Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.
A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.
I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher, best selling author of Stolen and today on the blog, she is talking about the importance of music when writing. Over to Lucy...
Like many authors I know, I write to music. What’s more, I create soundtracks to write to. I choose songs that take me to the right emotional place to enable me to write certain scenes. Now, looking back at these songs, I see scenes in my novels unfolding. Music helps me to feel, while also helping my mind to open up creatively. Here are some of the most important songs that I have written to during the process of writing my three novels:
1). I See Monsters – Ryan Adams
I listened to this song a lot when I wrote Stolen. I love the desperation in its lyrics and sliding notes, I like its sparse country feel. This song helped me particularly when I was writing the scene where Ty wakes up screaming in the middle of the night and Gemma comes in to comfort him. Like Ryan Adams, Ty sees monsters.
2). Strange and Beautiful (I’ll put a spell on you) – Aqualung
This is another Stolen song. Right from its first lines, it’s pretty obvious why – I’ve been watching your world from a far, I’ve been trying to be where you are. To me, this song sums up the act of Ty kidnapping Gemma, providing some of his emotional reasoning behind why he does this. Interesting fact: other YA author (and friend of mine!) C J Skuse reminded me of how relevant this song could be to the narrative arc of Stolen.
3). Bird Girl – Anthony and the Johnsons
If you’ve read Flyaway, you’ll know straight away which of my novels this song refers to! Once again, the lyrics of this song are pretty perfect for summing up the emotional heart, or premise, of this novel: I’m a bird girl …I’ve been searching for my wings some time … bird girls can fly …
I also absolutely love the souring cadences in this song – the voice, violins and piano all combine together to create a real sense of uplifting beauty. For me, this song reminds me of Isla dreaming about flying with her handmade wings.
4). Hoppipolla – Sigur Ros
I listened to this song on repeat while I wrote Flyaway. Near the novel’s final deadline, I once edited through the night with Sigur Ros’s amazing album Takk (from where this song is from) on repeat. I must have listened to it about thirty or forty times: it never lost its power. This song is the ultimate song for thinking about uplifting and souring through the sky. It is the perfect song for imagining beautiful white whooper swans taking off for migration. I find this song so powerful and beautiful, it even makes me cry (at weak moments!)
5). It Wasn’t Me, It Was the Moon – Quiet Marauder
I really struggled with writing The Killing Woods. I think this is partly due to the fact that I couldn’t find the right music to write to. I tried searching for songs about woods, about killing, about dark places, but nothing fitted quite right. In desperation I turned to one of my best friends who is a musician and asked him to write me a song. I told him that I needed a song about teenagers in a wood at night and about dark urges coming out to play. He wrote this song and it was like a key to unlocking my creativity. The dark, menacing male mood behind this song fitted just right with the scene I was writing at the time (concerning playing a physical army game at night in the woods!). He then went on to write six more songs to help me get the right moods to finish the novel. And the best news of all - his band, Quiet Marauder, has just been signed to a record label!
The Killing Woods is published on 3rd October, 2013 in the UK and 7th January, 2014 in the US. To find out more about Lucy Christopher and her books, please click here to visit her website.