Since I started writing the Little Somerby books, I’ve not really managed to write to music, although music is definitely an influence. I have it on when I drive, and since that’s when I often do my plotting (while keeping my eyes firmly on the road, of course!), often, songs come onto the radio or through the iTunes on my phone that either solve a plot issue or remind me of a character or setting. So I was incredibly excited when my publisher, Aria, wanted to include a Spotify playlist of some of these songs, so that readers could get a feel for the sounds of Little Somerby. Thanks to Yasemin for putting them together there! The playlist can be found here:
Now that the book’s been on sale for a little while, I thought it would be safe to share some of the reasons for those song choices with readers. However, there will be spoilers in this post, obviously, so let’s put a picture of the gorgeous Richard Armitage between here and there!! He’s my choice for Matthew Carter, if it ever gets turned into a screenplay ;).
The Mummer’s Dance – Loreena McKennitt
From the moment I heard this song, it screamed Little Somerby. The melody and the lyrics bring to mind heady early summer evenings in the countryside, when the scent of apple blossom and lilac is strong in the air, and you can hear the sounds of sleepy insects and birds feeding their young. Mumming is a ceremony similar to wassailing, which features in The Second Chance Tea Shop.
Blue Denim – Stevie Nicks
This is Matthew’s song! I have such a strong picture in my mind of his ‘endless, denim-clad legs’ that this incredibly sexy song sums him up (except for the eye colour, of course!).
Love Changes Everything- Climie Fisher
I love this song! It’s eighties pop at its finest, and it sums up the anticipation Matthew and Anna feel before their first date. Although they are rather older than the protagonist in the song, that nervousness about having your heart broken resonates really strongly for my characters. I also imagine Matthew frantically trying to brush his hair into some sort of respectable style when I hear this song!
I first heard this song on the local radio station, Breeze FM, when I was driving home from Bristol late one night. Immediately, it reminded me of Anna and Matthew’s first proper night together – it’s a very gentle, but very passionate song.
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Ed, of course, gets a reference in the novel, but this song was shared with me by my sister Helen, who thought it was a great one to sum up Matthew and Anna’s relationship. And, I think she’ absolutely right! I imagine them dancing in the orchards to this one (although that didn’t actually happen in the book, only in my head!).
Bloodstream – Ed Sheeran
This is a song that straddles both books 1 and 2 of the Little Somerby series. For book 1, it reflects Matthew’s horror at his own actions later in the book, and the measures he takes to try to deal with what he’s done, initially. It’s raw, emotional and brilliantly evocative.
Friends Forever- Thunderbugs
The group might have been a one-hit wonder, but the song sums up Charlotte and Anna’s close relationship perfectly. A proper girl power tune! I imagine them drinking wine and putting the world to rights when I hear this.
Wide Awake – Katy Perry
After a certain shocking turn of events, Anna has a lot of sleepless nights, and a broken heart. This great song sums her emotions up for me perfectly. ‘Falling from Cloud Nine/Crashing from the highest heights…’. It also reminds me of the grief she goes through after the death of her husband James.
Southwest Signpost – Ashton Tucker
This is a song that screams West Country! I love the way it encapsulates all that is best about the west, with its tongue, at times, firmly in its cheek. Somerset’s answer to Ed Sheeran, Ashton Tucker has a great way with words, and I can’t help thinking of cider and strawberries when I hear this song. Little Somerby summed up, I think!
The Ballad of Midsomer County – Lucie Jones & Seth Lakeman/The White Hare – Seth Lakeman
These two songs also sum up the #ruralmance vibe for me. The wildness of the Mendips, the brutal beauty of the landscape and the passions of its people are all wrapped up in Seth and Lucie’s haunting vocals. Utterly evocative and spine tinglingly brilliant.
Carry You Home – Ward Thomas
This is such a great song! This reminds me of the really hard moments in the novel, where all the characters want to do is support each other. The lyrics are just wonderful, and the melody is great. A song that sums up my characters perfectly!
This is just a selection of the music I chose for the ‘Sounds of Little Somerby’ playlist – if you want to stream if from Spotify, it can be found here. I hope the songs sum up Little Somerby for you as clearly as they do for me. Do you have any particular songs that remind you of the book and its characters? I’d love to know, and perhaps add them to the playlist!
You can buy a copy of The Second Chance Tea Shop here: