Songs From The Marq

Derek
December 19, 2015

Death of a Diva is available now. To buy it, click here.

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I write in noise. My mother used to tell anyone who cared to listen that, as a child, I was incapable of enduring silence, and that – with the arrival of the domestic stereophonic headphone in the seventies and the personal Walkman in the eighties – I was able only to read, write and think, whilst I had the counterpoint of TV, records, another book, or a selection of pickles on a plate.

And I still need counterpoint today. Here is how I write: I watch, I listen, I think “What if,” or “I wish I’d said… ” followed, immediately, by “Jesus, what would have happened if I’d said…” Because I don’t write. I tell stories. And when I sit down in silence and wait for stories, nothing happens.

When I was a kid, my family had music that went from “My Fair Lady” via “Elvis Gold,” “Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake,” numerous Andy Williams records, and vinyl by Dinah Washington Francoise Hardy Nancy Sinatra, Diana Ross and her Motown cohorts and on into ABBA, The Human League and many of the best 80’s recording artistes.

Our family soundtrack was melodic, lyrical, and tuneful. And it told stories.

And I write – I tell – stories with music ever present.

I have learned, as I’ve grown as a writer, that sometimes silence works better than a soundtrack. Especially in the redraft stage.

But – for me – in the early stages, when I’m just shouting out characters “She’s a drunk with a tragic secret,” “He’s, basically Davros with a nicotine addiction,” I’m seeing pictures. I’m writing a movie. And movies have soundtracks.

My characters, their stories, my atmosphere, all have music or songs attached.

The Marquis of Queensborough (Surely the Worlds worst-named Gay Bar) has a manky atmosphere and Decrepit Jukebox that allowed me to build the story on lesser-known Aretha with 90’s House songs, Erasure tracks with classic Diana Ross tunes, and – because the story takes place at Christmas – to sprinkle through the whole a selection of festive songs by various artists.

And so here, for your enjoyment, as you wrap your presents, write your cards, spoon with the one you love, or solve the mystery of who strangled your star turn, is some of The Music from The Marq.

Enjoy.

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Death of a Diva is available now. To buy it, click here.

It’s published by Fahrenheit Press, those Purveyors of Fine Felony. To find out more about them, click here.

 

 

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