Avon Gale is here today to tell us a little about her new release, Let The Wrong Light In, and is bringing us a real treat. Usually when I invite someone here I offer them an interview question list or the chance to put together a playlist that reflects their new book. I am chuffed as heck to say that Avon’s decided on the playlist. That might be just because I forgot to include the question list in my email (cough), but I prefer to think that she knew how much people would enjoy the music.
Over to Avon, who’s eagerly flourishing her baton and queuing us all up for a singalong…
Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.
Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.
But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.
Lacroix smiles down at him—that tiny smile that Avery doesn’t like because it’s stupid. “Do I?”
“Yup.” Avery looks over at Harlan, who is trying to tell Avery with his eyes to be quiet. Avery just makes a kissing motion at him and turns back to Lacroix. “You look a lot less stuffy. Like a normal person.”
“And you look… defeated.” Lacroix’s smile is sharper, and it’s strange. It’s a loud restaurant, but Avery can’t seem to hear anything else, notice anything else, who isn’t his boss. “Much like you did earlier, when you were aware you should apologize and were angry about it.”
That kills all of Avery’s ire, and all he feels is incredibly tired. And drunk. Lacroix is clearly enjoying himself at Avery’s expense, which is making him feel weird, and he doesn’t like it. “Go away. Fire me when I get back. I don’t care. Why are you even here? I thought you lived in Mordor .”
“Sorry to disappoint you,” Lacroix says in a smooth voice, and Avery is pretty sure the reference just sailed way over his head. “I’m here to meet a friend.”
“What? You have friends? Are they boring math people too?” Avery grins at him, meanly, like he’s picking on a kid at the bus stop. An older kid who could run him over with a car. “Hey, is it Thomas? Is he going to give you a twenty-five dollar blowjob?” The instant he says that, Avery is well aware he’s gone too far.
How does he still have a job, and why is he doing his level best not to? Something about Lacroix’s insufferable smugness makes Avery want to rile him up. And he’s always been the type to push and push, just to see what he can get away with. But he rarely does it like this. What the hell does he want? Lacroix to lose his cool and punch him in the mouth? Jesus, he’s acting like a twelve-year-old boy with a crush on a—
Oh no. No, no, no. A horrible suspicion is planted in Avery’s brain, and he starts sucking on the ice in his watery gin and tonic, desperate for more liquor to burn it out of there.
I love music, so one thing I wanted to do was make a playlist to share with you! These are songs that either remind me of the characters or feature in some way in the novel. Links are to Youtube in case you’d like to hear the songs for yourself, and I’ve also included a link to the entire playlist at the end.
The Man I Was: Lucero
This song reminds me so much of Malin. This is one of my favorite bands of all times (I’ve seen them live so much I’ve lost count), and this is from their new album. It’s quiet and rough and bittersweet, a little regretful and a little hopeful. Malin all the way 🙂
Wasn’t long ago I was counting my days, with anger and boredom and fear and pain. Back then I just wanted to even the score, the pain doesn’t translate the same any more. I’m not going back again, I’m not the man I was back then. I will start again, I will start again.
Most Sincere Apology: Michael Trent
Michael Trent is one of the awesome members of the band Shovels and Rope, and this song is just so Avery Hextall I can’t even. I mean, it has the lyric “I’m a wreck but I have endearing qualities.” AVERY ❤
And is it cliche to cry, Or to ask you to borrow Your car? Well I won’t go far, I just need some time away from where you are and if you’d be so kind, I could use some cash, So I don’t run out of gas, On my way to the city, Where I will meet you, And everything’s gonna be fine.
Wonderwall: Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams just lends such an aching quality to these lyrics, and it’s so very Avery and Malin. I think this is definitely a song from Malin’s point of view.
And all the roads we have to walk are winding, And all the lights that lead the way are blinding
There are many things that I Would like to say to you but I don’t know how.
I said maybe, You’re gonna be the one that saves me.
Hot N. Cold: Katy Perry
At one point in the book, Avery likens his relationship with Malin to this song. Avery is a pop music fan, especially girl pop singers. He totally digs Katy Perry 😉
Cause you’re hot then you’re cold, You’re yes then you’re no, You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down, You’re wrong when it’s right, It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up, We kiss, we make up
You don’t really wanna stay, no, But you don’t really wanna go
Party in the USA: Miley Cyrus
Avery sings along to this at one point in the book, because like I said, he loves catchy pop music.
Le Pénitencie: Johnny Hallyday
This is a French version of the song “House of the Rising Sun.” I heard this song for the first time when my bff and I were in this wicked long traffic jam in Montreal, Canada. There’s a scene in the novel that I eventually cut for sake of the narrative, in which Avery hears Malin singing along to this song and gets all hot and bothered and wants him to pull the car over.
Johnny Hallyday is a French-Canadian singer, so I decided Malin was a fan.
Hatefuck: The Bravery
This is a very “early days of Avery and Malin’s relationship” song. It’s sexy and kind of brutal, which I sort of love.
And there will be no tenderness, no tenderness
There will be no tenderness, no tenderness
I will show no mercy for you, you had no mercy for me
The only thing that I ask, love me mercilessly
Topless: Breaking Benjamin
Definitely another “early days in which Avery and Malin were stupid and hot” song.
You’ve got yours, And I’ve got mine.
Meat on your bones. They won’t know, they won’t know.
I love your face, just get away. I’m on my knees, fuck you, fuck me.
Ashes: Lindi Ortega
If you’ve never listened to Lindi Ortega, do so RIGHT NOW. She’s amazing. This song is all about Avery being angsty and lovesick, and it’s awesome.
You came to set my heart on fire, what was I supposed to do? These cold dark ashes, these cold dark ashes, linger in the dust of you.
Paralyzer: Finger Eleven
This is a fun song that I think captures the sort of ridiculous, yet intense, attraction Avery and Malin have for each other.
Well I’m not paralyzed, but I seem to be struck by you
I want to make you move, because you’re standing still
If your body matches what your eyes can do
You’ll probably move right through me on my way to you
Ball and Chain, Murder by Death
This is my favorite band, ever. EVER. So there are two songs on this playlist, and this is the first. This is definitely an Avery song, in the early days with Malin.
When I fall, I fall hard.
My body bruises at your touch,my ankles bear these lover’s scars.
The weight is heavy, but necessary.
You’ll never change, my ball and chain.
Good Morning, Magpie: Murder by Death
Again, this is my favorite band and this is one of my top two favorite songs of theirs. Maybe ever. (I also have a tattoo of the lyrics “just follow some other storm”.) And I totally think this is a Malin song. Because Malin, you are made of angst ❤
My wings are dusted with frost and cold
For a little thing like you I’m too heavy a load
You’ll struggle and falter, Amble around
Just follow some other storm
Cause I’ll only weigh you down
You carry me home, My love
Still you carry me home
Handle Me With Care: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
This is a cover of a Traveling Wilburys song, but I love this version a lot.
Handle me with care, Reputation’s changeable
Situations tolerable, But baby, you’re adorable
Handle me with care, I’m so tired of being lonely
I still have some love to give
Won’t you show me that you really care
I’m Your Man: Amanda Shires
This is originally a Leonard Cohen song, but I have so much love for Amanda Shires. And her version is just perfect, because it’s somehow mournful and sly and teasing at the same time. And then she plays the violin. Gah. Basically, just listen and love her forever.
If you want a lover, I’ll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love, I’ll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner, Take my hand
Or if you want to strike me down in anger, Here I stand
I’m your man
And that’s it! I’ve got a copy of this playlist up at Youtube, so check it out if you like!
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.