Most of you don't know this about me, but I was the perverbial 'band geek' in school. Actually, for half my school career I was the 'queen' band geek because my father was the director. I don't have to tell your this wasn't an honor. I'd show you a then picture, but I tended to run from cameras. Anyway, as such music has been a part of my life since before I was born. I learned to play from the simple instruments up to the very complicated ones such as french horn, trumpet, flute, etc. I mention this only because as a result, I have a great appreciation for all music, even the stuff I don't like. So, its only natural I would write to music.
Choice of music is important when writing is important for me. In fact, Gypsy Moon, started out as a picture of this drool worthy werewolf and a gypsy that came to me as I was driving to work. My son flipped the station and "Into the Night" by Santana and Chad Kroger was playing. There they were. Instantly born in my mind. It happens like that for me, sometimes. I'm always very careful not to play a song that inspired another story while I'm working on a wip.
If I'm writing a battle scene or something gritty, AC/DC, Poison, Guns and Roses, Metallica, (you get the idea) will be playing in the background (not out loud of course, unless its censored). Three Days Grace, Creed, and Three Doors Down are others I'll listen too if the scene is dark or heavy with magic. For the lighter stuff, Celtic Woman (I totally LOVE them. Can't listen to it without bawling my eyes out.) anything Irish or Scottish (you know jigs.) I have a cd that has thirty Irish songs on it in celebration of St. Patrick's day. Can't think of the title, but my favorite song on it starts out "As I came home on Monday night, as drunk as I could be..." Oh, Its hilarious! So if the scene I'm writing is comedy, that will be in my ears.
I like an ecletic mix of music, 80's rock (hair bands), Fleetwood Mac, Mozart and all the Classical stuff, The Eagles (I love that band, never goes out of style), big band, jazz, some country (not the whiny stuff, ugh I know why "Bubba shot the jukebox" to put it out of its misery), pop, and occasionally for some perverse reason, Brittney Spears. Rap is too full of stories to help tell mine, so I generally steer clear of that.
Sometimes, I make what I call a musical outline. Let me explain. A certain song triggers a scene in my head. It goes into a sequential playlist. When I am working, or editing a book, that playlist of outline songs plays back to me to keep the order of mood or setting. Its a strange system, but it works for me.