Inspired by music and images

I think I mentioned on an earlier post that I’m often inspired more by music than by other writers. One of the stories in Oblivious got started simply because I was thinking of the intro to ‘Here Comes Your Man’ by The Pixies. I don’t even like The Pixies that much, I just love that song and the guitar part is amazing. The Smiths are a big influence for me, there’s a grim but romantic lyricism to their lyrics that really resonates with me for some reason. I had another example of it last night. Driving back from South Wales in the dark, I got fed up with the radio and switched to a CD that’s been in my car since, god, months ago. It was The Smiths. The track ‘Still Ill’ came on. It’s not my favourite, it’s no ‘How Soon is Now’ or ‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out’, but there was just this one line in it that struck me (as it always does). “Under the iron bridge we kissed”. It’s sparked off a whole new section of what I’m writing now, and it isn’t even particularly insightful or inspired a line. It’s just evocative, as all their best stuff is.

The same happens for me with images. The cover I put together for Hinterland, before it even really got going, is looking more and more apt as I write. Why is that? Probably because the image is informing the story more than I imagine. There’s a 12 year old girl in it, as there is, accidentally, in the photograph. (Well, she might not literally be 12 but thereabouts). Time is becoming a major feature in the narrative, and you could argue that’s because the story lends itself to a timed structure, and also that I’m obsessed with time as a concept, but actually I think that big bloody clock is playing on my subconscious too.

There’s no point to this post, I’m just thinking aloud about how strange it is that these things seem to be casting their shadow over what I’m doing, seemingly in isolation of them…


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