I’m Wendy Dranfield, British writer of crime fiction, avid reader, Twitter addict and owner of 3 rescue cats. When Jo asked me to join Life Tracks I thought it would be easy to come up with 5 songs. How wrong I was! It actually made me realise how many songs have been the soundtrack to my life and it’s hard to leave out so many and choose just 5. I enjoy a wide range of music but I’ve realised through doing this that the best music of my life was definitely from the nineties/early noughties. I guess that’s because I was young! Well, and because we had the best music in the nineties…
I think these 5 are my stand-out tracks:
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
It would be tempting to pick all Nirvana songs for this exercise, and this one is an obvious choice, but I’ve chosen Smells Like Teen Spirit because it introduced me to Nirvana when I was a teenager and I’ve loved them ever since. Thanks to them, grunge music became an important part of my life and Kurt Cobain really was the voice of our generation. Of course, this made it so much harder when he took his own life and that affected me deeply. My initial enthusiasm when listening to their tracks now turns to sadness at what we lost. Nirvana are the band my husband and I share a special fondness for and what we originally bonded over.
Bryan Adams – Everything I Do (1991)
I know, I know! Everyone was sick of this song in the nineties but I absolutely loved it! It’s VERY different to the grunge I was just starting to get into, but it was the soundtrack to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. This was the first film I ever saw at the cinema, even though I was mid-teens (we were poor and couldn’t afford luxuries like cinema tickets, so I saved up as soon as I got a paper round). It was a great experience and I’ve loved going to the cinema ever since. This is still one of my guilty pleasure films that I’ll watch if it comes on TV as it reminds me of a summer spent being young and (almost) carefree, growing up in Hampshire. I started listening to Bryan Adams a lot after this and the first album I ever bought was his So Far, So Good, on CD. It was £1 in a car boot sale with a broken case and a scratch down the middle. Man alive, I wore that album out!
The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright (1998)
The Offspring are my second favourite band after Nirvana and the band my husband and I listen to on every single road trip – such great car music. It’s probably the only band I don’t get sick of listening to (Nirvana can be a little depressing after a while!). When this song came out, I was working full-time at a large college but I also worked nights at Rock City in Nottingham. I heard a lot of great music working there and this song came on all the time. I used to get home from my night shift at 4am and then get up for my day job at 6am. I didn’t sleep much during that time but my life had an awesome soundtrack!
System of a Down – Chop Suey (2001)
Although this song was released in 2001, I wasn’t introduced to System of a Down until 2003. That was when I moved myself and my younger brother to Cornwall. My brother introduced me to System and Rage Against the Machine and we spent a lot of time working hard, partying hard and living a surfer’s lifestyle opposite the beach. This was also the time I met my husband, who happened to own all the same System/Rage albums as my brother, and he was impressed at my musical knowledge (thanks bro!). That summer my now-husband introduced me to Richard cheese who does ‘lounge’ versions of classics such as Chop Suey. If you’ve never listened to Richard Cheese, give him a try. He’s a musical genius!
Feeder – Just A Day (2001)
I saw Feeder live at Glastonbury 1998 and loved them. Just A Day came out in 2001 and has one of the best music videos ever because it contains the fans – if you’ve never watched it, give it a try. It’ll make you laugh! Listening to this song makes me smile because it reminds me of the friends I had at the time and the grunge nightclub (Harvey’s) we used to go to after work. They were the days I could drink on a week night and still function at work the next day…
This was so much fun. Thanks Jo!
Wendy is a former Coroner’s Assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband. She’s been writing ever since she was a child, but only found the confidence to submit her work to publishers when she was in her thirties.
Who Cares If They Die and Where the Snow Bleeds are the first two books in the Dean Matheson series, with more on the way. As well as her crime thriller series, Wendy has written a YA crime novel – The Girl Who Died – and she has several short stories published in UK and US anthologies. She has also been shortlisted and longlisted for various competitions, including the Mslexia Novel Competition.
For behind the scenes gossip and updates on her books (or photos of her cats), follow her on social media!
Her second crime novel is being released on 30th July 2019 by Ruby Fiction. It’s the sequel to Who Cares If They Die, which was released last autumn. She has also just finished writing the third in the series! They follow Dean Matheson (and his wannabe police dog, Rocky) on his journey to becoming a homicide detective.
Where the Snow Bleeds
“You want to know what I’ve learnt after living in Lone Creek all my life? I know the snow bleeds here …”
Former police officer Dean Matheson has been playing it safe since the case that cost him almost everything. But working as a PI doesn’t quite cut it, that is until a British woman walks into his office with a job that Dean can’t resist.
The woman’s daughter, Hannah Walker, and her friend Jodie have gone missing whilst working at a ski resort in Colorado. It’s clear there’s something sinister about the girls’ disappearance, but then why are the local police department being so unhelpful?
So begins Dean’s journey to Lone Creek on the trail of the missing girls – and he’ll soon find out that in Lone Creek, everyone has something to hide …