I’ve just started the first major edit of the next novel, and it’s at times like this that I use music to help the editing process. As with all my previous books, I choose a new singer/group that I’ve never really listened to, It helps me stand outside my comfort zone, and see the words on the screen differently, more objectively. The music has to somehow relate to the protagonist. With Nadia, in the last book, 88 North, it was Siren’s Call by Cats on Trees, as the heartfelt way it is sung reminded me of the way Nadia felt about Jake, and how desperate she was to save him.

In The Dead Can Lie, the (anti-)hero is Greg, a tortured individual who has darkness inside him, which is how he catches serial killers. So, what music to choose?

Recently, I was walking back to my hotel in the late hours in Brussels, when I heard a powerful drumbeat, and stepped into a bar with a band pumping out solid grunge-rock to a very appreciative crowd. Then, yesterday I began editing in my local brasserie, and heard a song playing. I sort of vaguely knew it, in that I’d heard snatches of it before, but this time it really caught my attention. I used Shazam to find the title and the group.

So, here I am editing on Eurostar, listening to Nickleback, a Canadian grunge-rock band I’ve somehow missed all these years despite their selling 50 million albums. It’s never too late. And the song? How you remind me (of what I am). Those who’ve read the first draft will get it. 

Okay, back to the grindstone, Photograph is playing…