Author Guest Post: Rules We’re Meant to Break

I loved reading Rules We’re Meant to Break (read my 4-star review here), and I am so excited to have Natalie Williamson on the blog today sharing her writing playlist!

Rules We’re Meant to Break Playlist

Music has always been a huge part of my writing process. I almost always have a writing playlist put together before I start working on a new project. It helps me get into character and start thinking about pivotal scenes long before I actually get them on the page. And listening to music while I draft also helps me tune out any distractions so that I can stay focused on the story during my dedicated writing time.

RULES WE’RE MEANT TO BREAK’s playlist evolved a bit from the first draft to the final version that will be out in the world, and the changes I made along the way helped me shape Amber’s story into a much stronger book than the one I started out with. Here are the tracks I listened to most during my last few rounds of edits, with a few notes about why they were particularly important to Amber’s journey.

“You Build a Wall” by Abandon Kansas

The lyrics of this song fit Amber to a tee at the beginning of the story. She’s got her list of rules and her walls up high, and it’s going to take the right set of circumstances for her to let her guard down.

“Midnight City” by M83

There are a lot of scenes in RULES that take place at dusk, or after dark, particularly between Amber and her love interest, Jordan. This song always made me think of their first few scenes together, as they’re feeling each other out and Amber is trying not to acknowledge her attraction to him.

“Into the Ocean” by Blue October

I listened to this one a lot during the black moment, when everything feels like it’s falling apart for Amber.

“Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon

This song inspired a particular scene that is very spoilery. Let’s just say there is snow involved, and you’ll know the scene when you get to it. J

“After the Disco” by Broken Bells

This ended up on the playlist less because of the lyrics and more because of the mood it evoked when I heard it for the first time. I did Pitch Wars with RULES way back in 2014, and during my revisions for my mentor I needed to up the tension and really give Amber a reason to be so frustrated with her situation. Something about the feel of this song really spoke to me, and it helped inspire her list of rules, which had only been casually mentioned in the draft before that point.

Turn Off This Song and Go Outside” by The Lonely Forest

I listened to this one when I wrote the scene where Amber takes Buffy on a walk during her first night in her new neighborhood.

“Simple Song” by The Shins

I’ve just always really loved this one, and there are a few lines in the lyrics that made me think of Amber and Jordan.

“Home” by Gabrielle Aplin

Set in Stone, the original title I picked out for this book (after months of it being called the very original Amber WIP) came from the lyrics of this song. There’s a line that goes, “home is where your heart is set in stone, is where you go when you’re alone, is where you go to rest your bones.” While the new title fits so much better, this song still always made me think of Amber and the growing list of people in her life who make her feel at home.

22718738About Rules We’re Meant to Break

Release Date: June 11, 2018
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Honest and full of heart, this clever contemporary romance debut deftly combines utterly relatable family drama with all the sweetness and uncertainy that comes with falling in love.

Rule #1: Don’t get attached.

Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mother’s love life: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected to Mom’s boyfriends.

But after they move in with Kevin, the latest of her mom’s “soul mates,” the rules become increasingly difficult to follow. Kevin’s daughter, Cammie, keeps acting like Amber’s friend, even though she’s definitely not. And Jordan—star basketball player, hottest boy in school, and Cammie’s best friend—keeps showing up at the most inconvenient moments.

Amber has reasons for every one of her rules, and following them is the only way to protect her heart when her mom inevitably moves on. But as she spends more time with Kevin, his daughter, and especially Jordan, she starts to wonder if the rules might be worth breaking this time.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Rules We’re Meant to Break is a charming, heartachingly real story of family and young love by debut author Natalie Williamson.

About Natalie Williamson


Natalie Williamson is an HR person by day and a YA writer by night and nap time. She referenced Harry Potter in her first ever full time job interview, which tells you almost all the things you need to know about her. Other important things to know include: she loves her husband, daughter, dogs, and cat; she has a serious dessert problem; and she frequently Wikipedias movies and TV shows to find out if they have happy endings. RULES WE’RE MEANT TO BREAK is her debut novel.

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