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...
On Thursday 2 March 2017 - World Book Day appropriately enough - The Jamie Drake Equation will be published by Nosy Crow, although, as I've heard reports of copies finding their way into shops already, maybe I should just say OUT NOW!
Some fantastic book bloggers, librarians and reviewers are already sharing their first reviews of The Jamie Drake Equation and I'd like to thank them for these kind and thoughtful reviews.
"Reminded me of classics from my own childhood - especially Chocky by John Wyndham and the film E.T." Reading Zone
"This story is a cosmic ray of light that will uplift your soul to the nebulae and back. It will take you on the best journey that the imagination has to offer." Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books
"I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and it really didn’t disappoint. This stunning sci-fi adventure is out of this world." Miss Cleveland
"One of those great books that offers a humorous, intelligent, warm and gripping read. I can't wait to get it into the hands of children in my class." North Somerset Teacher's Book Award blog
"A funny, brilliant story with a twist." Sue & Pakka's blog
Thank you too to the brilliant Matt Saunders for the amazing cover he's created for The Jamie Drake Equation. And the ace team at Nosy Crow for all their work too.
Just like for The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, I've created a soundtrack for The Jamie Drake Equation which you can listen to on Spotify below. These are the songs that accompany the action or inspired me in some way as I was writing the book. You can read my guide to creating a book soundtrack here, but I'm very excited to say that I'm going to be talking about the soundtrack to The Jamie Drake Equation and why I think every book should have a soundtrack on Chris Hawkins' Early Breakfast Show on BBC 6 Music tomorrow to launch World Book Day week. I should be on just after 6am, so tune in and let Chris know what songs you'd like to soundtrack the books you love.
Update - Click this link to listen to my full interview with Chris Hawkins. Thanks so much Chris, producer Jen and all the team at BBC 6 Music for supporting World Book Day. Reading is the new rock'n'roll!
The Jamie Drake Equation - a chapter-by-chapter tracklisting
1. Wish You Were by Pink Floyd [Chapter 1]
2. D'Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman by Oasis [Chapter 2]
3. Observatory Crest by Mercury Rev [Chapter 4]
4. Pi by Kate Bush [Chapter 8]
5. Out of Space by The Prodigy [Chapter 10]
6. Stars All Seem To Weep by Beth Orton [Chapter 12]
7. Pictures of You by The Cure [Chapter 15]
8. Space Carnival by The Comet is Coming [Chapter 15]
9. New Light of Tomorrow by Husky Rescue [Chapter 16]
10. The Hive by BE [Chapter 16]
11. 1st Man in Space by The All-Seeing Eye [Chapter 18]
12. Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell [Chapter 20]
13. Space Oddity by David Bowie [Chapter 21]
14. Around by Tim Burgess & Peter Gordon [Chapter 22]
15. Blackstar by David Bowie [Chapter 23]
16. Light & Day/Reach for the Sun by The Polyphonic Spree [Chapter 24]
17. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space by Spiritualized [Chapter 25]
18. Sky Holds The Sun by The Bees [Chapter 25]
19. All We Have Is Now by The Flaming Lips [Chapter 25]
20. The Moment by Tame Impala [Chapter 26]