August 12, 2013

Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen – Soundtrack Guest Post


The world’s going to end in fire…and it’s all Kyle’s fault. 

Kyle Wolfe’s world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle’s two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle’s friends aren’t all that dead anymore. Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it’s Shira who’s alive…and now they’re friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he’s not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He’s pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents’ marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world…

add to goodreadsObscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen
Publication Date:  December 7, 2012
Publisher:  Etopia Press

Available for Purchase:

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Soundtrack to Obscura Burning


Having spent more than two decades playing piano and completing both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music, I simply cannot write without music. I create a soundtrack for every work in progress. These include songs representative of individual characters, of specific scenes, of the general atmosphere and songs to which I simply enjoy writing. The soundtrack for Obscura Burning, however, was very specific and I could not have adequately captured the atmosphere of the novel without the perfect soundtrack.

Obscura Burning grew from this image I had in my mind of a boy walking through an arid landscape. This image came to me while listening to the ethereal strains of indie instrumental band Explosions in the Sky. I first heard this band while watching the TV show Friday Night Lights and instantly fell in love with their epic soundscapes and intimate guitar riffs. Explosions in the Sky (as their name suggests) provides the perfect soundtrack to the inexorable degradation of Kyle’s psyche and, consequently, his world.

You can tell by the track names included below that this band is a little different from the norm. There’s also a sly reference to the band in the novel itself when Mya makes Kyle listen to ‘shoe-gazing’ music, shoe-gazing being one of the genre tags for this type of alternative prog-rock.

obscura soundtrack

Some of the other music included in the playlist for Obscura Burning was by the band God is an Astronaut – also atmospheric instrumental rock – with a name that ties in extremely well with the themes in my novel. I was lucky enough to see this band live a few months ago, and got to experience first hand that cinematic journey through sound and light. And finally, the last band I listened to while writing Obscura Burning is also an instrumental band with ties to space, Tides from Nebula. Their song It takes more than one kind of telescope to see the light was the track to which I wrote some of the most intense scenes in the novel.

If I had to choose just one song representative of my main character Kyle though, it would be Tomorrow by the punk band SR-71. Here are some of the lyrics that I think perfectly sum up the conflict in Kyle’s life:

I’m not afraid of tomorrow,

I’m only scared of myself,

feels like my insides are on fire and I’m looking through the eyes of someone else

Is it any wonder why the answer keeps me petrified,

Is it any wonder why,

I’m scared…

Even the music video for this song relates to the love triangle situation Kyle finds himself in, so it really is the perfect track:

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For anyone who hasn’t read Obscura Burning or wants to read it again, I can recommend doing so with Explosions in the Sky playing in the background.


Suzanne van Rooyen

Suzanne is a freelance writer and author from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Suzanne is the author of the cyberpunk novel Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir), the YA science fiction novel Obscura Burning (Etopia) and has had several short stories published by Golden Visions Magazine, Space and Time and Niteblade. Her non-fiction articles on travel, music and other topics can be found scattered throughout the Internet. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance to ninth graders or playing in the snow with her shiba inu.

Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

Suzanne is also Publicity Manager for Entranced Publishing.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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