Be inspired by music?
In my head I always try to write the book as either a film or serial, and that being the case, music always helps
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'S63' was written whilst I was big into Indie music - Supergrass, Pulp, Garbage and the Dandy Warhols in particular.
Garbage's 'Stupid Girl' sort of summed up one of the main characters in the book, however Dandy Warhols' 'Come Down' album had a big input into it - especially their 'Be In' song.
In one particular scene I thought of '6 underground' by the Sneaker Pimps which was an haunting song, if I'm honest. It was also a pretty fucking haunting scene too.
'S5' was written as a very visual script and I knew exactly what I wanted. Brian Jonestown Massacre's 'Hide and Seek' and 'Going to Hell' I adored - I still do. If I could have had it made into a series, I would have gone with Brian Jonestown Massacre's 'If Love is the Drug, then I want to O.D' for its intro.
The strange thing is that Brian Jonestown Massacre's 'Straight Up and Down' was the intro music for the 'Boardwalk Empire' series. Great minds, eh?
Pulp's 'Pencil Skirt' is very, very Sheffield.
The Cast's 'Beat Mama' was mentioned as being played in the Tattoo Studio whilst Weezer's 'Hash Pipe' was very prominent throughout sections of the book.
I was also big into the Eels' 'Electro Shock Blues' album and 'Going to your funeral - Part 2' was prominent when the guy chopped his own head off - A true story that. There was also a part of the book which the character 'Dunk' was seeing a girl who dressed like a 'Goth' - and this girl had a friend who looked 'special' and the Eels' 'Beautiful Freak' stuck in my head. The Goth bit is true, but the friend is fiction - sort of.
As it was, and totally unknown to me at the time of writing it - the Eels had been very prominent throughout Jim Carrey's 'Yes Man' film.
The 'Dunk' character who the whole story revolved around was one of the most coolest low-level gangsters going - well he was at that time - and 'Hide and Seek' - sort of depicted him - very aggressive but totally cool.
'I Am Sam'
Writing 'I Am Sam' literally blew my mind. In my head I lived the main character, and that being the case I needed to focus and three or four songs were very prominent in it.
Connie Stevens' 'Sixteen Reasons' (from Mulholland Drive film) and the Beach Boys' 'God Only Knows' are mentioned towards the end of the book - possibly corny for a book - but not so, if it was a series or film.
There's also one of my favourite songs mentioned in it - Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel's 'Make Me Smile (Come up and See Me)'. That's a truly nice song and it caught the moment of exactly how I felt whilst writing that sequence - the thirty second musical break from 1:50 onwards - Beautiful.
There's references to Thunderclap Newman's 'Something in the Air' and the Small Faces' 'Tin Soldier', both songs which are related to the era within the story.
I had a similar feeling - but not quite, to what I had when I wrote 'I Am Sam', which is possibly more to do with 'ITV 7' being a continuation of the 'I Am Sam' story. However the difference is with 'ITV 7' is that I kept fine tuning the thing, so much so that I didn't want to let it go!
'I Am Sam' was very 1960's based, and 'ITV 7' follows suit - but not so much through the subject matter - more the style of the female characters within the book.
I wrote it as a series therefore I always had a theme tune - and that would be a continued intro of the Lightning Seeds' 'Sugar Coated Iceberg' - not so much because it's a great song as it's not - it is just a happy and melodic song which is mentioned within the book.
The Association's 'Windy' is a mid to late 60's feel good song, which was playing on Radio 2 early one morning during the story.
Listening to 'Sugar Sugar' is a personal story which I took into 'ITV 7'. It was possibly the first record I took any real notice of.
Certainly not 1960's but the introductory sirens and beat of the Sweet's 'Blockbuster' are mentioned prior to something strange happening in the story. That track takes me back to when I was a kid.
KC & The Sunshine Band's 'Please Don't Go' is hardly of that era and may come across as a bit cheesy if you see the video, however if you take that away you have a really nice song.
This was in my head when a wrote what I considered to be a really, really nice part of the book. I really liked writing that bit - possibly more than any other part.
'Queen of Cups'
To be published spring 2017.
Queen of Cups is a similar story to that of the predecessors of The Arsenal Trilogy, in that the main characters are the same. Lee, Emily, the kids etc.
However, it is slightly darker in that 'Sooty' and 'Abi' tell part of the tale - both of whom are not without their demons.
It can mean the description of the icon from Queen of Cups tarot card or the football team that challenges for honours but doesn't quite get there.
Whilst writing it and to get a visual, I listened to quite a bit of music. Believe me when I say it - this book is much, much bigger than 'ITV 7' - hence why a decision has been made to break it down into two parts.
The Cast's 'Flying', Pulp's ' A little Soul' and The Lightning Seeds' 'Pure' were the first ones that really jumped out at me in a similar way to the eight or nine second chorus from Grease's 'Summer Nights' - which I had to watch to get a picture in my head of 'The Girl Next Door' (Emily) for the start of the trilogy.
The girl was always prominent. The girl is the story. Emily has been the story all the way through and Transvision Vamp's (Wendy James') 'Baby I Don't Care', I feel is not too far away from 'Emily'.
Super Furry Animals' - 'If you don't want me to destroy you' provides some great music towards the back end and it's just one of those songs that can make you generate really nice thoughts as even though the story is dark in places; it's still very nice.
One of the songs that comes into the book is that of Carter USM's 'Glam Rock cops', which when you read the book is quite self explanatory - as is Gina G, of which the background to it has more depth than the song could ever give.
However, not long after that, probably the second darkest piece of writing throughout the trilogy comes into play.
The darkest is without doubt 'Rose Garden'. That is deep.
'Stripper Vicar'. You've just got to love the little lad! Dead funny.
The Beach Boys 'Good Vibrations' is a road-tripper, whilst the Beatles' 'Something' is just a nice scene.
Stevie Nicks' 'Rooms on Fire' helped get me closure - and believe me it took some major deliberation to get there.
Music that inspired 'S63'
Be in - The Dandy Warhols.mp3
Garbage - Stupid Girl.mp3
6 Underground - Sneaker Pimps.mp3
Music that inspired 'S5 Uncovered'
If Love is the Drug, then I want to O.D - The Brian Jonestown Massacre.mp3
Pulp- Pencil Skirt.mp3
Eels - Beautiful Freak.mp3
Cast - Beat Mama.mp3
Going to Your Funeral Part II - Eels.mp3
Weezer - Hash Pipe.mp3
Going to Hell - The Brian Jonestown Massacre.mp3
Hide and Seek - The Brian Jonestown Massacre.mp3
Music that inspired 'I Am Sam'
Steve Harley - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me).mp3
Tin Soldier - The Small Faces.mp3
Thunderclap Newman - Something In The Air.mp3
Sixteen Reasons - Connie Stevens.mp3
God only knows - The Beach Boys.mp3
Music that inspired 'ITV 7'
Sugar Coated Iceberg - The Lightning Seeds.mp3
Sugar Sugar - The Archies.mp3
The Association - Windy.mp3
The Sweet - Blockbuster.mp3
K C and The Sunshine Band - Please Don't Go.mp3
Rudimental - Feel The Love.mp3
Music that inspired 'Queen of Cups'
Parts One (Above) and Part Two (Below)
Transvision Vamp - Baby I Dont Care.mp3
Pulp-A Little Soul.mp3
Stevie Nicks - Rooms On Fire.mp3
Lightning Seeds - Pure.mp3
Beach Boys-Good Vibrations.mp3
Carter USM-Glam Rock Cops.mp3
Gina G-Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit.mp3
Lyn Anderson-Rose Garden.mp3