A Novel Soundtrack: Our Endless Numbered Days
I listen to music while I write, finding a playlist that suits the tone of the book I’m writing, and I’ll play that list over and over for two years until I no longer hear any lyrics, but the mood seeps into what I’m writing. With Our Endless Numbered Days I listened to 150 tracks by Iron and Wine, aka Sam Beam. (For my next book, Swimming Lessons, it was Townes Van Zandt, but that will have to wait.) And the title of one of Sam’s albums became the title of my novel.
There is music within the book, too. The mother of the narrator, Peggy, is a concert pianist, and when Peggy’s father takes her off to the German forest and tells her the rest of the world has disappeared, he builds her a keyboard, and she learns to play. The only music they take with them is Liszt’s "La Campanella," which for me suffuses the novel, so of course it was always going to be part of my suggested soundtrack for when you’re reading the book. Here are eleven pieces of music that I think fit the words. And if they don’t last the length of the book, just play them again, and again, and…
Writes short stories, flash fiction and novels. Her stories and flash have been published in many journals, and she has won the BBC Opening Lines competition, and the Royal Academy / Pin Drop short story prize. Her first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize. Her second novel, Swimming Lessons was published in 2017, and her third, Bitter Orange will be published in 2018.