Writers are really lucky: unlike film-makers, we can use the most glamorous locations in our books, and cast the most gorgeous characters as our heroes and heroines, regardless of budget. One thing we can't include, sadly, is songs. Or can we? This is a list of songs to go with The Out of Office Girl; either I listened to them while writing it, or they’re mentioned in the book, or else they’re the songs that I would imagine being on the soundtrack if there were a film some day (wouldn't that be nice).
In order of appearance:
Love Story – Taylor Swift
I’ve probably lost all my musical credit with my first two songs but I don’t care. I picture Alice listening to this on the plane over to Italy, thinking sadly about Simon and also dreaming about Luther ….
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
There’s a reference to this song when Alice arrives at the airport – ‘Just like Miley Cyrus, I've hopped off the plane with a dream and a cardigan’. Later on, this is the song that Alice first dances to with Luther (and that Sam says his eight year old cousin loves).
La Isla Bonita – Madonna
A great summer song and it means ‘beautiful island’ which is a good description of Sicily – in fact this was one of my brainstormed list of titles for the book …
Fever – Peggy Lee
Luther’s big dance film was called Fever and I picture him and his co-star dancing to this sultry version by Peggy Lee.
Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen
A song that Sam might listen to while thinking back to his days as a high school basketball star.
Never Mind – Nancy Griffiths
I love country and western. The line ‘first met you picking oranges in Orlando’ inspired some of Luther’s back story!
Le Grand Bleu – theme from the Big Blue
I was obsessed with this soundtrack as a teenager. It’s only recently gone onto Spotify – hurray. This of course is the song that’s played during the Pool Scene (possibly my favourite part of the book) I did wonder whether such a whale-music song was appropriate but I think it shows our hero’s sensitive side as well as his love of European films …
Not Like the Movies - Katy Perry
Probably the song Alice listens to on the plane as she goes home, broken-hearted. Not Like the Movies was another shortlisted title for the book. Either that or Just Like the Movies, I couldn’t decide which.
Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart – Alicia Keys
This is a sad song but it also has an upbeat message – ‘find a way to make it without you’. I listened to it on a loop while I was rewriting the book.
Happiness – Alexis Jordan
This is the song that I picture playing over the credits, as Alice has found her happy ending. My favourite line is ‘Through strength I found love’ which I think describes Alice’s journey pretty well.
Hope you enjoyed the soundtrack!