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Finding Your Soundtrack: Sam Blake In Deep Water

Article by Writing IE Admin © 10 April 2017 .
Posted in the Magazine ( · Crime ).

Any writer who has a day job (I have several) and/or children (I have a couple of those too) knows that getting away from it all is sometimes essential to getting a book finished. I have quite a busy mind and often the only way I can turn it off and focus on story is to plug my earphones in and get out of the house. Writing book two in the Cat Connolly series took a lot of disappearing, bribery (of children) and hours at the keyboard – because – and this can be hard to imagine when you’re chasing that elusive deal – when it comes to book 2 you suddenly don’t have the luxury of time to get it right. Marketing and promoting book 1 takes time and inevitably collides with writing book 2, which, this time around, you have to deliver to a deadline. On top of all the normal things you do in normal life like school runs and hoovering the stairs (or not in my case, not very often at least), you’re writing against the clock.

It’s actually just as well I have earphones and do leave the house to write because everyone hates my choice of music. My husband only listens to classical music, my seventeen year old daughter – a pianist and a drummer – loves Muse, and my son has Dr. Who on a permanent loop. A far cry from Jess Glynn and Taylor Swift. I know. And One Direction. I’ll just duck while you throw things.

I know I’m way too old to be listening to chart music, but I LIKE it, and so more importantly does my character Cathy Connolly – she’s only twenty four, she’s a kick boxer and when she’s pounding a punch bag in the gym, focusing on a case, just like me, music is vital to drown out the noise in her head. Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ is one of her favourites, as is Jessie J’s ‘Bang Bang.’ Listening to her soundtrack is like getting a closer insight into a good friend, it’s about connecting with the character and opening the door on her world.

As I am totally tone deaf and can’t sing a note, I have to be very careful not to hum when I’m writing, particularly when I’m sitting in a hotel, squirreled away in the corner hoping nobody will notice me. I often go to the Glenview Hotel which is only a few minutes from where I live and I can get 1000 words done much faster there with no distractions than I can at home.

Because I’m busy workwise, I write anywhere I can – once I’ve plugged in my earphones I’m in Cathy’s world and I’m immersed in the story. Even if it’s six o’clock in the morning and I’m on a plane to the Frankfurt Book Fair. The only slight problem with getting those 1000 words was that it was a really sad scene and I was welling up the whole time. Thankfully the guy next to me was asleep and I just had to pray no-one else noticed.

I find music is hugely useful for getting me into a writing mood, and I have a You Tube sound track that I stick on the minute I sit down. My first ever book, which was truly terrible, was written entirely to Robbie Williams ‘Angels’, but my mistake could have been listening to one record on a loop – now my sound track kicks off with Maroon 5’s Sugar, takes me through Ed Sheerin (Thinking Out Loud) and One Republic (Counting Stars), Emile Sande’s Beneath Your Beautiful, Adele, John Legend’s All of Me.

Quite a lot of the tracks are melancholy because Cathy has a lot to deal with at the conclusion of the first in the Cat Connolly trilogy Little Bones. When we meet her again she’s in the gym, she’s getting back on top, and is back Dun Laoghaire Detective Unit, but she’s suffering from PTSD, she’s lost a lot that was important to her, and she suddenly finds herself losing something again. As In Deep Water opens, Cathy’s waiting for her best friend Sarah Jane Hanson, a journalism student and the daughter of a Pulitzer Prize winning war reporter, to come to training. They spar every Monday night without fail, and have grown closer than ever during Cathy’s recovery. But Sarah Jane doesn’t turn up. And when Cathy calls over to her house, she finds her room has been broken into.

Cathy is back on the job, but this time it’s personal. And the clock is ticking.

© Sam Blake

About In Deep Water

For fans of TENNISON and MISSING PRESUMED, comes the gripping follow-up to the number 1 bestseller, LITTLE BONES.

Good intentions can be deadly . . .

Cat Connolly is back at work after the explosion that left her on life support. Struggling to adjust to the physical and mental scars, her workload once again becomes personal when her best friend Sarah Jane Hansen, daughter of a Pulitzer-winning American war correspondent, goes missing.

Sarah Jane is a journalism student who was allegedly working on a story that even her father thought was too dangerous.

With Sarah Jane’s father uncontactable, Cat struggles to find a connection between Sarah Jane’s work and her disappearance. But Sarah Jane is not the only one in deep water when Cat comes face to face with a professional killer . . .

In the world of missing persons every second counts, but with the clock ticking, can Cathy find Sarah Jane before it’s too late?

In Deep Water is in bookshops now, or pick up your copy online here!

Early praise for In Deep Water:

A complex and rich plot masterfully weaves together from several separate strands throughout this novel, culminating in quite possibly one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year.  The suspenseful narrative drives the reader to keep reading (even if it means they end up burning the supper), and with so many clever deceptions in plain sight it’s hard not to feel a “facepalm” moment when certain revelations are uncovered, I certainly found that I was so wrapped up enjoying the thrilling tale that I didn’t guess what was coming.

KateNoble, bookblogger @TheQuietKnitter