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Out of Human Sight and music


By now, you've probably gathered that music means a great deal to me, and it informs my writing. It appears in Out of Human Sight in subtle, fleeting moments; Millie, if she'd had a formal education, would definitely have been a musician.


When researching and writing the novel, I wondered if there had been a broadside written about the Bills/Bill o'Jack's murders. Broadsides, if you're not familiar, were a way of disseminating news and making money. Printers could produce – cheaply and quickly – songs dashed off in response to the news of the day, often to the tune of something already well known. I was surprised when I couldn't find a broadside about The Moorcock Inn (though that doesn't mean there wasn't one – broadsides were designed to be disposable) so thought I'd have a crack at writing my own, and the nub of a broadside appears in the novel. To my utter delight, my good friends, Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp, took the song, reworked and recorded it, and released it via Bandcamp. You can buy it here. It's a belter, and far outstrips my attempts.


I also made a playlist to accompany the writing and reading of Out of Human Sight. I like to do this to help foster a sense of mood and atmosphere but also for character development purposes. What would Millie listen to, given the chance? I spoke to Lauren Laverne about this on her 6Music Breakfast Show (18.1.23, 9.10am, so 1.5hrs in) and – thrillingly! – she played a handful of the tracks – and gave the book a good old plug.


Feeling very lucky that my book has had such interest and input, and it's still a week until publication day!

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