Blog Tour: Using Music to Set the Mood of Zaria Feirce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword

I am so excited to, once again, have Keira Gillett on the blog. I have had her on here a couple of times to talk about her book Zaria Fierce and the Secret of the Gloomwood Forest and am so excited to have her back on to talk about the music that help inspire book two, Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword (out November 6th!). So without futher ado, I turn it over to Keira!

Hi everyone, I’m Keira Gillett! I’m so glad to be back here at the Midwestern Book Nerd blog. Emily so graciously invited me to talk about the playlist for the second book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. She’s written an awesome review (it really made my day when I saw it go live) and hosted me for the first book tour, sharing 8 facts about the making of the book. You should really check them out. Don’t worry I’ll wait. 🙂

When I was at Liberty’s blog discussing the playlist for book one, I talked about how my listening habits changed depending on what I was doing – reading, writing, or editing. I also shared a little in the way of how music helped me write the book.

My musical tastes took a bit of a turn on the second Zaria Fierce playlist. Most of the light or upbeat classical music is gone and in its place you will find alternate, folk, cinematic, techno, and some other musical genres. I’m not really sure what to call some of it. I’ve never been particularly up-to-date on music trivia or pop culture. My boyfriend would be the first to tell you I was clueless as to who Aerosmith was (go ahead, laugh, he did). Apparently, I loved their songs, but had no idea that who sang them. Whoops.

So anyway, the change in the tenor of the Zaria Fierce playlist was intentional. The story is reaching its middle ground and it needed to reflect the change in the mood and pacing. It still had to be fairly background music to me – not as bad as elevator music, but not too obtrusive either. If the song had the feel of an adventure, I put it in my queue. If it could in anyway relate to Zaria’s mindset, I put it in my queue.

I found this switch up to be very helpful because setting the mood is crucial for storytelling. It helped me by giving me that first note, like a piano player gives to a singer, which I feel charged the writing, giving it added intensity. Whenever I switched to my book playlist, I was instantly transported to the story and was ready to write.

Below you can listen to the playlist for Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword. What do you think happens in the second book, based on a few of the sampled songs? I’d be interested in hearing your guesses!

Thanks again for having me here today.

Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland SwordBook Two in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy

Summary: If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you’d never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing towards the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures, but also many more perils… something sinister lurks beneath the surface following her every move, haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it’s too late?

Release Date: November 6, 2015

Pre-order: E-book

Praise for Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest (Book 1):

“Are you in the mood for an old fashioned magical jaunt? Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett is a classic “perilous adventure” book for middle grade readers.” Jennifer Bardsley, The YA Gal

“A captivating blending of fantasy storytelling with today’s technology. At the base of this tale is deep, abiding friendship that stands the tests of time, adventure and even danger.” Kathy Haw, Goodreads Review

“A great book with a lovely story and amazing characters. It’s a fantasy and adventure book that will be the delight of Narnia fans and those looking for a bit of Norwegian folklore thrown into it.” Ner, A Cup of Coffee and a Book

“If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure dipped in fantasy, look no further. This book kept me on my toes with its many cliffhangers and plot twists; it was quite hard to put down at times.” Meredith, All ‘Bout Them Books and Stuff

“I love when a story jumps right in and hooks me like this one did. I highly recommend you look into it if you are in the mood for a fun adventure. I also recommend that you get it for any book loving middle schooler you know.” Emily, Midwestern Book Nerd


Filip slung his window open and tossed out his backpack. It landed in a thump in the hedgerow. Aleks pulled it out and slung it over his shoulder with his own bag.

“How’re you getting down?”

“Hopefully with your stargazer.”

“Then why toss down your bag?” Aleks asked, exasperated.

“Just in case,” Filip said with a wink at Zaria.

She suppressed a smile. She looked to the others, “Does anybody have rope?”

Aleks and Geirr both nodded. Then Geirr unzipped his bag and pulled out a neat coil from on top. He tossed it to Filip, who snatched it up as it sailed by the window. He disappeared into his bedroom and reappeared moments later slinging the coil out the window. It unraveled to the ground.

“Good,” Filip said briskly. “It’s long enough. Now let’s see if it holds.”

Filip quickly scaled the side of the house and they gathered their belongings preparing to dash. Without warning, Mrs. Storstrand stuck her head out of a bottom window and shrieked at the sight of them.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

“Run!” Filip shouted, grabbing his friends’ sleeves and rushing for the street.

Aleks cursed and threw Filip his backpack while slinging his own around to the front and unzipping a pocket. He looked frazzled as he dug inside the opening. Mrs. Storstrand was quick. She was already out of the house and chasing after them. She threatened life and limb and the most terrible of all – letting Filip’s father know what he was about.

At last Aleks found the stargazer – a shiny purplish egg-shaped object perforated with stars – and almost dropped it in his haste. After a brief fumble, Aleks located the largest star, and hastily jabbed his finger into the hole. Just like that, Mrs. Storstrand froze mid-run. But so too did Christoffer, Filip, and Geirr.

Aleks looked at Zaria and to the others. “Damn,” he hissed. “Wait! How are you not frozen too?”


Keira Gillett author pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.


Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (zariafierce)

Thanks so much for stopping by Keira! If you haven’t checked out her book I highly recommend it. It is such a fun adventure set in modern Norway! Perfect for any middle schooler who loves fantasy (or any adult that wants to feel as if they are 13 again). Be sure to look for my review of Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword in the next week or two!

4 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Using Music to Set the Mood of Zaria Feirce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword

  1. Hi Emily! Thank you so much again for having me on your blog. Have you had a chance to sample the playlist? Do you (and anyone else is welcome to chime in) listen to author playlists when you read a book?


  2. Pingback: Author Spotlight: Keira Gillett |

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