I am delighted to welcome Vashti Hardy to the blog today with a special musical themed guest post as part of the ‘Brightstorm’ Sky Ship blog tour. ‘Brightstorm‘ is a breath-taking, thrilling debut that totally enchanted me with its rich storytelling, incredible world-building and compelling cast of characters. It is a story of truly epic proportions, it will sweep you away through the skies across frozen plains to unknown lands on a voyage of discovery, that will take your breath away. When Vashti landed her sky ship in my back garden and we enjoyed a nice pot of tea, I was really intrigued to read how she used soundtracks as the background to her writing. So without further ado I will pass you over to Vashti to tell you all about it in her own words.
The role of music in my writing & Brightstorm musical influences – Vashti Hardy
I listen to numerous soundtracks because I find they’re an emotional fast track to scenes and characters. I find this especially helpful as so much of writing time is not the actual physical act of writing – it’s in the dream time or the blue sky-thought time you give yourself to grow and develop ideas. Soundtracks can be particularly helpful if you’re a writer juggling a full-time job with writing. An author once said to me that it’s not good to binge write and I find I agree, in that I have to keep my story world bubbling away under the surface as much as I can, even if I am busy with other things. So, I have numerous playlists and I listen to them on the way to work, in my lunch break, whenever I can, or just to get me in the writing zone when I’m snatching a few hours before the rest of the house wakes up on the weekend! I think their effectiveness comes down to the fact that soundtracks are doing the same job as fiction – they are telling a story, setting an overall tone of a story, or taking you to a specific scene in a story.
Here are a few of my favourite go-to songs for Brightstorm!
Rey’s Theme by John Williams from The Force Awakens
This helped me get into character with both Brightstorm twins and it always gets me in the writing mood with its promise of adventure! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65As1V0vQDM
Where the Sky Is by Ward Thomas
This song helped me to find that special twin relationship between Arthur and Maudie. When they’ve lost everything else they still have each other and they always have the rooftops and the sky. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0IAkNm8wZk
This is Home by Switchfoot from Prince Caspian
This unlocked the moment when Arthur realises that he feels incredibly at home on the Aurora. It’s a pivotal song for the story theme of finding family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CkbCAsUmUQ
Buckbeak’s Flight from The Prisoner of Azkaban by John Williams
From the very early stage of writing the story, I had a vision of Arthur and Maudie on the wing of the sky-ship in a wondrous moment of abandon, forgetting all their worries. Most stories need a ‘Buckbeak’ moment I find! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR9kT8PL6ZA
Under the Stars by David Arnold from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
This helped me to write a particular sad scene (because of spoilers I’ll just say chapter 29 and move on…) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExKRjOdS3oA
So, if you’re a writer and stuck for inspiration or pushed for time, maybe music could be the thing to help you unlock something. If you’re a teacher, try using soundtracks in school to inspire writing!
Vashti Hardy lives near Brighton and was a primary school teacher before moving into digital marketing. She is an alumni member and buddy at the Golden Egg Academy. Brightstorm is her debut novel published by Scholastic.
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts, reviews and giveaways.
Thank you to Vashti for her marvellous guest post and to Olivia at Scholastic for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. ‘Brightstorm’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.