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.

Friday, March 12


I've put up the soundtrack to TO DEFY A KING. I'm not explaining the track lyrics just yet, I'll leave you guessing for a couple of months, but these songs tell via their lyrics, music and resonance, the novel's themes. They encapsulate some of the scenes and the wider storyline. As usual, it's an eclectic mix, but I found rock band Seether and Nick Cave particularly evocative for this one and there are several songs from both. Some of the videos may not suit, but just listen to the music and words and see what you can guess from it!

1. Crow on the Cradle - Show of Hands.

2. Adam Raised a Cain - Bruce Springsteen

3. Another Springsteen - Murder Incorporated

4 Wicked Game - Stone Sour

5. Twist and Shout - Chaka Demus and Pliers

6. I touch Myself - Divynls

7. Just Like a Woman - Bob Dylan

8. Amoreuse - Kiki Dee

9. Breathless - Nick Cave and the Bad seeds

10. The Great Beyond - REM

11. Fake It - Seether

12. Nos Da Cariad - David Gray

13. If you tolerate this - Manic Street Preachers

14. 9 Crimes - Damien Rice

15. If Looks Could Kill - Heart

16. Babe You Turn Me On - Nick Cave

17. Rise Above This - Seether

18. Sisters are Doing It For Themselves - Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin

19. Bring it On - Nick Cave And the Bad Seeds

20 Secret Garden - Damhnait and Doyle (Springsteen version here)

21. Never Leave - Seether

22. Broken - Seether featuring Amy Lee

23. Make This Go On Forever - Snow Patrol

24. You Want to Make Memory - Jon Bon Jovi