Laurie Buchanan writes the Sean McPherson series of thrillers. You can find out more about her on her website www.lauriebuchanan.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and see her books here.
When asked about the details of my preferred writing environment—the setting and the ambiance—I share that I’m a bare-bones writer who enjoys solitude. As a dyed-in-the-wool minimalist, I appreciate nothing more on my desk than a laptop and lit tea light—my “contract” to show up, stay put, and write.
To avoid distraction, I turn off my cell phone and limit my writing screen to two ingredients: a white page and a black background. When there are noise distractions, I put on headphones, turn the volume low, and listen to music.
One of my favorite things about music is that it’s transportive. Irrevocably tied to our memories, it’s able to instantly take us back to a specific age, moment, or place.
When my husband and I take road trips, we make playlists. We want a soundtrack to accompany us on the road that provides the perfect backdrop to the area we’re visiting. We discovered long ago that not only does this make our trips more interesting, it also provides a way for us to relive the experience once we’re back home.
Inspired by the misty grey skies and casual vibe so iconically associated with the Pacific Northwest, the playlist I created for travel in that region—home of the Sean McPherson novels—evokes the feeling of the area: chill, atmospheric, and lo-fi.
Picture yourself sitting in a Seattle coffee shop on a gray, drizzly afternoon or driving through a misty forest of mossy, towering pine trees on the Olympic Peninsula, or maybe walking the puddle-lined streets of Portland or Vancouver in your rubber rain boots. That’s the inspiration behind this playlist. It’s a real vibe that feels wholeheartedly like the Pacific Northwest.
If you want to create a Pacific Northwest playlist, you needn’t look further than artists like Bon Iver, Beach House, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Barrie, Misc.Inc, Sufjan Stevens, Damien Jurado, Novo Amor, Charlotte Day Wilson, and The Shins. Whether it’s for a road trip, writing, or listening for the sake of listening, you’ll fall in love with their music.
And if you want to travel to the Pacific Northwest without leaving the comfort of your chair, I invite you to read the Sean McPherson novels. They’re available at your favorite bookseller and from the local library.