Follow Me Back Blog Tour, Plus Playlist & Giveaway!
As a writer, music plays a huge part in my creative process. Every book has a playlist that I listen to obsessively, repeating the same songs over and over. When I’m drafting, I’ll spend hours wandering around my town with my earbuds in, zoning out to lyrics as I make up characters and plot twists in my head.
In the case of Follow Me Back, the entire book was sparked by one song in particular: “Animals,” a 2014 single from Maroon 5. I won’t say too much about this creepy song and its disturbing music video for fear of spoiling the book’s plot – but observant readers may notice all kinds of animal imagery running throughout Follow Me Back. This song is the reason why. From the opening chapter, fangirl Tessa Hart can be found doodling pictures in her therapy journal of startled baby deer. Meanwhile, her celebrity crush, Eric Thorn, sees his fans as a pack of vultures fighting over a carcass.
Animals was the song I listened to most frequently during the writing of this book, but I took inspiration from a range of other music. I still hear echoes of the characters in new songs coming out all the time. Here are seven songs that speak to me, and how they connect to my debut YA novel – a story about fandom, love, and obsession.
1) Late Morning Lullaby (Brandi Carlile): At the start of the book, Tessa Hart is struggling with an anxiety disorder. She's fled from a sleep-away summer program and retreated inside the bedroom of her home in rural West Texas. I chose a folk rock ballad to express her anxiety and panic, and the way she immerses herself
in fanfiction fantasies to escape from her own world.
2) Paparazzi (Lady Gaga): When we first meet pop sensation Eric Thorn, he secretly hates his life of fame. He feels trapped by his record contract, hounded by the gossip media, and convinced that he’ll wind murdered by one of his obsessed Twitter followers. This stalker-iffic pop song from Lady Gaga reflects his disillusionment with the celebrity life he can’t escape. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2smz_1L2_0
3) Brave (Sara Bareilles): Things start to change for Tessa after she’s attacked online by another Twitter account. Rather than backing down and blocking her hater, Tessa stands up for herself. It’s a small victory, but it takes tremendous courage for Tessa to break old patterns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4
4) Lost Boy (Ruth B): Poor Eric... He’s surrounded by fans everywhere he goes, but he feels totally alone. He has no true friends, and no one who understands him as a real person. That changes when he and Tessa strike up an unlikely friendship. Their online chats allow Eric to escape from his day-to-day life – but their whole relationship is forged on make-believe, like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in this haunting ballad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58TBZnvyGwQ
5) Issues (Julia Michaels): This song came out after I finished my final round of edits, but I had to include it in the playlist. It reflects the push and pull of the direct messages between Tessa and Eric as their relationship takes shape. They’re both flawed characters with plenty of “issues,” but they don’t judge each other. What forms is a dependency that may or may not be healthy for either of them.
6) Fix You (Coldplay): Eric and Tessa try their best to ease each other’s troubles. Tessa shares insights from her therapy sessions to help Eric with his anxiety. In return, Eric helps Tessa to see her own value and beauty as a person. At one point, he makes reference to the One Direction song “What Makes You Beautiful.” I considered it for the playlist, but I think “Fix You” by Coldplay better expresses their connection as they try and fail to “fix” each other.
7) Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis): I couldn’t round out the playlist without a real love song. “Bleeding Love” is one of my all-time favorites – a deeply romantic song about letting down your guard and allowing another person into your heart. I love the passionate intensity of the vocals, paired with the slightly menacing subtext in the lyrics. Love can heal, but it also has the power to cut you open and leave you bleeding. Could those words foreshadow darker things to come for Eric and Tessa? Perhaps... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzo-EL_62fQ
Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
Tessa Hart's world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it's like his speaking directly to her...
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn't help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast―like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric's plan to troll
@TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn...
Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts, this thriller for the online generation will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A.V. Geiger is a popular online author and member of the
elite Wattpad Stars program. Her original teen fiction has received millions of hits on Wattpad, the story-sharing website, and was ranked #1 in the Mystery/Thriller genre. Her writing career began with celebrity fanfiction, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with fan culture and social media. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin boys.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
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I am so dang excited for this book. I keep seeing lots of chatter about it, and seeing "Wattpad sensation" makes me think I need to use Wattpad more often. I think this is the second one I've seen recently that people have been raving about that was also on Wattpad, and I'm clearly missing out. Plus, that cover! Cover love for days!