I have been invited onto Russell Walker’s Radio York programme on Monday next week from 2pm to do the Getting to Know slot. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radioyork They describe it as similar to Desert Island Discs in which they talk about your work and play your selected tracks of music. It has set me wondering what tracks define my writing life. I shan’t disclose the tracks I have chosen, you’ll need to tune in to find out. Reluctantly choosing only 4 tracks leaves out so many brilliant songs.
I’m no musician, as my keyboard tutor will no doubt confirm, so for the most part music for me is defined by brilliant lyrics or songs combined with tunes that make me feel strong and as though I can conquer the world. I have driven to job interviews to the sound of Chesney Hawkes singing ‘I am the one and only’. It’s not about an apparently brash statement that I’m special, it’s saying to me ‘it doesn’t matter what the world throws at me, you can’t take away from me the person I am underneath’.
I was also sad to leave out the brilliant lyrics of Squeeze ‘Up the Junction’, the language is so natural to the character and the rhymes tell me that the writer Chris Difford really had a handle on poetry and meter.
My next novel has its origins in 1800’s Ireland and the effects of the potato famine. When I’m getting in the mood for writing that I listen incessantly to the Dubliners to set the tone. One of my characters is a young orphan on the streets of New York who finds he can earn some money by singing the songs he heard his ‘Da’ sing, round the fireside at home as his uncle played the fiddle. Now that the Appearance of Truth is published, I really must get back to immersing myself in the next one.