This is from a guest post I did several years ago for Catie Rhodes’ Celebrity Author Playlist series.
Since I’m older than dirt and my musical tastes are equally antiquated–John Denver, anyone?–I shared the playlist of my protagonist in the Kate Huntington mystery series. She’s no spring chicken herself but her older favorites are ones that have stood the test of time. And she’s got a few more up-to-date selections as well.
(This page also gives some of Kate’s back story.)
First, here is a photo, by the very talented Nevit Dilmen, that represents how I see Kate in my mind’s eye, especially in her younger years.
Kate was born Kathleen O’Donnell in 1967. Being of Irish-American heritage and coming of age in the 1980’s, of course Kate is a U2 fan. Her all time favorite song is A Beautiful Day.
Kate’s second favorite band during her college years was Guns N’ Roses. Their song, Sweet Child O’ Mine, always makes her think of her childhood – years filled with love, laughter and a fair share of bickering as she and three siblings grew up in a three-bedroom bungalow in Baltimore.
Second runner-up for Kate’s favorite U2 song is With or Without You. The year this song came out, Kate was a junior in college and she was dating Ed Huntington. Ed adored her, but Kate found his laid-back personality rather boring. They broke up their senior year. After graduation, Kate went off to graduate school, leaving Ed with a sore heart and an appreciation for U2.
In 1993, Kate and Ed ran into each other at a U2 concert (during their Zoo Tour). Kate saw this as a sign that she should give him another chance. Over dinner the next night, he admitted that he played With or Without You quite often, while thinking about the good times they’d had in college. The line “and you give, and you give, and you give yourself away” particularly reminded him of her compassion for others.
Is there any way she could not fall in love with this man? With or Without You became their song. They were married eighteen months later.
Kate is also a Carrie Underwood fan. One of her favorites is Blown Away. This song tells a story so similar to the ones she hears from many of her psychotherapy clients.
(Note: a bit of a spoiler coming up if you haven’t read any of the Kate Huntington books yet.)
When her beloved Eddie is senselessly killed (Book 1, Multiple Motives), Kate assumes that romance is a thing of the past in her life.
A little over a year later, she crosses paths again with the bodyguard who protected her from Ed’s killer. While they are helping Kate’s friend, Rob Franklin, clear his aunt of murder charges, Skip Canfield is trying to convince Kate to go out with him. She is sorely tempted (he’s a hunk), but her grief is still too fresh. Skip tells Kate that he’s a “very patient man.” (Book 2, Ill-Timed Entanglements)
Skip was raised in Texas on a steady diet of country western music. During that same summer he re-connects with Kate, I’ll Wait For You is released by Joe Nichols. This song resonates for Skip on so many levels (If you’ve read Book 3, Family Fallacies, you’ll understand why).
Have some tissues handy. This one’s a tear-jerker.
While courting Kate through Family Fallacies, Skip converts her to an appreciation of country music. I’ll Wait for You becomes their song. Kate does have a penchant for making men wait, doesn’t she?
Pop singer, Katy Perry, is the most recent addition to Kate’s favorite artists’ list, after stumbling on a You Tube video of her 2010 hit, Firework. At first Kate thought the song was a little cheesy, but then she got caught up in its self-esteem boosting message.
Her favorite Perry song, however, is Part of Me, because it portrays the “tough chick” persona that Kate always finds intriguing. Perhaps she wishes she were a little more kick-ass herself. (See Book 6, Zero Hero, to see if this comes to pass).
I hope you’ve enjoyed Kate Huntington’s rather eclectic playlist.