In ten days time my novel The Dead Ways is published. Rather appropriately given the plot, it’s been a long road to get to this point with a few setbacks along the way, but I’m really excited to know that I’ll soon be able to walk into a bookshop and see it standing proud on the shelves!
Recently, I’ve read quite a few articles about books having soundtracks, whether this is a film-style soundtrack with sound effects that stay in synch with your reading, playlists the leading characters would make, or just some perfect tunes that fit the latest book you’re reading.
So to celebrate the imminent publication of The Dead Ways I wanted to share you the soundtrack behind its creation. These aren’t the songs that I necessarily would recommend you pull up on your iPod when you turn to page one. They’re not the tunes that the hero Scott has running in his head as he races to stop the sinister conspiracy that lies behind the Dead Ways. Rather, these are the tracks that in some way inspired me when I was writing the book: a misheard lyric in a song that sneaked its way into a scene, moods that certain tracks created that I tried to capture on the page, even plot ideas that somehow sprang out of the songs themselves. As much as the books I read for research, the places I visited from stone circles to the Palace of Westminster, these songs wove their way into The Dead Ways.
I’ve posted a playlist for The Dead Ways up on Spotify, so click on this link if you want to listen to the soundtrack that inspired the book. I'd love to know the tunes that soundtrack your book - whether this is one you're writing, reading or maybe even editing! Let me know your inspirational tunes in the comments below.
Finally, of all the artists in The Dead Ways playlist, Julian Cope has two songs included to reflect the wellspring of inspiration he gave me. Not only his music, but also his wonderful book The Modern Antiquarian about the ancient standing stones and Neolithic sites scattered across the British Isles. This book was my trusty gazetteer as I traipsed across windswept stone circles and crawled inside creepy dolmens searching for the gates that would unlock the Dead Ways. Searching YouTube today I found the video at the top of this blogpost for his song Promised Land and thought this would make the perfect trailer for the book. Except perhaps for the demonic cat that pops up at the end...