In light of the upcoming release of Winter Games (and Divisions!) to e-book tomorrow, a little more about the story.
The band Valhalla (styled after Nirvana, if you didn’t pick that up) was originally just a background theme to the book, a musical cue for the story. But when going through edits, several people suggested that Sierra have another adventure that would emphasize both the upside and downside of his friendship with Carmel. And so I picked the band I had mentioned briefly in the story elsewhere, a concert that was never brought back, and I made them a little more important.
They have a little bit of thematic relevance to the story: the signature lyrics are about escape, which is what Sierra wants more than anything, but the band themselves are unable to escape or even, it seems, enjoy what they’re doing. And we hear later that one of them–well, if you know about Nirvana, you know how that story ends.
I often put music in my stories, some real, some not (Kory of Waterways has an ELO album), but even when I make up music it’s usually based on something in reality. I was never a fan of Nirvana when they were around–I am more of one now–but their story is a compelling one and I thought it suited this story well. So Valhalla was born, and lived, and died, all in the background of one story. The good news is that having created them, they are around for me to use in any future stories. :)