Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The soundtrack to 'Stolen Summer'

I'm one of those writers who hears a song, or even just a line of a song and is suddenly frantic to reach the computer and start writing a Shiny New Idea. That's how this whole recent writing lark of mine started - driving through a tumbleweed-riddled stretch of Arizona desert in the heat of July. I had one of my home-made compilation CDs on and Eva Cassidy was singing 'Fields of Gold'. I stared at the distant storm clouds rising over the Pinal Mountains and thought longingly of English wheat fields dozing beneath a gentler sun. A handful of hours later I had a scene in my head of two lovers making love on a summer's evening beside a field of barley. The next day I had a story. Sadly, one that has been trunked since.

Everything I've written since has inadvertently acquired a soundtrack. 'Stolen Summer' is no exception. For those of you who've read the previous blog about how my mucky little book came to be, you'll know that I scribbled down a few plot points on a flight from Phoenix to LA. The next Big Thing was the above piece of music. My roomie, fellow writer Amy Bai, asked if I'd ever heard of Ludovico Einaudi. I confessed that I hadn't. She then clicked a few keys on her laptop and .... wow.

'Divenire' just crept into my little writer's brain and stayed there. When I got back to Arizona, I downloaded the LP and it became the soundtrack to 'Stolen Summer'. Even now, I have only to listen to 'Divenire' and I can see the scenes that it accompanies. If anyone ever decides to adapt the book into a film (What? I can dream, can't I?) I shall insist that this be included in the soundtrack.

So, writers...what songs have inspired you? Whose music makes you frantic to write?


  1. I've had some songs attach themselves to pieces I've already written--"Peaceful Easy Feeling" works nicely with the Ch22 beach scene you just critted from Saint Mark's Body. After all it includes the lines "I wanna sleep with you in the desert tonight" "I found out a long time ago what a woman can do to your soul/But she can't take you anywhere you don't already know how to go" and, of course "This voice keeps whispering in my other ear-- tells me I may never see you again"

  2. I love Einaudi. That piece is stunning, I'm not surprised it was inspirational for you. Thank you for reminding me that I really must listen to music more often. As to me, I don't have any writing-inspirational music... I'm definitely going to go find me some though. Thank you.