Tag Archives: music

A Darkness at the End Playlist

When I’m writing I usually end up collecting songs which connect to the book and A Darkness at the End is no different. Each song represents either a character, a place, an event or a general theme of the whole book. So here’s the playlist for it, and a link to the playlist on YouTube. Enjoy and let me know if there are any you think should be in there as well (and why).

A Darkness at the End Playlist

David Bowie

Like everyone else I woke up this morning to the news that David Bowie passed away. The shock makes it feel not quite real. I was pretty certain that if anyone was immortal, or had some sort of extended fae life, it was him.

Everyone has their favourites, their face of David Bowie.

I grew up with Bowie as a soundtrack. With older sisters, his music was very much part of our household. Hunky Dory, still my favorite album, is the same age as me. Life on Mars resonates across years, more meaningful each time I listen.

Bowie made magical music, about life, death and everything in between. Love songs, and tragedies, comical, meaningful… words that make you think, that continue to inspire. The imagery he could create in just a few words, the emotions he could convey, the breadth of his work and the art he made in sound and vision… these are the things that continue. He showed us that the weird, the different, the magical is all part of life and that we can embrace it, within ourselves and without.

Somewhere still Major Tom, the Starman, Ziggy Stardust or the Goblin King is waiting.

In case anyone ever doubted it, the ball scene in The Treachery of Beautiful Things is based on this scene from the wonderful Labyrinth and the song As The World Falls Down.

A Crack in Everything Playlist

Obviously music is important in A Crack in Everything so I thought I would share some of the songs that inspired various aspects of the story and the characters. There are actually a lot more than on this list (it changes as the mood takes me), and some versions I personally prefer to others. I tried to restrict this list to one song by an artist, but… yeah, I’m not very good at that in real life. There’s a lot of Florence + the Machine and Camille O’Sullivan going on at the best of times. And two Camille covers just had to be the ones.


I could go on for ages about the different songs and why I picked them. If you’ve any questions, just ask.

There’s also a YouTube playlist but not all of the versions I chose are up there, so we’ve Elkie Brook’s version of Lilac Wine instead of Camille O’Sullivan for example. Why not Jeff Buckley? Well… there’s a debate for another day. Why The Fratelli’s version of All Along the Watchtower?

I am a big fan of covers and reinterpretation, especially in music. I like new versions of old things. I like seeing things afresh. And sometimes they say something a little bit closer to what I was aiming for in the book.

Hope you enjoy.

Haste to the Wedding – a music post

One of the recurring themes in The Treachery of Beautiful Things is the traditional tune “Haste to the Wedding”. It is the tune with which Tom first wakes the trees, and the tune which lures Jenny into the Realm seven years later.

This is one of my favourite versions of it, as it captures all the different nuances in this piece of music.  The introduction, played by Sharon Corr is simply beautiful, while the main tune, Part 2 (as used in the book), kicks off about the 3.33 minute mark and is builds in life an energy as the music turns from traditional to modern (and Mick Fleetwood joins in on drums). If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, listen to that. But you’ll be missing out.


I’m so glad Warner music has this on Youtube so I can share it with you.

The (Not) May Day post

So right, well, due to matters beyond my control… well actually due to responsibilities which I can’t ignore and the massive headache that followed it… I didn’t manage to blog yesterday, which is annoying because I totally meant to.

Because *drumroll* *taa-dah*

yesterday was May Day.


That would have been so much more effective yesterday when it was “today is May Day”, you see? But never mind.


The reason May Day is important (not just because it’s what I frequently shout. Ok, when I’m in trouble in France anyway) is that The Treachery of Beautiful Things is in part based on the legends and folklore surrounding May Day. It is the first day of summer here in Ireland (notable this year for the pheNOMinal ammount of rain we got). It’s Bealtine, one of the quarter days when the veils between worlds become thin enough to let things slip through. It’s a time of magic.

Alright I never actually got around to writing the blog post, but luckily for me The History Girls had a fantastic one written by Mary Hoffman, so I am totally linking to that. 😀 It even has a lovely picture of the May Tree, aka the hawthorn.

The hawthorn we planted in the garden is doing well by the way. It has little buds. So pretty! Next year we’ll have pictures of it, I promise. At the moment… it’s a stick with some little green buds on it, so not that interesting.

Today (NOT May Day) I’m over at the Australian blog Treasured Tales for Young Adults celebrating its Blogoversary, and talking about Jenny from The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I love Jenny. She’s a complicated girl, who learns and grows over the course of the book, growing into herself as a confident and self-assured young woman by the end of the story. I like characters who develop over the course of a book, rather than being the same the whole way through and I think Jenny shows this. Anyway, see for yourself what I had to say.

And finally, here is my May Day song (late) which is one of the most important songs from my Treachery Playlist – Rabbit Heart (Raise it up) by Florence + the Machine. (I can’t embed it, so follow the link to YouTube).


Musical Musings on May Queen

Almost time for rewrites again and I’m getting myself back into the mindset for May Queen, my YA fantasy coming out next year from Dial Books for Young Readers.

As I’ve said before , music is really import to me. A song can encapsulate a feeling, a moment, and distill it so that even a few bars can bring memories and emotions flooding back. A song helps me key myself back into characters, their flaws and their dreams. Continue reading Musical Musings on May Queen

I am still here, I swear it

Although I am recovering from a weekend trip to Sligo to see Leonard Cohen play in the grounds of Lissadell house. It was a trip in honour of my best friend’s birthday (a significant one) and so we went all out. We flew to Sligo (my first ever domestic Irish flight). Sligo is the dinkiest airport I’ve ever been too (yes, even dinkier than Plymouth!) It has a range of amenites including a bar, toilets and a bar but only before the departure “gate”. It also has the opening hours on the front door. It is AWESOME! Continue reading I am still here, I swear it

Musical inspiration

In the absense of anything much to say 😉

I’m working on a YA urban fantasy with an Irish setting. Can you tell?

I’m also using The Call, but can’t embed that. It’s well worth a watch though. There are a number of songs informing this story – from Celtic Woman to Green Day.

I love using music as a basis for stories. Sometimes, as I think I’ve mentioned before, the right song comes along at the beginning, and sometimes its later on when the story is formed but not yet complete. Music acts as the soul of many of the tales I tell. It adds that extra layer and draws everything together. Songs filter through everything I write.

So I like to share them from time to time.