
I recently discovered this fine gentleman, and even though his music is a bit more 30s or 40s style than the rhythms of the 20s, he’s great to listen to. And I love his dapper clothing style, too!
Fred and Adele Astaire
This is the one real historical piece of music on this list. Composed by George Gershwin, “Fascinating Rhythm” was first performed by Fred Astaire and his sister Adele when they were still in Broadway (before Fred met Ginger Rogers in Hollywood and became a dancing legend on screen). Naturally the recording quality isn’t as crisp as other tracks on this list, but it’s an amazing piece of history and a fun song.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
What could be better than J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World combined with the Roaring 20s? I’m chomping at the bit to see the next movie, so in the meantime, the soundtrack to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will have to do. Since I’m writing fantasy set in the 1920s, this is perfect.
I have plenty of other songs and pieces of music on my dieselpunk playlist, but this is probably enough for this blog post. Do you listen to music to inspire your writing? What are you listening to right now?