‘Abhorrent combinations… fear not as the music writes the story for you’ – The Undercover Soundtrack, Josh Malerman

for logoMy guest this week says his novel was written in a trance. He rented an attic from a musician, who he could hear practising in the rooms downstairs, brought along a cageful of finches and set them free to fly around him as he typed. You’ll see from the title why they seemed like a good idea. These avian muses were also treated to the soundtracks of several movies – Rosemary’s Baby, The Fog and Creepshow – which doubtless helped them get further into character. When he needed to crank up the intensity, there would be two songs howling at once – the radio at one end of the room, classical music at the other. My guest reports that sometimes his birds got tired and stared at him. This endearing aural vandal is Josh Malerman, his novel is the post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box, and he’s on the Red Blog with his Undercover Soundtrack.

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  1. #1 by Carol Riggs on July 17, 2014 - 10:58 pm

    That’s just…fascinating! WAY to get in the mood. Wow. It makes me serious want to try something like this (only more low-key, no real birds involved, haha). Usually I have NO music or other sounds around, so as not to interfere with my book’s rhythm. But maybe other rhythms could influence the mood of the writing in a good way. :)

    • #2 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on July 18, 2014 - 5:38 am

      Hi Carol! Isn’t it marvelous? I’ve got a few writers who use non-musical sounds. I’ve had the BBC Shipping Forecast, which delighted a lot of people. Also a chap who listened to a thunderstorm 8,000 times. But Josh’s live birds really beat it all.

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