I adore soundtracks. I own nearly as many soundtrack albums as I do artist albums. It’s not surprising then that music adds depth and colour to my writing process as much as it does to viewing a film or television show. It enhances context, character and my creative process in general. Above all, it helps me set the tone. The music motivating my current WIP, the Yokai Hunter Series, is by Sparta, Stone Temple Pilots, The Mars Volta, Fink and Underworld, with a little Ernest Ellis and Little May thrown in. You can see from this list the WIP’s tone is quite different to that of Life Without Clouds.
- Lorde – Buzzcut Season
- The Killers – Human
- Epic Season – Farewell the Rain
- Snow Patrol – The Finish Line
- Ash – Girl From Mars
- Lorde – Ribs
- Deee-Lite – Groove is in the Heart
- Epic Season – Keep Warm
- Blind Melon- No Rain
- Lorde – 400 Lux
- Florence and the Machine – The Dog Days Are Over
- The Breeders – Cannonball
- Snow Patrol – Beginning to Get to Me
- Lorde – A World Alone
- Epic Season – Clouds
Yanicke’s Playlist for The Mark of the Cagairáin
Just because I don’t get to write as much as I would like to – what with the family business (lol do I sound like The Godmother?), children and everything else that comes with those things – it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about writing. And, for me, music is a big part of that thinking process 😀
For every novel I plot and plan and create, I have a list of songs I listen to. I have lists for the novel I’m writing right now (you can view it HERE). I have lists for the novels I haven’t written yet, including the modern adaptation of Knut Hamsun’s Victoria I hope to write one day and the rest of the books in my Tales of a Whisperer series (in fact, for my Whisperer series I have 166 songs on my iTunes playlist – although, in my defense, I have been compiling it for over 6 years).
Today I thought I’d share with you the songs that coloured my world while I composed The Mark of the Cagairáin…
- Home – Daughtry
- Far Away – Nickelback
- Into the Night – Nickelback
- Crossroads – Don McLean
- Never Gonna Be Alone – Nickelback
- Love Story – Taylor Swift
- Check Yes Juliet – We The Kings
- Adagio in G Minor – Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni
- How You Remind Me – Nickelback
- Break The Spell – Daughtry
- Decode – Paramore
- Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy
- If Everyone Cared – Nickelback
- Hello – Evanescence
- My Last Breath – Evanescence
- I’d Come For You – Nickelback
- Hero – Nickelback
- Eternity and a Day – Paul Haslinger
Gabbie’s Soundtrack for Measuring Up
I don’t listen to music while I write – I find it’s too distracting. But I listen to lots of music when I’m not at the keyboard. I spend time thinking about the kind of music each of my characters listens to and the kind of music that would capture each scene. When I was writing my first novel – Measuring Up – I could see the story like it was a movie. So, when I imagine Measuring Up as a major motion picture, these songs would be the basis of the soundtrack. I’ve put a section of lyrics above an excerpt from the text.
As I Lay Me Down by Sophie B Hawkins
Ah, darling, As I lay me down to sleep
This I pray
That you will hold me dear
Though I’m far away
Your name into the sky
And I will wake up happy
It’s not too near for me
Like a flower, I need the rain
Though it’s not clear to me
Every season has it’s change
And I will see you
When the sun comes out again…
Mel’s Mum, Merrin, was in her usual spot, her armchair now replaced by a special chair-bed from the hospital. Her face had almost withered away, her skin tight and brittle. I thought of a skeleton and immediately felt bad. All kinds of bags and tubes were attached to her. She barely opened her eyes when we arrived, but she gripped my hand tightly when I leant down to kiss her.
“I won’t be too late, Mum.” Mel looked beautiful as she stepped into the room dressed for the party. She kissed Merrin and arranged her blankets, almost casting the glow of life over her.
I looked away. Life and death, face to face.
Fix You by Coldplay
When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse
When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
I will try to fix you…
I flopped back on the lounge and waited for Mel. My phone sounded, barely loud enough above the music. It was a text from Link. Just five words.
Bring her home. Bad news.
‘Sorry I took so long.’ Mel’s energy filled the room. ‘Stacey was in the bathroom bawling her eyes out, something about Dan and Amanda.’ She looked at me shyly and reached for my hand. ‘Do you want to go?’
And I put that moment in my mind as a memory I’d keep forever. The moment before Mel’s life changed. The moment when I thought, maybe just for a few seconds, she was truly happy. I showed her the text message and watched her face. She looked straight at me and I saw her terror. I wanted to reach inside and take the most fragile part of her and hold it. To keep it safe so it wouldn’t get broken.
We walked without speaking, retracing our steps back home. She took my hand as we turned into our street. Ambulance lights flashed over us.
‘Are you okay?’
‘Yeah.’ She took a shuddery breath. ‘A rip doesn’t last forever.’
Straight Lines by silverchair
Wake me up, lower the fever
Walking in a straight line
Set me on fire in the evening
Everything will be fine
Waking up strong in the morning
Walking in a straight line
Lately I’m a desperate believer
Been walking in a straight line…
Link and I surfed that next morning. We got up early, just as daylight approached. The waves were unseasonably round and hollow. I surfed them with reverence, letting memories collide with the future.
“Remember when you only surfed straight?” Link asked, thieving into my thoughts.
“Yeah.” I smiled. “Remember when you were straight?” I splashed him and made a grab for his leg rope.
“You little shit.” He reached for my leash and tugged.
A pristine set wandered out from the depths and we both paddled hard, still grabbing each other’s ropes. I tried to escape him, but we were riding the same wave.
So, that’s our current writing ‘album’. What songs inspire creativity in you? What’s the playlist for your art? Hit the comment box below and let us know.