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  • Writer's pictureJeff South


Now that KILROY WAS HERE has been unleashed on the world, I find myself in a strange netherworld. The book needs marketing and buzz. This means using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and word-of-mouth to convince people to buy a copy. I recently participated in a local author fair in my hometown last weekend, which was a blast. My journal time is spent writing down fun ideas to market the book. Some of them are easy, doable, and require few moving parts. Others are lofty, but intriguing enough to inspire follow-through.

I'm a writer, though, and I want to write. Last year, I started work on a new novel about a superhero. 20,000+ words into it I hit a snag. I'm a big believer in letting the story guide me, especially in the first draft, but it stalled. I love the basic premise of the story, but I'm not wild about where it was heading, so I put it away.

Then, one day about a year ago, I was listening to my Playlist 80 on Spotify on a flight when Tracey Ullman's "They Don't Know" and it sparked something inside me, like the nanotech in Tony's brain (you gotta read KILROY to get that reference). A scene appeared in my imagination, prompting me to retrieve my journal and scribble a scene. I listened to "They Don't Know" on repeat until the writing was done. The next morning I typed it out on a Word document and created a new file on my Daffy Duck thumb drive titled "KILROY SEQUEL." The next few weeks saw nearly 30,000 words cranked out before I devoted myself to getting KILROY WAS HERE ready for publication.

I'm back to the sequel again. I've revised a couple of early chapters and I have a theme and what Alfred Hitchcock called the Macguffin. The universe of Tony, Jeff, Corporate, and quintonium drives has once again sucked me in and I'm determined to see this one through. Music plays a critical role in my creative process. The early stages of this shitty first draft are guided by a few songs that invoke character, mood, and theme. I'll probably make a Spotify playlist for it, but, for now, I thought I'd share some of them here.

1. "Nobody Told Me," John Lennon

2. "Panama," Van Halen

3. "Home Sweet Home," Motley Crue

4. "Stressed Out," Twenty One Pilots

5. "HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON'T," Fall Out Boy

6. "We Looked Like Giants," Death Cab For Cutie

7. "Raspberry Beret," Prince and the Revolution

8. "My Life," Billy Joel

9. "Fight For Your Right," Beastie Boys

11. "Say You, Say Me," Lionel Richie

12. "December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)," Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

13. "They Don't Know," Tracey Ullman

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