Like a lot of writers, I try to make playlists for the stories I write while writing them. Sometimes the music I listen to doesn’t quite jive with the theme I have going, so some songs get nixed and replaced with other songs I’ve I’ve written/edited/published said story. Not all stories end up with real playlists, but every so often I end up with a tale that also gets a cemented playlist I end up really proud of.
“Better Places” is set a B&B that is now currently known as the Peachland Castle near Peachland, British Columbia. That “castle” has a really rich history with an eccentric immigrant named Eddie Haymour who purchased the property and the nearby island on the Okanagan Lake with plans of building an Arab-themed theme park. It’s since become a questionably-rated B&B, but has always lived in my head in the dilapidated state it was in when I first noticed on the side of the highway in the early 2000’s. I’d always hoped to use it as a setting in one of my short stories, so when I came up with the concept for “Better Places”, I knew that the Peachland Castle would be the perfect setting. The story is set in the semi-arid desert area of the Okanagan, which gets incredibly hot and dry during the summer. I thought it’d make an interesting conjunction with the zombie theme I brought into the story. When I picked songs for the playlist, I really wanted the story to have a bit of a westernized, yet dark and rural feeling to it. Probably my favourite song is Feist’s, “A Commotion”, which is not only Canadian, but really drives home the urgency and the passion that drives the story’s protagonist to ultimately do what she does.