Rachel’s Random Resources / Guest Post : The Cuckoo Wood – M. Sean Coleman

The Cuckoo Wood

Today I’m on the ‘The Cuckoo Wood’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, M. Sean Coleman, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

The Cuckoo - MSeanColeman_AuthorPhoto_HiResBorn in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

Social Media Links :
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

The Cuckoo WoodA THRILLING, MELODICALLY CREEPY MYSTERY.

Samantha Jaynes took her life in the cold lake. Now Rosie Trimble has done the same. Both claimed they had seen an angel. And they’re not the only ones.
A spate of teenage suicides rattles the rural community of Kirkdale, in England’s Lake District. Before they died, each of the girls talked about seeing an angel. Is this collective hallucination, or is something more sinister leading these young girls to their deaths?
That’s a question for Dr Alex Ripley, the so-called Miracle Detective. Brought in to help the police, she finds a community rooted in fear and suspicion, bound by their strange faith, unwilling to help, unable to forgive.
Because the people of Kirkdale have buried their dark past once, and they’re not about to let Ripley dig it up again.
The Cuckoo Wood is the first Alex Ripley Mystery.

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Guest Post :

Sound Thinking

The Soundtrack to my Writing Day

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.” –Truman Capote.
I have always had an incredible memory for lyrics and songs. I couldn’t necessarily tell you who wrote them, performed them or what year they hit the charts, but I can quote you verse and chorus with little hesitation.
Songs, it turns out, were the first poems I listened to, the first verses whose words moved me, spoke to me, inspired and consoled me. I still have songs, or even albums, which I play simply to change my mood—Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours pulls me out of even the darkest places.
When I start a new book, the first thing I do, before plotting, before coming up with a title, before writing a word, is put together the soundtrack I will write to.
Many writers like to work in silence, but I don’t like that—I find the silence threatens me. Others enjoy writing in a cafe or bar, library or park, but I don’t like that either—there are too many potential new characters going about their own lives. I’m too nosey to write in public, and too timid to write in silence.
I like a soundtrack. I use them to put me in the mood of the story I am telling, and if I listen to the same soundtrack every day while I write, it can transport me back into that world within the first few bars of the first song, no matter what else is going on in my day.
Even if I have begun another project, and the original manuscript has been with the editor for a month or so, all I have to do to get into the headspace of that particular book is put the soundtrack on while I drink my morning coffee, and I’m right back there.
It’s an odd thing, putting together a soundtrack. I tend to use Spotify, because I can find a song I think most exemplifies the story I am writing, or which best expresses the mood of the piece, and then I can build a radio stream around it. Over the course of the plotting weeks—which are mostly spent standing up and shuffling plot points around—I build that soundtrack until I have about 10 hours of music with no repeats.
There are three or four introductory songs on each list that I can’t necessarily write to, but which exorcise any lingering real-world demons, and get me back into my own head. And then there’s the starter song—the absolute, perfect theme tune for the whole project. It’s the same each morning and, because I’m a creature of habit, it usually plays at about the same time. Then off I go, into the story.
In order to make that inner music of which Truman Capote spoke, I need the crutch of a real, physical soundtrack. It helps me with pacing, with mood and with a uniformity of voice. But it plays havoc with your weekend random shuffle time. It turns out that, like the rest of the internet, Spotify algorithms don’t understand a writer’s search patterns.
If you are on Spotify, you can find the playlist I wrote The Cuckoo Wood to here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4tAZpJdesKYiUBUVAgFyCX
And the playlist I wrote A Hollow Sky to here:
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/61JNqocmnqBrLFJmZfaTNZ
I wonder if it make sense to listen to them while reading? Let me know.

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