Friday, 14 January 2011

The Society Wife

I thought that, while I'm busy emptying out the contents of my brain and conducting a fingertip search on them to find the missing link in my current book, I'd do a little mini-post about the book I have out in the US this month. It's called The Society Wife, but if the people on the cover look oddly familiar it's because this is The Book Formerly Known As Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride, which came out in the UK in September 2009. Ages ago! So, if you're reading this on the other side of the Atlantic and have only just come across the story, you can read a bit about how it came to be written here.

I've mentioned lots of times before about how I always write to music (sorry, neighbours) and I think part of the issue I'm having with my current winmp (that's 'work in not much progress') is that I just can't seem to find songs that create the right mood. I didn't have that problem with Tristan and Lily. I loved the music I listened to when I wrote that book, and it seemed to work its way right into the story. This was the first song on my ipod soundtrack, which really influenced the mood of the first chapter.

This song was also on my playlist, and by some happy coincidence, when I watched the video on youtube I discovered it had been shot in the Barcelona square outside the church where Tristan and Lily get married, and the hotel where they stay on their wedding night. The children in the video made their way into the book.

Other songs on the list included Enigma's Gravity of Love (which mentions both towers and doves - both of which are significant in the story - and has a very saucy video) Remember when it Rained, which made me think of Lily remembering her night with Tristan, This Woman's Work by Kate fabulous Bush, which so beautifully summed up Tristan's regrets when Lily is in hospital. I have to say at this point, it's not the most cheery book, and that's definitely reflected in songs like Sia's Breathe Me, which I listened to a lot, and 9 Crimes by Damian Rice. I love this song, and when I listen to it now it always makes me think of Tristan and Lily.

Now, if only I could find similar magical musical inspiration for what I'm writing right now. The way it's going at the moment perhaps Dead in the Water by David Gray might be a good place to start. Does anyone else find music is an essential part of the writing process? And (slightly pleading voice) have you got any top song tips?


Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Biffy Clyrois a must:

NOT the X factor version!

Defy you not to weep a little.


Kristy Price said...

I absolutely have to listen to music when I'm writing. It helps me lose myself in another world.

Some of my faves:

‘Paradise Circus’ by Massive Attack - sensual, seductive urban cool

‘Lived in Bars’ by Cat Power - love the melody and her gravelly voice

‘Daniel’ and ‘Moon and Moon’ by Bat for Lashes - I’m in love with the melodies and some of the lyrics are knock-out. i.e. “You took me to the darkest place you knew and set fire to my heart”.

‘You Look So Fine’ by Garbage - “You look so fine, I want to break your heart and give you mine, you’re taking me over...” Nuff said.

‘Fisherman’s Woman’ by Emiliana Torrini - beautiful lyrics, full of longing and passion. I love pretty much everything she’s done.

‘Northern Sky’ by Nick Drake - Soulful

‘Wild Tigers I Have Known’ by Emily Jane White - the song of the Alpha Male

‘Love Song’ by The Cure - makes me cry

x Kristy

Sally Clements said...

I have to do the music thing too, India. some of my recent muses have been The beatles, (blackbird), Five for fighting, sheryl crowe (surprisingly, but very effective) James Taylor, evanescence,jeff buckley...

Joanna St. James said...

I can only tell you musicians to check out
KT Tunstall
John Mayer
Enrique Iglesias and Nichole Scherzinger - Heartbeat
The Corrs

hope you find something that helps, Eminem is also good for conflict scenes :)

Ellie Swoop said...

I find the words and music of Adele inspiring and moving... x

India said...

Oooh - thanks so much for all these, girls! Rach, I love the Scottishness of the original, and the words are just fabby and brutal, but I must shamefully admit I do rather like Whiny Matt's whiny version.

Kristy, you're a musical goddess - thank you hugely for your list. I'm a long time fan of Massive Attack, Bat for Lashes, Nick Drake and The Cure - all of whom have appeared on playlists before, but the rest are new to me. I'm going to try them all out as I settle into the book.

Sally, I'm always so glad when other people say they need music too - it's a bit Marmite, and lots of writers can't bear the thought of listening to anything while they're trying to work. Thanks for your suggestions - Sheryl Crowe has actually made it onto 2 previous lists (with 'Always on your Side, with Sting, and 'Tomorrow Never Dies', which is perfect for any seduction scene!)

Joanna, you must have read my mind as Dido (Here With Me) was the only song I had for this book and I listened to Eminem/Rihanna a lot when I was writing the last one. I've also used KT Tunstall previously (for Orlando and Rachel), so with that kind of success rate I'll definitely check out your other recommendations!

Ellie, I'm hearing lots of great things about that Adele album. Thanks for the suggestion - I feel an itunes purchase coming on...

I did manage to find a song that I really love and which is perfect for the early stages of the book (which sadly, I'm still writing) I'm now off to work my way through all of these!