Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m very excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Helen Field’s latest novel, ‘Perfect Prey’. I’ll be giving you some information about the book, and sharing a guest post with you that was written by Helen herself! So, here goes…
Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.
In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.
The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.
D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.
About the Author
Helen Fields studied Law at university, and then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London. She then practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. After her second child was born, she left this line of work and then went on to run a film production company called Wailing Banshee Ltd. with her husband. She then went on to pursue writing, creating the DI Callanach series, consisting of ‘Perfect Remains’ (January 2017) and ‘Perfect Prey’ (27th July 2017) so far.
Guest Post: Helen’s music playlist
Music is such a powerful thing. It creates atmosphere, builds a mood and creeps into our brain whether we like it or not. Some of our strongest reactions are to music we really don’t like. I use music as a tool when I’m writing and I change it depending on the mood and style of each particular scene. Sometimes the music is background, sometimes I’ll stop typing and jump around my room singing at the top of my voice to get my energy up. Most of the music I listen to when I write is familiar rather than new to me, simply because new music is more distracting. What I need is for the tracks to seep into my subconscious, so if you want to recreate the journey that helped me write Perfect Prey – here are a few of the tracks that made it happen.
Crash Test Dummies – Two Knights and Maidens. The lead singer, Brad Roberts, has a truly extraordinary voice. I find it evocative, sexy and haunting, so the Crash Test Dummies get a lot of air time while I’m writing. There’s some non-musical ambient sound at the start that’s quite scary if you play it in the pitch dark during silence. Great for creating atmosphere. The song itself is about two women who drug their beaus and let tigers kill them. Not cheerful, but it paints one heck of a picture while you listen to it!
The Proclaimers – Dance With Me. Perhaps it’s a cliche to be such a huge Proclaimers fan when you write Tartan Noir, but there it is. When I’m reading my manuscript during the editing phase I hear the text with a Scottish accent in my head. Listening to The Proclaimers makes that easier. Dance With Me is a sweet, melodic track that I listen to when I’m writing about Luc and Ava’s relationship/non-relationship.
REM – Everybody Hurts. I listen to anything and everything by REM, and if I had to get stranded on a desert island with only one person, it would be Michael Stipe. I’d happily cook fish, make fires and build camps if he would just sit around singing to me. This particular song is my go-to victim track. There are plenty of moments in Perfect Prey when people in trouble need uplifting, and Everybody Hurts has the ultimate lyrics for anyone who needs to know they’re not alone. It’s the most joyful sad song imaginable and a creative stroke of genius. Even when I’m not listening to the words or music, I can admire the sheer writing talent behind it.
Talking Heads – And She Was. This is a song for those moments when I need my pulse to race faster to get the pace of my writing up. Talking Heads’ music is unique, bizarre, boundary-pushing and lyrically stunning. And She Was makes me get up from my seat and dance. It’s slightly trance-inducing (if you play it on repeat 20 times – I have) and it makes the whole world seem to come alive. Highly recommended for rainy mornings when you want to go back to bed, or for those minutes when the words won’t flow and you need a push.
Nirvana – Come As You Are. Just because Nirvana’s always a good idea. The tougher edge of the music I listen to, it wakes me up and gets me in the right mood for writing action sequences. Those violent tussles (no disrespect to Nirvana – that’s not their intent, I’m sure) take on a much more raw tone when I’ve got harder music playing in the background.
So that’s it. Just a tiny snapshot of my playlist, but I find it essential. I’m always on the lookout for great tracks that set fires in my mind, so do tweet me with any suggestions. Writing this has made me wonder what each of my characters would prefer to listen to. It’s an interesting thought. Maybe next time, I’ll try to figure out what their individual soundtracks would be!
Happy reading 🙂