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.

Thursday, August 9



I've linked many of the tracks to urls at youtube. The images don't always match the ideas I gleaned from the songs, but the songs themselves are what matter. This one has been updated during the re-edit and rewrite, so has many songs that weren't around at the time of the first writing. However Slave To Love, Saturday Night's All right For Fighting and Adam Raised a Cain were there from the start.

1. BITTERSWEET - Apocalyptica
An instrumental introductory theme song, particularly relevant to the past of the hero and his father

2. FACE DOWN - Red Jump Suit Appartus
Linnet's relationship with her husband as observed by Joscelin.
3. 100 WAYS TO BE A GOOD GIRL - Skunk Ananse
Linnet surviving the regime under which she has to live


Joscelin uncovers murky goings on

5. HUMAN TOUCH - Bruce Springsteen

Joscelin discusses future arrangements with Linnet after Giles' death

6.BITTERSWEET - Apocalyptica

The version with vocals this time. William Ironheart's past is shown in more detail.

7. HOLD ON FUCKER - Bigwig

The fight on the way to Rushcliffe. 'Control, control, it's always been about control, the money you work for the things that you own.'

The appearance of Conan de Gael on Joscelin's new territory and the memories raised.

9. SLAVE TO LOVE - Roxy Music

The relationship of Joscelin's father to his lost love, and some lesser commentary on Joscelin's own past. The chapel in the forest.

10. BLUE AND YELLOW - The Used
How Joscelin comes to feel for Linnet and she for him. This song also has strong resonances between myself and John Marshal with reference to me writing A Place Beyond Courage. A very important song spiritually.

11. IF I WERE A CARPENTER - Tim Hardin
More relationship stuff between Joscelin and Linnet

Warfare, with particular reference to Conan who is definitely a rough diamond!

13. EVER FALLEN IN LOVE - Fine Young Cannibals
Joscelin and Linnet hit marital problems when the secret of her past emerges.

14. LOVE BITES - Def Leppard
Joscelin's doubt and bitterness over above mentioned 13.

15. SECRET GARDEN - Damhnait Doyle & Tom Cochrane
Joscelin still trying to come to terms with Linnet's past. Also echoes of his father grieving for Morwenna.

16. FIN - Anberlin
Joscelin determined not to be defeated by his dilemmas and fighting through.

17. ADAM RAISED A CAIN - Bruce Springsteen
The fight between Joscelin and his half brother becomes deadly. It's kill or be killed

18. GREENSLEEVES - Loreena McKennit
Joscelin's father's final grieving. Morwenna's haunting presence.

19. CAPTAINS - Show of Hands
The final resolution for Joscelin and Linnet.

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