Monday, July 4, 2016

Hell Comes to Hogtown: The Soundtrack

For those who missed it, my new book Hell Comes to Hogtown was released last week to much fanfare. It's available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and many others, so you should go immediately to your online retailer of choice and pick up a copy. Then come back here and listen to these songs while you read it. It will greatly improve your overall experience.

I can't speak for other writers, but I listen to music constantly when I write, and certain songs tend to burrow into my brain and insinuate themselves into my writing. I've said before that my first book, Ten Thousand Days, was basically inspired by A Perfect Circle's song "Sleeping Beauty." I don't have a single song this time around had that kind of impact, but I actually have enough songs that are meaningful to the story that I can come up with an entire album.

Some of these tunes I listened to while I wrote and they affected my frame of mind and thus affected my writing. Some of them just strike me as being appropriate to the story. Either way, it's a fun little exercise and maybe it will help you understand the theme and the atmosphere I'm going for in my book. Or maybe you'll just get to listen to the fun tunes.

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"Zombie Night" by Trastorners
This is the music from the trailer. I wanted something both dark and humorous that fit with the theme of the piece (I also wanted something that was royalty free so take that for what it's worth). It may not capture what I was going for exactly, but it's close. There's another song by this band I wanted to use, but it was too familiar and people would have associated it too closely with something else. SPOILER WARNING: The book doesn't actually have anything to do with zombies.

"Conditions of my Parole" by Puscifer
This is the theme for Act I, and quite accidentally, it nearly tells the plot of the book. It was not at all planned, because I hadn't heard this song until I was nearly finished the manuscript, but there are several lines in "Conditions of My Parole" that nearly spoil the story. I don't know why I'm including it except that were Hogtown be made into a movie, this would actually make a great theme song, like the Bond themes of old.

"Applause" by Lady Gaga
This is the only song that's actually mentioned by name in the book. It's the entrance music for Dee, one of the main characters. He's a professional wrestler, and it's the song that plays when he makes his way down to the ring. It's perfect because the idea of living your life on stage and doing everything for "The Applause" is EXACTLY Dee's motivation. He's a narcissist and everything he does is for attention. Plus it's a really catchy tune.

"Dear Brother" by Puscifer
This is the theme of Act II, when the story gets darker. It's about raising a drink to fallen brothers, and cursing "the reaper (who) slips right past us/the bastard stole your breath away." It's a little more introspective, a little more serious than "Conditions of My Parole," which follows the pace of the book nicely.

"The Heart's Filthy Lesson" by David Bowie

The villain's theme. The creepy demon hobo holds many dark secrets in his heart, and he knows everyone else's secrets as well. He's dark and dissonant and discordant, just like the song. It's about death and loss and longing, but also about having a sick sort of admiration for the beauty of murder and destruction. About holding dark desires in one's heart. Plus it's just an awesome song, and I had to include David Bowie somewhere.

"Kalopsia" by Queens of the Stone Age
Kalopsia is a condition, state or delusion in which things appear more beautiful than they are. This is the theme of Act III, which is where our hero Fitz discovers so many things aren't what they seem. Things that seemed beautiful turn ugly, the world he thought he understood is turned upside down, and he's forced to reevaluate parts of his life and relationship that he's held true for years. The pace of the song is also perfect for the up-and-down roller coaster of the last few chapters. The song goes from low, dreamy and confusion valleys to soaring, powerful peaks, keeping you off balance and reeling, just like our hero.

"Chelsea No 2" by Rufus Wainwright (Leonard Cohen Cover)
This is Alexandre Croteau's theme. Alex is one of the RCMP officers chasing down Fitz and Dee and one of the main players in the story. I knew I wanted to include a Rufus Wainwright song, it was either this one or Montauk. I always imagine this song in one of the book's violent, deadly fights toward the end. It's incredibly incongruous but gives a chilling and sorrowful undertone to the violence. I could totally picture that scene in a movie in slow-motion, shot like a choreographed dance number, with a slow love song playing at graphic violence in the centre.

"A Drowning" by How to Destroy Angels
Ariadne's theme. She is the woman that enters the comic shop and turns Fitz's life upside down, and she is destined for a dark fate right from the beginning. Her mysterious, painful past is only hinted in the story, but the bits that we do see are heartbreaking enough.

"The Munsters" by Trastorners
And here's the other song I alluded to at the top. If Hogtown was a movie, this is the song that would play over the closing credits. Despite the heavy nature of most of the music, it is a funny book with strong elements of comedy, and I wanted to include that somewhere. The goofiness of the Munsters' theme song just provides such a nice dichotomy to the heavy-handedness of the rest of the contract.

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TitleHell Comes to Hogtown
Author: C.D Gallant-King
Genre: Comic Horror
Length: 65,000 words
Cover ArtJason Salvatori and Max Covers
Release Date: July 1, 2016

Fitz is a broke night manager for a grubby comic book store. His only friend Dee is a drugged-out, womanizing pro-wrestler. Together they’re the most pathetic losers on the face of the planet. Their lives cannot possibly get any worse.

And then they’re implicated in the kidnapping of the prime minister’s wife.

On the run from the cops, Fitz and Dee discover there is something far worse than the RCMP stalking the dark streets of Toronto. They are being hunted by an ancient demon of unspeakable evil with an insatiable taste for blood... or maybe it’s just your run-of-the-mill giant murderous hobo?

Either way, life in prison might be better than whatever the creepy drifter has in store for them…


You can purchase Hell Comes to Hogtown at any of the fine retailers below:

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