Music to write to…

I’ve read about other authors creating musical soundtracks for their books and I’ve never quite understood what they meant (probably my fault for skim reading their blog posts). Do they mean they have a certain soundtrack, a sort of mixed tape for that particular novel, playing over and over again as they write? Or do they create a soundtrack for the novel (like a soundtrack for a film) after they’ve written it? Maybe match certain songs to certain scenes?

I didn’t have a soundtrack – either type – when I wrote The Accident. If anything my writing was accompanied by the mind-numbing tinkling of Baby TV as I wrote in 45 minute snatches during my baby son’s naps. But I appear to have a soundtrack for Last Girl Standing, my second psychological thriller. Or rather, it appears I can’t rewrite a word unless I’m listening to In Time by Craig Armstrong.

A couple of months ago I asked Facebook if they knew of any dark, suspenseful music – classical or electronica – that didn’t have lyrics. I was given several suggestions but none of them quite gelled so I turned to my old favourite Craig Armstrong. None of his other albums quite fit the bill (a lot of them have lyrics for a start) so I googled. And it turned out he had a new album out – a soundtrack to a Justin Timberlake sci fi film called ‘In Time’. So far so blah, right? But the music is amazing. I can go from ‘But I don’t want to redraft Last Girl Standing, I want to watch the new season of 24’ to ‘where the hell did the last two hours go and how come I’ve rewritten 2,000 words?’ in a heartbeat. I always knew there was something magical about Craig Armstrong’s music. I just hope I haven’t jinxed it by telling you…

2 thoughts on “Music to write to…

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