Tell us a little about your book.
Playlist for the Dead is about a boy named Sam whose best friend Hayden commits suicide and leaves behind a playlist of songs to help him understand what happened. While Sam is delving into the playlist, he learns that Hayden had secrets and meets a girl who helps him uncover some of them.
You divide the book into 27 chapters, each paired with a song that's a part of Hayden Stevens' playlist for his friend Sam Goldsmith, who is the person who finds Hayden, after Hayden has taken his life. (A very sad story but at the same time, also a witty, romantic, unsentimental, and wise one). Did you know from the beginning that you would structure the novel this way?
Yes, that was kind of the central conceit from the beginning. But the playlist originally was going to be a little more straightforward--it was initially all about suicide in a much more literal way, and eventually I decided it would be more interesting if the songs themselves hinted at some of the things going on with Hayden. Of course, the playlist ultimately doesn't have the answers Sam is looking for--he has to find them by actually talking to people, and that was always the plan.