Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Perfect Pitch by Dan Holloway

A while back I did a piece like this on my personal blog, but it was whilst babbling on for the lovely Roz Morris' undercover soundtrack series that I realised just how useful this kind of musical thinking could be for getting a handle on your characters (as I explained to Roz "I like to know what band a character would be in, and if I can’t think of one I’m probably not interested enough in the character for them to be central"). As well as fun.

It's no secret I love music. Of many kinds. If I had an ounce of aptitude I'd have been a musician instead of a writer. Sadly, I don't, but I'm lucky enough to know a whole gamut of people who do, and being a writer I put together the occasional music review after going to gigs, which has got me to know a lot more bands. So whenever I put together live shows, I am in the very lucky position of being able to think what music will go best with the things we're reading. That does three things.

1. It makes for a truly frabjous evening of all-round entertainment

2. It keeps the venue happy because music time provides a period during which people buy drinks

3. If you get the mix right, both writers and musicians will introduce their fans to each others' work.

Which is where the idea for the musical pitch came from originally (that and the fact that embedding some YouTubes is much easier than writing a proper one!). Very different from a soundtrack (which we're hearing more and more of lately), the idea behind the musical pitch is simple - if you like this music, you'll like the book. Of course, people who don't like the music may well also like the book, but I have a feeling that for many many people this is about as reliable a guide as you get. Certainly with books like mine that are the sort of literary that comes wrapped in popular culture in Coupland/Murakami style.

So here's the current musical pitch for Songs from the Other Side of the Wall. If you must know what it's about in words, then do head over to Amazon (where you can one-click it for 72p whilst you're there). But do hang out here and listen to some great music first. And I'm pretty sure it'll give you every bit as good an idea of whether you'll like the book as me saying "Norwegian Wood set in Eastern Europe" will ever do.

And because it's such fun (and the book's so different) here's the pitch for my YA paranormal romance Black Heart High (those of you who frequent Nicola's blog may remember the word pitch a while back). If iit helps, I'm fairly sure it's the best ful-length(ish) thing I've written by a long chalk.

And finally - ever wondered what it would be like to come to one of my live shows but not quite dared to click the Youtube links of me actually reading. The musical pitch for (life:) razorblades included (the collection of my performance shorts and poems) will give you the next bestLink thing

OK, so over to you for some musical linky-things!


Elly said...

My tunes which could sum up my novella: scribbling on Foucault's Walls, about what would have happened if Michel Foucault had have had a daughter are:

Orphan Girl by Gillian Welch

Ne me quitte pas by Jacques Brel

Reel around the fountain: The Smiths

James Everington said...

Oh good post sir!

Not sure if these songs necessarily describe my books, but they are alls songs which I've 'borrowed' story titles from the titles/lyrics:

Feed The Enemy - Magazine

Trying To Be So Quiet - Bob Dylan
Crackly version:

Radiohead - The Gloaming (which has the excellent lyric 'when the walls bend with your breathing'

Dan Holloway said...

mm, great choices, and bound to get interest up.

I love the line from Reel Around the Fountain "You can pin and mount me like a butterfly"