Monthly Archives: January 2014

Heidi Cullinan Special Delivery



The Music of Special Delivery

Thanks to Gay List Book Reviews for having me over today! Connie asked me to talk a little bit about the music of Special Delivery: about Sam’s taste, why all the Kylie, the playlist for the book, and my musical taste in general. So here it is: the deep music dish.

First, the playlist: if you want to give it a listen, here’s a mockup I did in Spotify. This is kind of a summary, as the very original playlist got eaten in an iTunes/computer transfer, and the one I used during re-release edits got polluted with Double Blind songs because I did them at the same time. This is the music though, by and large, which I listened to while I wrote the story.

The story soundtrack is heavy with sweeping strings and very emotional-feeling songs, which probably seems at odds with how kinky it gets, but that Imogen Heap and Ah Nee Mah is bedrock for channeling this story for me. I still can’t hear the music from Partition without seeing Sam and Mitch driving down the interstate. And every time Mitch comes down the hill at the end, I hear the instrumental of “First Train Home.” But of course there’s some Bananarama, plenty of Kylie. Another big songs are various versions of “A&E” by Goldfrapp—particularly the Maps remix.

As for Sam’s musical taste: it’s essentially my husband’s, which is part of why he wouldn’t let me quit writing the book. Most people read Special Delivery and the takehome is “kinky sex,” but for Dan it’s a celebration of an audiophile. Sam’s willingness to go without food so he can have up-to-the-minute audio technology and a storage space for all his music is something my husband would do.

My husband lives and breathes music, and has been part of online pop music discussions for years, which is something Sam shares with him. I often refer to my husband’s BGMP, or Big Gay Music Posse, which is this loop of bloggers and listeners who meet via various online communities and talk about pop music the way some people do football. It works out that Dan is the rare bird as a straight male in this group, and he’s had more instances than he could count of men adamant that he could not be gay, that I was a beard or didn’t exist at all. Honestly, Sam was an homage to all of them. The conversation about Kylie vs. Madonna I have heard him and his BGMP do online more than I can count. And do not get them started about Gaga.

The focus on Kylie came about on its own, because she seemed to suit Sam. She did double duty because for US listeners she would be largely an unknown, a sign of Sam’s isolation from his common culture, but to everyone else on the planet who had a sense of western music, Kylie is as big as Madonna if not bigger—which made her an access point to Sam. Mostly though Kylie has a bubbliness and light that makes me think of Sam Keller. She’s had a long, impressive career, and yet every time I see her she seems to have such a strong center and awareness of who she is to her world. I wanted that as part of Sam’s subconscious, so in Kylie went.

As for my musical taste: I don’t really have one. I’ve always used music to access story, so when I’m listening to music it’s always whatever story I’m working on. My family picked up a lot of the Fever Pitch songs on their own because it’s almost all a cappella, but after Tough Love they’ve forbidden JLo to ever be played again. I’ll listen to whatever the story tells me: I hate Barbra Streisand, but I endured all kinds of it for Laurie in Dance With Me. I’m not into rap at all, but for Heart Throb (Love Lessons #3) I’ve queued up a lot of rap and R&B. Another soon-to-be WIP has a lot of country. It really depends on what I’m writing what I listen to. But with only a few exceptions, once the story is done, I don’t want to listen to that music anymore, because I’ve put it away.

When I’m deliberately not listening to a story soundtrack, I tend to not do music at all and listen to podcasts. Though with my husband around and my daughter who isn’t too far behind him as far as loving music, I still hear plenty of tunes. Though I’m not sure anything will ever get me to like Taylor Swift.

Heidi Cullinan head shotHEIDI’S BIO

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at

Contest & Giveaway

Thanks to Heidi´s generosity here is your first chance to win all three books in the Special Delivery Series.

1.- What is Mitch´s nickname for Sam?

2.- Which Kylie song was Sam dancing to when Mitch first saw him?

Answer these two questions by email ( If you are in doubt you can visit Heidi´s website for a little help.

DoubleBlind300You will have another opportunity with Double Blind Release Blog Tour.

ToughLove300The winner will be announced on the blog with the Tough Love Review, On Sunday April 6th.


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