has always had a strong pull for me. Right from the moment I wrote my first novel as a 15 year old, I have used songs as a way of understanding my characters and getting into and developing their emotional lives. Songs in themselves tell stories - frequently of deeply or strongly held feelings and I harness the resonances in lyrics and music as part of my creative process. I had popular music soundtracks to my novels long before film makers started using them regularly in blockbusters, on TV and to sell cars and insurance! Indeed, I was rather miffed when the Heath Ledger film A Knight's Tale came out, because it had pinched my way of marrying the medieval story with the Medium of the rock song!

People are often surprised to know that I use such contemporary music to inspire my novels, but it's my opinion that society changes, not people. The lyrics in a song such as Cat Stevens' Father and Son is as relevant to the Middle Ages as it is to today, juxtaposing as it does, the impatience and fire of youth with the tolerance and knowledge of maturity and slowing down.
My tastes are eclectic, although I tend not to go for opera, rap or hip-hop. I have a weakness for guitar-driven metal and rock in most of its incarnations. I own most of Bruce Springsteen's albums. I was a fan of Bryan Adams long, long, long before he performed the theme to the Kevin Costner Robin Hood film. As a teen my favourites included the aforementioned Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Steely Dan, Bad Company, Eric Clapton, Amazing Blondel, Stevie Wonder and Joan Baez - eclectic as I say! Those favourites have been joined by (to name but a few) Tori Amos, Anberlin, Nightwish, Grey Eye Glances, Seether, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Apocalyptica and Loreena McKennit.

To cut to the chase. I have created this blog to list the soundtracks I have used in my various novels and explain without getting too spoilerish for those of you who haven't read the books, why those tracks have been chosen. I've included some urls to Youtube so that you can hear some of the songs that have helped me on my way to creating my characters and scenarios.

Sunday, July 22


I've linked many of the tracks to urls at Youtube. Not all of the video content is appropriate to what I had in mind, but the songs themselves are all very relevant and will give readers an idea - I hope!

1. THE HOUSE YOU LIVE IN - Gordon Lightfoot
The hero,Brunin, a child at the start of the novel, is taken into the household of Joscelin de Dinan. The lyrics are Joscelin's philosophy on life.

Above mentioned Joscelin's relationship with his wife. The lyrics strongly link to the way their relationship started.

3. HOW YOU REMIND ME - Nickelback
The relationship of Brunin's parents, seen particularly from his father's viewpoint.

4. IN A BIG COUNTRY - Big Country
Brunin and Joscelin come to know each other as squire and lord. Joscelin sets about building Brunin's confidence and developing his potential.

5. EXPRESSO LOVE - Dire Straits
Brunin is captivated by Marion's feminine wiles.

6. DANGER ZONE - Kenny Loggins
Brunin discovers how close to the edge he can get while learning to fight. 'You never say hello to you until you get it on a red light overload.

7. HERO - Chad Kroeger & Josey Scott
Brunin has the talent but is holding back from using it.

8. FEEL - Robbie Williams
Brunin is wary of letting himself go even though he has settled into life with his new family. The lyrics from this song are just spot on for his character.

9. THE PROMISED LAND - Bruce Springsteen
Brunin coming into his own. He's going to do or die.

10. DEEP, DEEP OCEAN - Belinda Carlisle
Hawise's feelings about Brunin

11. NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN - The Moody Blues
The main love song from Shadows and Strongholds. Brunin and Hawise's wedding night.

12. I'M STILL STANDING - Elton John
Brunin's relationship with his grandmother

The troubled relationship between Brunin's parents

The death of Brunin's father. Memories and regrets.

15.CHINA GIRL - David Bowie
Marion's relationship with Ernalt de Lysle

16. BLOOD BROTHERS - Iron Maiden
Warfare, the struggle for land and livelihood. The patterns of the past repeating

Not the driving rock version, but the slow one. Brunin and Hawise on the verge of losing everything.

18. COVER ME - Bruce Springsteen
And if things were bad before, now the struggle really begins to bite amid personal tragedy.

Joscelin reflects on what has happened and the futility of war

20. ROAD TO YOUR SOUL - All About Eve
Joscelin and Sybilla come to a refreshed understanding of each other

More of Joscelin and Sybilla, but from Sybilla's viewpoint. A proud woman who has to find a different sort of pride now.

22. GIRL - Tori Amos
Marion's state of mind

23. WEAK - Skunk Ananse
Marion again, same as 22

24. STAY - Shakespeare's Sister
Marion finally deals with Ernalt and then makes her own irrevocable decision

25. SECRET SMILE - Semi Sonic
The relationship between Brunin and Hawise as he recovers from his wounds and recent traumas. He's aching and he needs her.

26. TIMES LIKE THESE - Foofighters
Brunin finally comes into his own. 'I'm a new day rising, I'm a brand new sky to hang the stars upon tonight.

27. IT'S MY LIFE - Bon Jovi
I couldnt decide between this and Times Like These as the final song, so I used them both!

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