>A writer’s playlist

>I write in silence. Is that odd? I don’t know. A lot of writers like noise, specifically music. Joe Hill has even published a playlist for his latest book Horns. It’s a great list, actually, but it bemuses me how Joe manages to put his own words down while Mick Jagger’s advising him to have sympathy for the devil.

Not that music’s not an inspiration. According to Walter Pater: “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.” So no wonder music feeds the written word. It’s just that, for me, the listening has to be separate to the writing. Maybe I just have trouble multitasking.

Like Joe and many others, I do have a list of songs that have inspired me in my various projects. It’s just never occured to me to keep notes on them. But I do recall playing an old Enya track over and over while puzzling over the plotting of Dragoncharm. I think it was called The Celts, and every time I heard it I saw wings. On another occasion I got obsessed with Blondie’s Atomic, which was the perfect accompaniment to a scene in Stone and Sun in which Tom Coyote races a pyroclastic flow down the side of the erupting Mount St Helens. Right now, I’m listening to the London Philharmonic’s recording of Holst’s Planets Suite, but I’m not going to tell you why.

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