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Posts Tagged The Smiths
My guest this week has earned plenty of praise for her first two novels and I’m thrilled to have her here as she launches her third. Her post is a thoughtful, intense journey through the backstage emotions of creating a book. The novel is set in 1969 and 1970, but interestingly she didn’t listen to the hits of the time. Instead she chose tracks that let the characters tell her what experiences they were living – a rich mix of The Smiths, The Beatles, Crowded House and Amy Winehouse. The book’s title – Cruel Beautiful World – dropped out of a lyric one day. She is NYT bestselling author Caroline Leavitt and she’s on the Red Blog with her Undercover Soundtrack.
1970s, Amy Winehouse, authors and music, Caroline Leavitt, Crowded House, Cruel Beautiful World, literary fiction, music for writing, the Beatles, The Smiths, The Undercover Soundtrack, writers' playlists
On The Undercover Soundtrack, we’re used to writers using music to summon the muse. My guest this week goes one better. One of his main characters is a computer hacker, who limbers up by listening to Vangelis’s music for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise. In real life, the author has a lifetime’s experience in the IT industry and seems adept at opening files in people’s pasts – Dave and I used to play 1492 incessantly as background for our own writings. My guest did it again when his editor revealed she had trained as a musician, like another of his characters. He is Ian Sutherland and he’s on the Red Blog with his Undercover Soundtrack – when he’s finished hacking the pasts of his production crew and blog hosts.
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The heatwave may have eased for now, but it burns on in this week’s post – the soundtrack behind a story about a scandal on the Isle of Wight in 1976. Its author says her novels grow from ideas that take root and become obsessions – a process I recognise very well, as my own novels start that way. Alongside the ideas were key pieces of music – David Bowie for optimistic yearning, Nick Drake for wistfulness and Brian Eno for the unexpected and threatening. She is Isabel Ashdown and she’s on the Red Blog with her Undercover Soundtrack.
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