The Scattering Playlist
The Outliers Playlist
I listen to music constantly when I am first working on a book. It helps me find the characters’ emotional space and to connect with their world. Sometimes a song will feel so exactly right for a moment, or a scene, or a theme I am trying to nail down, that I will play it on repeat all day long while writing—and I mean for eight or nine hours straight. I live in fear of those Spotify year-end “round-ups” that will one day reveal just how obsessive I am.
“One Voice” by The Wailin’ Jennys
For me, this song is all about a marginalized group—the Outliers, in the case of the book, women, in the case of the world—coming together and finding power in unity. Whenever I got that “why am I writing this in the first place” feeling, which happens at some point during the writing of any book, this song brought me right back. I wrote this book for girls who don’t always feel like they have a place in this world, especially my daughters.
“Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick
Wylie struggles with keeping her anxiety in check. In particular in The Scattering, she is trying to find that line between what is her anxiety and what are the feelings of others. This song pretty much sums up that process for me.
1. “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
Much of The Scattering is about Wylie not just coming to terms with who she is, but celebrating it. She must learn that just because something isn’t the traditional definition of beauty—or strength, in the case of the Outliers—doesn’t make it any less valid.
“Unsteady” by X Ambassadors
One theme explored in The Scattering is the idea of everyone having a weakness of their own. There’s a really critical scene where Jasper calls Wylie out for essentially opting out of life because she thinks she’s damaged. For me, this song is a reminder that everyone is unsteady in their own way.
“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
I did play this one on repeat like a thousand times. It helped ground me in the moment where Wylie decides she can’t leave the other girls, the other Outliers, behind. That she has to face her fears and go back for them.
“Rise” by Katy Perry
As the middle book in a trilogy, The Scattering doesn’t get Wylie, or the other Outliers, all the way to where they need to be. But it sets them up to get there. This song is a reminder of that defiant fire each one of us must find with ourselves.
About THE SCATTERING, Book Two in The Outliers trilogy
The Outliers closed with Wylie and Jasper narrowly escaping death deep in the woods of Maine following a dangerous search for Wylie’s missing best friend, Cassie. It also marked the beginning of Wylie’s journey to embrace and understand her rare and powerful ability to read other peoples’ emotions. THE SCATTERING opens with Wylie’s realization that while she evaded danger in Maine, she’s not safe—not by a longshot. In order to protect herself, and those she cares most about, she must master her ability, and fast. But giving in to her gift is as difficult as it is dangerous. When Wylie encounters a group of young women just like her she must choose: either save herself or risk her life to help complete strangers.
Kimberly McCreight is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reconstructin