Thursday, 15 December 2016

Guest Post: Helen Carey’s Top Ten (Not) Writing Songs

TITLE: London Calling
AUTHOR: Helen Carey
PUBLISHER: Headline

PUBLICATION DATE: December 15, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

It will take more than Hitler's Luftwaffe to break the spirit of the residents of Lavender Road. If courage and resilience could win wars, the conflict would already be over.

It's not all harmony, though. Nurse Molly Coogan and would-be actress Jen Carter certainly don't see eye to eye. Molly, despite hating the discipline of wartime hospital life, is unimpressed by Jen's prima donna ways. Jen, unaware of Molly's secret heartache, can't resist taking her own frustrations out on Molly. It's just as well that no one knows what challenges lie ahead...

From stolen glasses in the Flag and Garter to fancy dinners in the heart of the West End, from a desperate battle for survival on a hospital ward to a torpedo hitting its target in the Mediterranean Sea, LONDON CALLING takes readers into a world of ordinary people living extraordinary lives.


Helen Carey’s top ten (not) writing songs

People often ask me what kind of music I listen to while I write, and I generally find my self having to admit that I don’t like background music when I’m working. Even when I was a kid I preferred to do my homework in stony silence!

And I realise that if I had been alive during the Second World War, like the characters in my books, I would have found the BBC Radio’s ‘music while you work’ campaign a complete nightmare. How people like me coped with endless rousing wartime songs while trying to fit rivets or fill shells I cannot imagine. I would have probably have run screaming for the Women’s Land Army instead.

Don’t get me wrong, I love music, it’s just that if I’m listening to music, I want to listen to music, and not do anything else at the same time, apart from perhaps dance!

And if I’m writing, I want to write, and not be distracted by the urge to get up and practice my favourite Strictly moves ...

Nevertheless, I have various go-to songs and pieces of music that help me get in the mood for writing, and indeed for the Second World War.

So here are my Top Ten (not) writing songs:

Any old wartime songs like Run Rabbit Run - to get me in the WW2 London mood.

The magnificent opening of Tannhäuser (Wagner) to get me in the historical mood!

The good old fashioned lover boy (Queen) - because I love my heroes!

The Book of Love - (Peter Gabriel) - to get into a romantic mood, you can’t get more romantic than this ...

Wonderful Tonight - (Eric Clapton) - …unless it’s this!

As Time Goes By as sung by Sam, (Dooley Wilson) in Casablanca - my favourite wartime film ever!

No Surrender (Bruce Springsteen) - brings back fond childhood memories

'Un bel di' (from Puccini’s Madam Butterfly) - if I need to crank up the emotion even more ...

Desperado (Eagles) - to let off steam when the words aren’t flowing ...

The Sovereign Light Cafe (Keane) - lets me go for a nice walk on the beach, even if I haven’t got time to do it.


Thank you to Helen for sharing her favourite (not) writing songs. London Calling is out now.





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