Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Write Stuff with... Katie Marsh

Today it's my stop on the This Beautiful Life blog tour so it's my pleasure to welcome Katie Marsh to talk about the music that makes up her writing playlist.

I have always set things to music. When I was little I would walk around with my enormous tape recorder (it weighed as much as a small dog), singing along to the action as I made a den or ‘helped’ my mum to clean up the kitchen. 

In my new book, ‘This Beautiful Life’ the main character Abi is a music fanatic too. She has just recovered from bowel cancer when the book starts, only to discover that her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made some decisions that are about to come back to haunt him and her son Seb is battling with a secret of his own. The story follows them over the ensuing year, with each month set to a song on Abi’s cancer survival playlist – designed to remind her of the people that matter and the life that she doesn’t want to leave.

I make playlists constantly – for example I make one for every book I write, which sets up the mood and the emotions that I’m trying to evoke in the reader, as well as including favourite songs for all the main characters. When I start writing a book this is one of the key things I work out first – what music they like and why – along with what sport they do, what drink they have on a Friday night out and what their favourite TV show is. 

Here is the full playlist for ‘This Beautiful Life’ – the music I listened to and sung along to as I wrote and rewrote the story – the songs that made the story and the characters come alive.

This Beautiful Life full playlist

‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ by Coldplay
‘Asteroid’ (Pearl and Dean theme tune) by Pete Moore
BBC Cricket Theme Tune (Soul Limbo) by the New World Orchestra
‘Black Beauty’ (Galloping Home) by Denis King
‘China in Your Hand’ by T’pau
‘Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty
‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
‘Get Here’ by Oleta Adams
‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley


‘Hey, that’s no way to say Goodbye’ by Leonard Cohen
‘Human’ by The Killers
‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ by Harold Darke
‘Into your arms’ by The Lemonheads
‘Lately’ by Stevie Wonder
‘Maple Leaf Rag’ by Scott Joplin
‘Pala Tutte’ by Gogol Bordello
‘Pencil full of lead’ by Paolo Nutini
‘The Promise’ by Tracy Chapman


‘She Moves in her own way’ The Kooks
‘She’s Electric’ by Oasis
‘Teenage Kicks’ by The Undertones
‘Think’ by Aretha Franklin
‘This Kiss’ by Faith Hill
‘Faith’ by George Michael
‘Let’s go fly a kite’ from Mary Poppins
‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen
Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’
‘Naughty’ by Tim Minchin
‘Secret Love Song’ by Little Mix featuring Jason Derulo


This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh is published by Hodder & Stoughton £7,99

What happens when you get the second chance you never expected?

Abi is living her happy ending. She's in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance at life. But during Abi's illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.

Set to the songs on Abi's survival playlist, this is the story of what happens next as Abi tries to rebuild her family. Can she bring the people she loves most in the world back together again... before it's too late?

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