Driven out of hell and with nothing to lose, the Fallen wage open warfare against the angels on the streets. And they’re winning. As the balance tips towards the darkness, Alice – barely recovered from her own ordeal in hell and struggling to start over – once again finds herself in the eye of the storm. But with the chaos spreading and the Archangel Michael determined to destroy Lucifer whatever the cost, is the price simply too high? And what sacrifices will Alice and the angels have to make in order to pay it?
The book follows the first Blood and Feathers, which I need to read, and was written by Lou Morgan. As it happens this geeky blog has featured music in inspiration posts before and so reached out to Lou to cheekily wonder whether she would contribute to some Blood and Feathers playlists. Oops. Too slow. There are already official playlists! You’ll find them embedded in the post below along with a guest post from Lou herself.
I love writing to music. I really do. I used to have the radio on in the background when I worked, but I kind of had to stop that when I was typing something up a few years ago and realised that I’d just transcribed the last news report that had come on. That could’ve been interesting if I hadn’t caught it…
So, I switched to putting my own playlists together – for books at least. Short stories tend to get stuck with one song, played over and over and over (hello, song by The Script that got played 114 times in a row…) but a book needs more than that, or my ears would start bleeding and I’d probably start heading down the “All work and no play…” route.
What winds up on a playlist depends very much on what I’ve been listening to while I’ve been planning. Both the playlists for Blood and Feathers and Rebellion have been printed in the back of the books as well as being up on Spotify and on the books’ site here: bloodandfeathers.wordpress.com, but a couple of the songs were particularly important.
Some songs tend to attach themselves to characters, almost like a theme. In the case of the Archangel Michael, that’s Woodkid’s Iron. It just sounds like an archangel should.
Vin – probably the cockiest of the angels – always seems to end up with Gerard Way’s voice bouncing around him: in Blood and Feathers, it was My Chemical Romance’s Bulletproof Heart and in Rebellion, it’s Way guesting on Deadmau5’s Professional Griefers. They seem like a good fit, those songs.
Another of the angels, Mallory (surly, trigger-happy and far too attached to his hipflask) gets Edge of the Earth by 30 Seconds to Mars, and Green Day’s absolutely brilliant 21 Guns – while Alice, my protagonist, is soundtracked by David Guetta’s Titanium, and Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri.
Sometimes, a scene and a song grow together so completely that you can’t separate them any longer: a case in point being the “staircase” scene. It sits about halfway through the book – and without giving too much away, it hinges on Alice running up a spiral staircase. Behind her, there are enemies and gas and the sound of gunshots and the only way she can go is up. I could see it before I knew what it meant, or where it went, and it dropped into my head while I was listening to Like A Dog Chasing Cars from the Dark Knight soundtrack. And that was that. Every time I hear it, I can see the back of Alice’s heels running up the stairs… which is inconvenient if I’m watching a Batman film.
I’m not alone in liking my “writing music” – and I’m certainly in good company when it comes to having some Hans Zimmer in there. I can think of a good half-dozen writers I know who listen to one or another of his film scores while they’re working (a lot of them preferring instrumental music to anything with words – see my news-writing hiccup above for the logic behind that). Having music on while you’re working is useful, if nothing else: it’s a way to plug straight back into a scene or a character, even if you’ve had to leave it (or them) for a few days. Knowing how what comes next should sound like helps. And yes, I’m aware of just how nuts that sounds. But here’s the thing: a film without a soundtrack is a rare thing. Why – when they can be just as visceral as any film – should a book be any different?