So it only takes listening to one top 30 Countdown on Radio Disney for its music to change from the "soundtrack of my current YA novel" to the "soundtrack that moves me to stick my tongue into an electrical outlet."
I know that a lot of writers have soundtracks for their books. It kind of makes sense if you are delving into your characters to figure out what they might listen to. For me, I prefer to write with silence. Don't get me wrong, I love music and I am so grateful for it (especially when I have to wait 13 years in the carpool line while they try to match kids with cars). I just don't think about my characters in terms of music. Maybe it is because their voices are so strong in my head that I don't want them drowned out by music.
Not including music in a book about radio stations is like not including food in a book about a culinary school. It's ridiculous to try to avoid it. But I am wary of dating the book with popular music references and honestly, Radio Disney and the Glee soundtracks are pretty much all my kids are listening to these days (yes, Butter is 3 but he still sings "I Bust the Windows Out Your Car" right along with my 6 & 8 year old). Bottom line: Unless someone can wrestle the kitchen radio and CDs from Butter's chubby fingers, I am going to be getting pretty familiar with the Pinkett-Smith kids.
Luckily, I have gotten around these aural limitations by choosing music for my book that is either classic (Billy Holiday) or slightly obscure (Lou Reed). I am sure that my CPs will tell me to do some research on music but really, what happens when this isn't published until 2014? Is it better to just make up bands/songs all together? It probably is but I also think that it is sort of corny when bands are made up.
P.S. Think I may have to read NICK AND NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST to see how the pros handle the issue. Dang, there goes the last of my Amazon gift cards. Crap.