These days when I complete a novel, part of the submission package to my agent and editor, includes the double CD soundtrack which tells the storyline in song. I receive loud complaints if I don't include it!
You would think that writing Medieval fiction, my choice would be Gregorian chant and material from the period, but not so. My taste is wildly eclectic but with a definite leaning towards rock, metal, Goth etc. As far as I'm concerned, attitudes change but emotions don't and that's what I'm seeking in the soundtrack. Something to evoke emotion...and mood. It has to give me that adrenaline buzz when I hear it, otherwise it doesn't make the cut. I confess to turning my agent onto Meat Loaf due to one such soundtrack. It was For Crying Out Loud and the grand finale to Lords of the White Castle. My agent would not normally have listened to Meat Loaf of her own accord, but exposed in this manner, she was blown away and became an instant fan. She even dragged me off to Wembley Stadium to his farewell concert in December 04. And all because of the 13thC Fulke FitzWarin and my desire to tell his life in song!
The Greatest Knight is due out in paperback at the beginning of July. (no, for all the hoards of you who have asked, I do not have the phone number of the guy who modeled for the cover image shot!) so I thought I'd post the soundtrack story notes to my blog.
All the tracks have had their part to play, but some have been there from almost the beginning and have had a more major role. Stand out tracks for me creatively have been Rufus Wainwright’s Hallelujah and very strongly Don Henley’s rendering of the Cohen written Everybody Knows, which was just so appropriate on so many levels. Billy Joel’s All About Soul and Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life were very useful for defining the relationship between William and his wife, Isabelle de Clare. See what you think!The Voice – single Instrumental track from the Eurovision song contest winning Irish entry The Voice. I used the vocal version in LORDS OF THE WHITE CASTLE and I felt this was appropriate as Fulke FitzWarin and William Marshal were contemporaries, and I like the narrative lilt of the instrumental – makes a good introduction before getting down to the story.
Relax – Frankie Goes to
Fight – No Vacancy. From the album
Fell on Hard Times – Neal Casal. From the album Anytime Tomorrow. William is forced to sell his cloak to buy a horse. I loved the fact that Casal sings as part of the lyrics ‘I sold my green leather jacket,’ because it’s a direct link to William having to sell his cloak.
Goddess in the Doorway – Mick Jagger. From the album Goddess in the Doorway. William first sets his eyes on Eleanor of Aquitaine and he’s captured for life!
She’s Always A Woman – Billy Joel. From the album Ultimate Collection. More of Eleanor of Aquitaine, not just as William sees her but as others do too.
I want it all – Queen. From the album Greatest Hits. Again used in THE CHAMPION. This partly refers to William, but mostly to the Young King, who does ‘want it all.’
Would you – Touch & Go. Clara’s propositioning of William! Definitely a fun number. I don’t even particularly like this song, but it just so suits the incident!
Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer. From the Album Addictions. More like addicted to lust! The first rush between Clara and William.
What About Love – Heart. From the Album Greatest Hits. Clara isn’t getting all she wants from the relationship.
You’re So Vain – Carly Simon. From the compilation album The Story and the Song. This and the next one are all about The Young King and his inflated ego.
That Don’t Impress Me much – Shania Twain from the album Come on Over. Definitely sums up The Young King. Yes, he had the brains, the looks, the kit, ‘You think you’re cool, but have you got the touch?’
Halleluljah – Rufus Wainwright. From the album soundtrack to Shrek. This is an all purpose powerful, poignant, tears to the eyes sad song to cover the themes of Clara’s leaving, the death of the Young King and the loss of William’s youthful optimism and innocence. Hard to know where to put it in the soundtrack as it could have gone in several places.
Don’t Speak – No Doubt. Single. The end of the relationship between William and Marguerite seen from her viewpoint
Everybody Knows – Don Henley. From the album
Over The Hills And Far Away – Nightwish. Traditional song rendered in Nightwish’s inimitable style. This was in the soundtrack early on for William’s supposed adultery with the Young Queen. Not all the lyrics fit now, but it still conveys some of the underlying emotions, and I love it!
These Dreams – Heart. From the album Greatest Hits. Isabelle dreaming at the Tower when William comes for Heloise
God Gave me Everything – Mick Jagger. From the album Goddess in the Doorway. William has everything. Lands, prestige, power, a lovely young wife, and an heir.