Music & Me: Lindsay J Sedgwick
“Music & Me” is a feature in which authors talk about their musical influences, their favourite musicians and their “musical guilty pleasures”. This week’s
victim author is Lindsay J Sedgwick, author of two novels, and the recently-released guide to screenwriting, Write That Script.
What are your earliest musical memories?
My earliest memories are of dancing on this red leather pouffe we had in our sitting room to “Seasons In The Sun” on the radio but also lying on my side listening to records. We had an old Pye record player with speakers in the side so you needed to pull it out from under the cupboard and lie down beside the speaker to really listen and you got the added bonus of the vibrations in the floor!
Who or what were your musical influences growing up and why?
I grew up listening to old 78s – my favourite being “Little Blue Man” sung by Petula Clark – and singles my older siblings left behind when they moved out. I was the youngest of eight and there are 21 years between me and the eldest, Chris. From him, I inherited the Piltown Riders and The Shadows. The next few siblings gave me a love of Janis Ian, Leonard Cohen, Mamas and Papas, Dory Prevan. From Alan, the brother who was closest in age to me – only 7 years gap – I got T-Rex (taped off the radio), my first album Hunky Dory by David Bowie and then Little Feat. By my teens, Chris had a reggae record company in London (Greensleeves/ Island Records) so I was listening to Eek-A-Mouse, Tippa Irie, Goldmine Dub and Barrington Levy over and over.
The first single I bought was “Oh Vienna” after hearing it on Top of The Pops but it was disappointing. It didn’t bear constant replaying like the singles I’d inherited. I bought my first album when I was 13: Baggy Trousers by Madness.
Does music influence your writing?
If I can find the right music to write or develop a project along to, it enhances the experience and keeps me at the desk. If the music doesn’t work, it irritates the writing and I end up listening to nothing. Key songs, such as track 13 of Polkofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (Dance of the Knights), I would use to get my energy levels back up so I can write but after that I might work to nothing until my energy flags.
I’m working on a sequel to my first novel, Dad’s Red Dress and for some reason Bob Dylan is the best music to listen to while I write that. For a detective series, Archangel, I listened to music that I wanted in the soundtrack such as Republic of Loose but also inspirational music like the soundtrack from The Wire. For an animation series I developed, WULFIE – which I’m now adapting into books with this amazing illustrator Carolina Fuentes – I compiled a song list that I played on a loop. Whether it will work for the books, I don’t know yet.
Do you listen to music while writing, editing, etc.?
Sometimes. I tend to latch onto a song or an album and replay it constantly until it stops working for me. I can waste a lot of time trying to find the right album.
Is there one particular novel or piece of writing you wrote that was directly influenced by a piece of music?
Not that I can recall.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Supertramp. At the moment it lifts my mood and by the time I’ve roared the lyrics of “The Logical Song” a few times, I’m ready to concentrate on work.
Musically, what’s your guilty pleasure (or is there such a thing)?
Singing aloud and loudly while dancing in the privacy of my home.
Write That Script, The Angelica Touch and Dad’s Red Dress by L.L. Sedgwick are all available from Amazon worldwide and on my online store at https://janeymacbooks.ecwid.com.
They are all also in Charlie Byrne’s bookshop, Galway, Kenny’s bookshop, Galway and Books Upstairs in Dublin. In addition, Write That Script is also available from
Alan Hanna’s Bookstore, Rathmines, D6, the IFI Film Shop, Dublin 2 and from Irish Library Suppliers
Derek Flynn runs Writing.ie's SongBook blog, and is an Irish writer and musician. He has a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. He’s been published in a number of publications, including The Irish Times, and his fiction was featured in 'Surge', an anthology of new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press with the aim of showcasing “the very best of the next generation of Irish authors”. Online he can be found at his writing/music blog – ‘Rant, with Occasional Music’ – and on Twitter as @derekf03