Darkhouse: Musical Inspiration

Music is a huge cre­ative dri­ving force behind my writ­ing. HUGE. Which isn’t sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing I work as a music jour­nal­ist. Music con­stantly inspires me and helps to cre­ate some­thing out of noth­ing. It adds emo­tion and res­o­nance, it stirs up mem­o­ries from deep inside and makes me look for­ward to the writ­ing process — if I had to give any­one a co-author credit in the Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror series, it would be music itself. In fact, it’s rare that you’ll find me writ­ing with­out music play­ing in the back­ground or crammed in my ears.

And it’s not just any music either. The spe­cific music show­cased below fea­tured very heav­ily in the cre­ation of Dark­house. So much so, that some songs con­jure mem­o­ries of actu­ally sit­ting down and writ­ing the novel. Rob Dougan’s “Clubbed to Death” reminds me of work­ing in a dark study, writ­ing the scene where Dex and Perry approach the light­house for the final time. Or “101 North,” by the under­rated rock out­fit Tom­a­hawk, recalls the first time the duo hits the road together, bond­ing (sorta) over their sim­i­lar music tastes.

The major­ity of the music below can be a lit­tle exper­i­men­tal for some read­ers and runs on the heav­ier side of rock and metal (Dex and Perry approved!), but if you’re brave and want to get a taste of what inspires me, please click on the links so that you may pur­chase the songs or albums (or search www.soundcloud.com to stream them for free). I am firmly against pirat­ing music — remem­ber, artists need to get paid too so they can con­tinue to make music that moves us, and in turn, moti­vates me to write.

OK, I’m off my soapbox!

Dark­house Playlist

Tom­a­hawk — Tom­a­hawk
Cru­cial songs: “Flash­back”, “101 North”, “God Hates a Cow­ard”, “Laredo”

Depeche Mode — Vio­la­tor
Cru­cial songs: “World in My Eyes”, “Halo”, “Pol­icy of Truth”

Faith No More — Angel Dust
Cru­cial songs: “Smaller and Smaller”, “A Small Vic­tory”, “Jiz­zlob­ber”, “Malpractice”

Mas­sive Attack — Col­lected
Cru­cial songs: “But­ter­fly Caught”, “Inter­tia Creeps”, “Angel”, “Risingson”

Fan­tomas — Director’s Cut
Cru­cial songs: All of them

Mr. Bun­gle — Mr. Bun­gle
Cru­cial songs: “Quote Unquote”, “Carousel”

Rob Dougan — Furi­ous Angels
Cru­cial songs: “Clubbed to Death”, “Furi­ous Angels”, “Left Me for Dead”

Tom­a­hawk — Mit Gas
Cru­cial songs: “Bird­song”, “Rape This Day”, “When the Stars Begin to Fall”, “Cap­tain Mid­night”, “Hare­lip”, “Harlem Clown”

Led Zep­pelin — “Kash­mir”, “Ten Years Gone”

Nine Inch Nails — The Frag­ile
Cru­cial songs: “The Wretched”, “Pil­grim­age”, “The Way Out is Through”, “The Mark Has Been Made”

Elton John — “Some­one Saved My Life Tonight”, “All the Girls Love Alice”

Faith No More — Album of the Year
Cru­cial songs: “Paths of Glory”, “Help­less”, “Last Cup of Sor­row”, “Stripsearch”

Muse — “Knights of Cydo­nia”, “Assas­sin”, “Apoc­a­lypse Please” “Stock­holm Syn­drome”, “Map of the Prob­lem­atic”, “But­ter­flies and Hurricanes”

Faith No More — The Real Thing
Cru­cial songs: “From Out Of Nowhere”, “Zom­bie Eaters”, “Sur­prise! You’re Dead!”

Billy Joel — “Scenes from an Ital­ian Restaurant”

^^ That one’s a no brainer :)

I also have a vastly dif­fer­ent playlist that I com­piled for Red Fox and I’ll have that up at some point. Thanks for read­ing! Now go buy some tunes!

Why I chose self-publishing (Part Two)

So, now we know how I came to decide on going the self-publishing route, now we get down to why I chose it.

One of my mot­tos is “If you need some­thing done right, you have to do it your­self” (I fear that you’re going to find that phrase pep­pered across many a blog post here), so obvi­ously the whole idea of self-publishing appealed to me right away. Once I got past the fact that self-publishing was no longer a “last resort” but “first choice”, I embraced the medium and all its pit­falls and draw­backs with open arms.

What appealed to me about self-publishing? Con­trol. Con­trol over every­thing except the public’s minds (and that may still hap­pen if I can get a hold of some WW2 brain­wash­ing tac­tics and Kool-aid). I get to choose the book cover (and cre­ate it/hire some­one to cre­ate it), I get to con­trol the mar­ket­ing strat­egy (book trailer FTW), I get to con­trol the series as a whole. I get total con­trol over my char­ac­ters and they can say what­ever the fuck (excuse my French, Dex is a bad influ­ence) they want to say and do what­ever they have to do. I get to own the rights to every­thing. I get to cre­ate my bio. I get to hire a pho­tog­ra­pher. I get to plan my own events. I get to inter­act directly with “fans” instead of a mouth­piece (I say fans loosely because I have no idea if I will have any fans or not). I get to write about what I want to write, regard­less of what is ‘in” or not. I can choose to end the series at seven or eight books or I can bring in a follow-up tril­ogy years down the road if I find that I’m miss­ing my char­ac­ters too much. I can write sex scenes with­out a pub­lish­ing com­pany breath­ing down my neck. I get to make my own logos and mer­chan­dise and art­work. In short, I get to cre­ate an empire.

What’s not as appeal­ing? Well, any of the above. I mean, that’s a shit ton of work right there. But you know, I wouldn’t have it any other way (although look for a rebut­tal post in about a year).

In other news, I’m off the Island now (but “WE HAVE TO GO BACK, KATE!”) and I’m adjust­ing to city life. I say adjust­ing loosely since I’ve lived in the city for 29 years. Luck­ily, this does mean I’m still writ­ing. As sooth­ing and beau­ti­ful as loung­ing on a boat and going for long walks in the woods with curi­ous deer bound­ing around you is, it’s not REALLY con­ducive to my writ­ing. I mean, the entire fourth novel is set in the urban, gritty sprawl of Seat­tle. At the end of Novem­ber. Does the pic­ture on the left look any­thing like down­town Seat­tle in Novem­ber? No. Any­hoo, the sounds of the bin­ners and drag-queen drug addicts in the alley behind my apart­ment are adding that lit­tle bit of atmos­phere to my craft. And look:

Book #4 - Lying Sea­son
 

24102words
110,000words

Get a progress bar at DollarTimes.com

Ghetto progress bar says every­thing is com­ing along just fine.