I probably receive about a dozen e-mails a week from readers. It's always lovely to hear from people, as well as interesting to know a little bit about them. It helps with the demographic of who my audience is, but I'm also generally a curious person about life, the world and everything, so it's good too to have some feedback and interraction.
Back in August Deborah Peake (on the right in the photo) wrote to me saying she'd enjoyed the novels and was interested to notice that I'd mentioned I used musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Runrig for inspiration when writing. Deborah herself is a great fan of these artists and as a musician herself in a two-woman folk band has appeared supporting Runrig at the Skaagen folk festival. She asked if I'd like to hear the kind of music that she and her partner Helen Andrews composed and played. Of course I did! Deborah was kind enough to send me a couple of CDs (Dancing a Different Dream and Blame it on the Stars.) and over the past few weeks I've been listening to Amalthea. What a treat. http://www.amaltheamusic.com/
They have their own unique sound, but I would say that if you like artists such as All About Eve, Sarah Maclachlan, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Seth Lakeman, Show of Hands, the Corrs, the Dixie Chicks or Enya, you will probably love Amalthea. It's modern folk, looking both forwards and back for its inspiration. Helen's voice is just beautiful and Deborah's violin accompaniments and solos have the ability to make you ache. What's more they compose most of their material themselves. You can hear a sample at their myspace site. http://www.myspace.com/amaltheauk
They're not paying me to post this accolade - honest!
I find music a hugely influential muse to my writing. Every scene I write owes something to the singer and the song. Although I have only recently come to Amalthea, I suspect they'll be appearing on one of my novel soundtracks some time in the future!
Oh, and while I'm on the subject of music and just to pinch a moment from Helen and Deborah,
My Emo/rock orientated son has just introduced me to a band called Alter Bridge. Their album One Day Remains and particularly the track Down to My Last have been great inspiration for the siege of Newbury I've recently been working on!