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Once a week I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative process – perhaps to open a secret channel to understand a character, populate a mysterious place, or explore the depths in a pivotal moment. This week’s post is by Keira Michelle Telford @mylostanddamned
I listen to a lot of music, so it’s no wonder that all of my characters have their own theme song. Each book has its own theme song, too, and I listen to music constantly while I write.
For Silver: Acheron, I was mostly listening to Victoriandustrial musician Emilie Autumn. Her Opheliac album is so perfectly dark, tortured, and ever so slightly angry. (Okay, quite a bit angry.) At this point in the timeline, Ella ‘Silver’ Cross has just been banished for treason. She’s caught up in an emotional whirlwind, and Autumn’s Opheliac encapsulates this turmoil perfectly.
The title itself (also the title of a track on the album), is named after Shakespeare’s Ophelia in the play Hamlet, and is most well-known for her inability to cope with her emotional distress and broken heart, and for her suicide as a result of this. In this vein, the Emilie Autumn song Opheliac is filled with despair, and almost perfectly expresses Silver’s growing depression and a battle against her own sorrow.
If I had to pick just one other song that inspired me the most from this album, I would choose I Want My Innocence Back. Every time I listen to it, I can imagine exactly what Silver’s feeling in the book. I seem to recall putting this track on repeat, and listening to it for eight hours straight.
Another band that inspired me during the creation of Silver: Acheron was Lyriel. I love all of Lyriel’s albums, and especially their style of mixing folk rock with gothic rock. One song on their recent album, Leverage (the title track), inspired me because it represents Silver’s transition from her former life to her new life – that of a banished prisoner.
I often wonder what comes first: the music or the scene I’m writing. I tend to think that I’m attracted to songs/musicians whose work reflects the emotions I’m writing about, but every now and then, I hear a song and am immediately able to visualise a scene from a book I haven’t even begun to write yet. Just the other day, I was listening to Two Steps From Hell—an instrumental group who do a lot of scoring for movies and trailers—and stumbled upon a track called Setting Sail. In an instant, I knew how the last book of my second series, The Legacy Trilogy, ends.
Keira Michelle Telford is a British ex-pat, now living in British Columbia, Canada. She is the author of a 10-book series of post-apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction books, centering on the character of Ella ‘Silver’ Cross. The first book (a novella), Acheron, was released in November 2011. The next, A New Age Dawns (the fourth book in the series), is due in September. Find Keira on Goodreads, Facebook (and also here on Facebook) and on Twitter as @mylostanddamned
authors, autumn song, Emilie Autumn, entertainment, fantasy, folk rock, gothic rock, Keira Michelle Telford, Lyriel, music, music for writers, music for writing, My Memories of a Future Life, Nail Your Novel, Roz Morris, Silver: Acheron, The Legacy Trilogy, The Silver Series, The Undercover Soundtrack, Two Steps From Hell, undercover soundtrack, Victoriandustrial, writers, writing, writing to music
- The Undercover Soundtrack is a series where writers - and occasionally other arty folk - reveal how music shapes their work.
- It began as a companion to my first novel, My Memories of a Future Life, and now thrives as a creative salon in its own right. Pull on your headphones and join us.
- If you're curious about the novel that started it all, click the image below.
Kobo featured book, London Book Fair 2013
Seal of Excellence for Outstanding Independent Fiction, Awesome Indies 2013
Underground Book Reviews Top Summer Read 2012
League of Extraordinary Authors Top 10 Indie Elite 2012
Multi-Story Pick of the Month March and October 2012
Alliance of Independent Authors Book of the Month, January 2013
Email merozmorriswriter at gmail dot com
- All content copyright Roz Morris 2011-2017. Nothing may be reproduced without my express permission in writing beforehand. Photography: Bonnie Schupp Photography, gcg2009 and Roz Morris
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What is The Undercover Soundtrack?Sleeve notes here
For the soundtrack of My Memories of a Future Life, you'll need Chopin's Sonata in B Minor, Rachmaninov preludes, lashings of Grieg's piano concerto in A minor and The Clash's Rock the Kasbah (they go together well).
You'll also need Samuel Barber's Dover Beach on piano, although that doesn't actually exist so do the best you can.
And the novel's undercover pieces. You can find them here
- What's on their soundtracks? Zip down to the footer and you can search by artiste or composer. See who shares your taste in inspirational music
Find something unforgettable
- Southerners going north, the most romantic ruin and the town you can’t leave – interview at Chris Hill’s blog
- ‘Music is the conduit through which we can discover ourselves’ – The Undercover Soundtrack, Marcia Butler
- Worldbuilding for SF and other fiction, reimagined for roleplayers. And pony books. Podcast at Fictoplasm
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- 'My Memories of a Future Life is a poignant story steeped with melancholy, edged with a desperate hope, and twisted throughout with darkness and humor'
- 'Some of the sharpest writing I've read in a long while'
- 'The feel of a modern-day witch trial with a tense romance'
- 'Clever when you think about it afterwards; haunting and engrossing while you're reading'