Music has a profound effect on my life. I love to dance, and I love to sing. Music can bring back memories, lift my spirits and make me cry. It was inevitable that it would have an effect on my writing. I can’t listen to any old thing. And I can’t listen in any meaningful way and write at the same time, on the whole. What I can do, is to listen, and then write. Once I’m in full on writing mode, it doesn’t matter what is going on around me, I’m in my own world.
When I wrote Summer at the Art Café, I heard songs that spoke to the world that I was creating. Sometimes they affirmed the emotions the characters had about each other. Sometimes, they showed me the direction in which I needed to nudge those characters.
As the tunes began to stack up and I gathered them into a playlist entitled Summer at the Art Cafe, I imagined them in the soundtrack of the film that the book was bound to provoke. You have to have ambition, right? I’d listen to that playlist of twenty six songs when I was walking my dog, or in the car, or doing the housework, and even now, when I listen, I can visualise the book. Maybe I should put it on Spotify, so readers can listen too!
But Jo has asked me for just five songs, and choices have had to be made. So I’ve agonised over those five, and here they are.
The first one, is Taylor Swift’s, I Knew you were Trouble https://youtu.be/VmBoTeLsKfs This made me laugh as I listened to it, and tied in with my granddaughters dancing about to it. Daisy, in the book, is very much inspired by Emily, my granddaughter of the same age.
Second is, Dionne Warwick’s This Girl’s in Love with You, https://youtu.be/Gd2Q8VCk9co, is not only the dawning realisation of Lucy’s feelings, but also a nod to my childhood, rich with Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross and Motown. I can’t help singing along whenever I hear them.
Thirdly, and I’m not at all sorry that most of my songs seem to have come from the sixties, the wonderful Cilla Black, Anyone Who Had a Heart, https://youtu.be/rWAcG5p0Jyg
I could have chosen so many from Cilla, they are bursting with emotion and longing.
My fourth song is an echo from my school disco days, and none the worse for that. Barry White, Just the Way You Are, and just right for that stage of the book. I love so many Barry’s, I could have put them all in. https://youtu.be/XF8ZRjfGACA Excuse me while I join in with it for a minute or two …
Okay, I’m back!
You’ve probably detected that there’s a bit of a theme going on here. I adore soul music, and my final tune is Diana Ross singing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, https://youtu.be/5_pmKPWLBrE was in my original draft, and was replaced with something more modern during the final edits. In my head though, it’s what Ash and Lucy sing in the van, and if you listen to it, you’ll be able to hear my voice cracking on those high notes as I bash it out. It’s the most fabulous assertion of love and loyalty I can imagine, and I smile every time I hear it.
I made a playlist for Meet Me at the Art Café too, and I’m creating one for the third novel in the series, which will be released this summer.
As an artist in my day job, I try to make my books full of colour, and you might know that I painted the covers for both books. I hope that you’ll be able to hear the music in them now too!
Summer at the Art Café is available in digital, audio and paperback: https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B07C98JN39&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_uxMeEbJB247GB
Meet Me at the Art Café is in digital and audio and will be released in paperback in May 2020 https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B07NCTYTHB&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_JyMeEb8W3J6QX