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Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Playlist: Infinite Sky Blog Tour

Today I'm delighted to be hosting the next stop on the Infinite Sky Blog Tour.

Without further ado, over to CJ Flood...


I usually write in silence, and so I didn’t have a playlist for Infinite Sky, so this is a work-in-progress. A few songs are mentioned in the book, and so they were my starting point. As soon as I started thinking about a playlist for the book, I was flooded with ideas. Infinite Sky is a summery, intense book, about first love and growing up. It is about loss and family and friendship. This is the playlist I’ve come up with so far.

Band of Gold, Freda Payne – this is a Motown heartbreaker, about having nothing left to show for your wedding except your wedding ring. “Since you’ve been gone all that’s left is a band of gold, all that’s left is the dreams I hold…” I can imagine Iris’s absent mother, Anna, and her father, Thomas, feeling achy whenever they hear this song.

You don’t own me, Lesley Gore – an emotional song that Iris and Anna relate to. “Oh, I don't tell you what to say, I don't tell you what to do, So just let me be myself, That's all I ask of you. I'm young and I love to be young. I'm free and I love to be free, To live my life the way I want, To say and do whatever I please...”

Kiss Me, Sixpence None The Richer – a sweet, nostalgic song that somehow manages to get all of the purity and hope of first love and endless summer into a single track. Perfect for smitten teenagers. “Kiss me out of the bearded barley, Nightly, beside the green, green grass...”

Stand By Me, Ben E King – Thomas listens to this after his wife leaves. It hurts him to listen to if, after she has left him to go travelling around Tunisia in a sky blue Transit van. They used to dance to it together in happier times.

Joyriders, Pulp – this is a song that reminds me of Punky, Dean and Leanne, the rebellious teenagers that Iris’s brother, Sam, gets caught up with. “We don't look for trouble, but if it comes we don't run. Looking out for trouble, is what we call fun.”

Killing In The Name, Rage Against The Machine – a classic angry song, excellent for playing when you’re feeling shouty. This is what Sam often played after he’d slammed his bedroom door. (Beware, it’s sweary too. Sincere apologies.)

I Want to Break Free, Queen – this is on the radio towards the end of the novel, and is a moment of lightness between Iris and her dad, before everything kicks off. If Anna heard this on her travels, I think she would turn it up and sing along real loud. Then maybe feel a bit guilty and reflective afterwards.

Please, please, please, let me get what I want, The Smiths – this song reminds me of Punky and Dean, who have had hard lives. “Haven’t had a dream in a long time. See, the life I’ve had, can make a good man bad.” I wish I’d been able to explore their stories a bit more. I was close to a lot of boys like them in my teens. My second novel does this a little, though Punky and Dean have evolved into a new character called Beast.

I’ll Stand By You, The Pretenders – This song is meaningful to Iris in a very bittersweet way. For the rest of her life it makes her think of her brother and Trick.
Sweets, Yeah Yeah Yeahs – there’s an anger and a longing in this song that Iris would respond to. Also, I just really like Karen O.

Ella Fitzgerald, My Happiness – a beautiful song about missing someone, “Evening shadows make me blue when each weary day is through, how I long to be with you…”

Eric Clapton, Tears in Heaven – this is the song played at the funeral of the teenage boy who dies in Infinite Sky. It is a really sad song, and used to make me cry when I was a teenager. (Okay, it still does). It’s pretty soppy, I suppose, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I am a pretty soppy person. “Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven? Would it be the same, if I saw you in heaven?” (Weep.)

What do you think of my playlist? Does it make you want to read Infinite Sky? Or perhaps you have already read it? If so, do you have any suggestions? I would love to hear from you, and will consider adding any songs you think a good fit.

Thanks for sharing your playlist with us CJ. Now I'm not really one for music. Would you believe me if I told you that I only had 18 songs downloaded on my iPod? It's true. I really need more because I'm getting bored of them in the gym. Speaking of the gym, I happened to notice that a group of travellers have arrived on the public green across the road. As I was on the treadmill, I was watching closely to see how the police reacted to them. It was all very calm. But I only paid attention because I'd read Infinite Sky. It made me stop and take notice and observe rather than judge. What a great book! I wish I could offer comments on the playlist. A song that always makes me think of summer is Fields of Gold. (No idea if that's even the title or who the artist is!)

INFINITE SKY is out in paperback now. 
You can follow CJ Flood on Twitter @cjflood_author.

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