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.

Wednesday, May 4


The soundtrack for Lady of the English.

1. Wind & Geige by Faun Wind & Geige by Faun
This is the Empress returning from Germany and involves pitching a tent on a windy evening!

2. Wire 2 Wire by Razorlight.
This is the Empress and is about her relationship with a baron called Brian FitzCount.

3. Die For You by Megan McCauley
The Empress and her relationship with her young husband Geoffrey le Bel.  It's about erotic attraction, control and hatred.

4.Ophelia - Natalie Merchant.
This is about Adeliza and the way she hides herself to deal with what life demands of her.

5. Diamonds and Rust - Joan Baez
This is about the Empress meeting up with Brian FitzCount some time after her marriage.  Wistful yearning.  What might have been.

6. Closer to Believing - Greg Lake   This is Brian FitzCount's impression of the Empress

7. Into the Fire - Thirteen Senses  William D'Albini asking Adeliza to marry him in the nunnery at Wilton

8 10th Man Down - Nightwish.  A warfare theme.  Nightwish are favourites of mine!

9 You Stay Here - Richard Shindell   The aftermath of war for the losers. The danger, the hiding, the horror of warfare.

10 I walk alone - Tarja.   The Empress Matilda escaping through the snow on a freezing December night.  Her despair, her anger, her lonelieness

11 Everything I need - Big Country
Brian FitzCount and William D'Albini thinking of the women they love.

12. Madonna - Jude.  Will D'Albini coming home to his wife after a hard battle.  It also fits in with his earlier feelings about her and also applies later on.  I suppose it's a main theme of their relationship.

13. Bittersweet - Apopcalyptica -  This is Brian FitzCount towards the end of the novel when he makes his big decision.

14 The Gift - Seether -  Another one about Brian making his decision.

15.Overcome - Live  More Brian and about redemption and resolution.

16. Regina Mundi - Monks of the Abbey of Notre Dame. No audio, but Gregorian chant.  Concerned with Brian.

17. Breathe No More - Evanessence  This is Adeliza during a time of uncertainty and physical frailty.

18. If God Could Talk - Meat Loaf.
Will and Adeliza as they discuss their future.  This song fits perfectly.

19 The Feathers, the Bones and the Shells - Beth Nielsen Chapman.  This is the only version of the song I can find on Youtube, but the version I have on my home soundtrack is the Nielsen Chapman one. It's about the situation between William D'Albini and Adeliza. The lyrics suit beautifully.

20 Red Badge of Courage - Brian Houston -
This is the grand finale that describes both Adeliza and Matilda.