Right now I’m working on Books Two and Three of the Father of Lies Chronicles. I like to get the whole plot worked out in my head before I sit down and write it. In fact, I always find the writing the easy part. But as I’m thinking about the final few plot points, I realised how important music is to me when writing.
When I’m working out the plots I find it useful to go somewhere by myself. Maybe go for a walk, or a trip on the bus. But always with my iPod earphones tucked tightly in. The music I listen to helps and informs the scene I’m thinking of. It makes the movie playing in my head all the more real. I don’t often listen to music when I’m doing the actual writing bit, but it can help then too. I’ll sometimes listen to exciting, bombastic, fast music if I’m in the middle of a particularly thrilling scene.
So this got me thinking. What songs and pieces of music would add to the experience of reading Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent? And here are three of them with brief explanations why I’ve included them. Think of it as an unofficial soundtrack for the book.
All the Strange Strange Creatures – Murray Gold
A lot of you might recognise this piece of music from Doctor Who. I hold my hand up; I am a big Doctor Who nerd. But I’m including this piece for a more important reason than my Who-obsession. I first had the idea of the World Serpent and the young boy that would have to defeat it while on the bus back to Dublin one Sunday. It was raining and the traffic was idling slowly along the Quays (as in the opening scene of the book). While looking out on the Liffey, I thought that it would make an interesting story if the Vikings had left something under the water. A monster. The music playing on my iPod as I had that thought was this piece.
Room of Requirements – Nicholas Hooper
I love all the music in the Harry Potter films but for me, this piece always stood out. It’s playful, creepy and loads of fun, which is probably why I played it to myself while writing the underground scenes in The World Serpent.
New Born – Muse
As you’ve probably noticed already, I tend to prefer music without lyrics when writing. But here’s one song that I find great when coming up with really epic and exciting action scenes, just like the end to The World Serpent.
(Now, for a laugh, why not play them all at once!)