REBELLION playlist

As we’ve long established, I usually write to playlists. And here, as promised, is Blood & Feathers: Rebellion‘s…

Bleed it Out – Linkin Park

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark – Fall Out Boy

Iron – Woodkid

In My Remains – Linkin Park

Devil’s Choir – Black Veil Brides

Hell Above – Pierce the Veil

Professional Griefers – Deadmau5 feat. Gerard Way

iLL Manors – Plan B

Titanium – David Guetta feat. Sia

Finale (Original Mix) – Madeon

Edge of the Earth – 30 Seconds to Mars

Unknown Soldier – Breaking Benjamin

21 Guns – Green Day

Like A Dog Chasing Cars – Hans Zimmer

My Body is a Cage – Peter Gabriel

Skyfall – Adele

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri

First Responder – Michael Wandmacher

Razors.Out – Mike Shinoda & Chino Moreno

P5hng Me A*Way – Linkin Park

As usual, all of these fit somewhere – and some are probably more obvious than others. Feel free to try and figure it out once the book hits (and let me know if you do!)

One hint, though? If Michael & No Man’s Land had a theme, it would undoubtedly be this one

A quick update: once again, the fantastic Paul (@pablocheesecake / The Eloquent Page) has been kind enough to compile a Spotify playlist of the tracks, because he’s brilliant: you can find it here.




Or, at least, the first part of it.

I always write (and rewrite, and edit, and all those other things…) to a playlist – and REBELLION is no exception.

The whole playlist will appear in the back of the book when it’s published on July 9th this year, and I’ll be putting it up on here too. But not quite yet.

In the meantime, you won’t be surprised to learn that this is the first track…

Heroes, & the Chemical Fall Out

So Fall Out Boy are back, and My Chemical Romance are history.

Hurrah, and boo respectively.

Fall Out Boy are a band I’ve liked for a long time, and have the dubious honour of being one whose lyrics I listen to intently. There’s an interesting way with words there that – basically – I envy.

My Chemical Romance are… were… a band with whom I have history; empathy. I’ve never been particularly worried about hiding the fact I’ve long had what (for the sake of brevity) we’ll call “issues”, and I found something in My Chem that I connected with at the exact time I desperately needed it.

It sounds trite and about as far from cool as it’s possible to be (although, let’s face it, “cool” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when you think of me, I know) but they were a band who made a difference to me. And that’s what art is supposed to do, isn’t it? It’s supposed to connect with you. This did.

The thing is, I was broken.

I was broken and I was feeling alone and afraid and then I realised that the music I was listening to, the music I was connecting to on so many levels, was made by people who were broken too. That mattered. It mattered because suddenly, it was okay to be broken. It was okay to be broken and scarred and afraid and flawed, because you could be all these things and you could still make… that.

It helped, and it gave me hope.

So Fall Out Boy are back, and My Chemical Romance are history, and Wentz and Way with all their scars and all their flaws are still two of my heroes.


You Know His Name…?

Because it’s Tuesday and (here, at least) it’s raining – and because I know how much you enjoyed the last Hawkeye mash-up video… have another one.

That Barton certainly gets around, doesn’t he?


“In the End”

So, I was channel-surfing last night and landed on the video for the Black Veil Brides song, In The End. Which I immediately loved. And which just seemed so incredibly Mallory-ish that it made me smile.

Also, it’s an excellent air-guitar song.

If you want to see the awesomely overblown video (where do they plug in their equipment out in the desert?!) you’ll find it here (I’ve not been able to get it embed, annoyingly), or if you just want to listen, you can click on the unofficial static video I have managed to get to work…


The Rough Guide to Hell

I hadn’t intended to (a) pop back on here quite so quickly, or (b) turn this into an unofficial “Hell Tourist Information Week” (which sounds so Screwtape-y that I refuse to believe Lewis didn’t already do it), but sometimes you find stuff that’s just a bit too cool to leave out.

So, following yesterday’s video of the door to hell, I now give you your map.

The Topography of Hell.

They say there’s a different version of hell for every soul who ever lived, and that may well be true. Medieval artists sure liked their representations of hell, but I certainly don’t think I’ve ever seen two that looked exactly the same as one another… especially not in the case of Jake & Dinos Chapman’s “Hell”, which I remember seeing as part of the Sensation exhibition years ago.

When I was coming up with mine, I went back to Dante, mostly. There were a few other places I looked for inspiration, but more of that another time: if anyone’s interested, I can do a separate post about hell in BLOOD AND FEATHERS….

Another post on the same site as the topography one poses the question “What does hell sound like?” – and that’s an interesting thought. Again, in my own version, it’s very, very quiet for the most part… but if you could record it, what do you think you’d get? (First person to say “Rebecca Black” gets a very stern look and has to go sit at the back of the class for the rest of the day).

I’m rather fond of the “Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell” album by way of answer.


I say “album”. What I actually mean is 8 hours‘ worth of ambient music and sound which ranges from mildly unsettling to really quite alarming by way of absolutely stunning… but is altogether genius. You can stream it, or download it for $1… but I’d recommend the streaming option wherever possible. Mostly because you’re looking at over a GIG of space…

So. Your own personal hell. If you were Dante, and could take a guided tour, what would you expect to see (or hear)?

The Angels Are Here…

The launch day for BLOOD AND FEATHERS is here.

It’s almost exactly a year since I got the mail from Solaris telling me they wanted to publish the book, and that time’s been taken up with the most incredible journey. (I know. I went down the “journey” route. Get me, right?)

The editing, the reading, the re-reading, the re-editing, the re-writing, the planning… the sheer amount of hard work. And not just mine, but everyone who’s had a hand in this somewhere, and particularly the lovely team at Solaris – Jon Oliver, Ben Smith, David Moore, Pye Parr and Michael Molcher.

Without them, I wouldn’t be able to say all this.

So thank you. And thank you to everyone who’s been so supportive. It’s been an incredible ride so far… and this is only the start.


Now I hand them over to you. Alice, Mallory, Vin… all the angels. They’re yours. Take good care of them, and I hope that maybe someone out there will love them as much as I’ve come to.


Burn it Down

Chances are, if you’ve been here before, you know I’m a Linkin Park fan. I’ve made no secret of the fact “When They Come For Me” from the A Thousand Suns album (my favourite, although I know it’s a divisive one) was hugely important to the writing of BLOOD & FEATHERS, so a new album looming on the horizon is a very big deal. And the first single will always get my attention…

As an aside, anyone with a Pendulum / LP-fandom crossover (like me) will either love or hate this.


Lots of writers use playlists when they work: I’ve seen some great ones online over the years, for all sorts of different books.

I’ve lost track of the number of songs I’ve killed by listening to them over and over and over and over again while I’m writing – a couple of Nero’s songs being a case in point. I had the two of them running as background while I wrote “At The Sign of the Black Dove” – my story in “Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse”.

The problem was that I put in a lot of hours on that story. Which meant the same two songs on a loop for many hours. This isn’t exactly helped by the fact that they turn up very early on the album, and it’s one of my husband’s favourite records.

We have the routine down to a fine art: he goes pottering off down to the kitchen. He puts some music on. Two chords later, there’s a howl of despair from my study, followed by my stomping down the stairs, grabbing the remote control (all the while muttering expletive-laden things like “Are you trying to kill me? Are you? ARE YOU?!”) and then disappearing back into my study. Door slamming optional.

It’s not that I don’t like the songs – I do – and it’s not like I’m scarred by the process of having written a story to them (well, only a little) but the second I hear them, I’m back in “work mode”. It’s the strangest thing.

Anyway. Because someone asked me a while back about the music I wrote to, I thought I’d round up the obvious ones. I do rather give away my love of dubstep, particularly when it comes to the short stories, I’m afraid…


I relied on this massively when I was writing. Given I wrote it in 4 different places: my old house, two rented flats and – most memorably – the balcony level of the Barbican Foyer (and yes, I still remember exactly which scenes I wrote there!) the playlist was the rock I clung to in order to keep things on an even keel. Now there’s a nice mixed metaphor for you.

Some of the songs go with particular scenes, some with particular characters, but the song on here which matters the most, if you like, is Linkin Park’s “When They Come For Me“. In part that’s because, hey, I like Linkin Park – but it’s also because this is where it all made sense. I can hang the whole book on this song.

All the Right Moves: OneRepublic

Make Me Wanna Die: The Pretty Reckless

Believe Me: Fort Minor

Slip Out the Back: Fort Minor

It’s Not the End of the World: LostProphets

Only Man (Jakwob Remix): Audio Bullys

Burning in the Skies: Linkin Park

When They Come For Me: Linkin Park

New Divide: Linkin Park

Dreamcatcher: Unicorn Kid

The Island, Pt I (Dawn) & Pt 2 (Dusk): Pendulum

Witchcraft (Rob Swire’s Drum-step Mix): Pendulum

Ich Tu Dir Weh: Rammstein

Bulletproof Heart: My Chemical Romance

The Only Hope For Me is You: My Chemical Romance

Teeth: Lady Gaga

Walking in Circles: Dead by Sunrise

Dead Reckoning: Clint Mansell

End Credits: Chase & Status with Plan B

For those of you on Spotify, my friend Paul (better known as @pablocheesecake on Twitter) has been an absolute sweetie and put a Spotify playlist together for all your BLOOD & FEATHERS listening needs. And you can find it here:

The only thing not on there is Rammstein (which, let’s face it, isn’t surprising…). It’s very neat, and I’m incredibly grateful to Paul: thank you!


At The Sign of the Black DovePandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse.

An apocalyptic story needs an apocalyptic soundtrack… and in my head, this is exactly what the end of the world sounds like…

Nero – Doomsday

Nero: Fugue State

Murderess Lane: Hub Fiction

“Murderess Lane” is a story about another London – a London which always was, and always will be: the kind of London which has flagellants roaming the streets, and an underground chamber hung with bodies hidden in the heart of the City. It’s not a very nice place, and it’s confusing and noisy and frightening. So, naturally, while I was working on it, I listened to this.

Pendulum: Through the Loop

Kudos and cookies if you can name the sample. It’s easy, honest.

*** – – – ***

A long, long time ago – before I even had a Kurt Cobain poster in my room (the slightly grainy, black-and-white one. You know it. I imagine it came from Smash Hits….) there was a Take That poster on my wall. I was young. Naive. A bit keen on Gary Barlow. I make no apologies: my adolescent crushes could form a guard of honour stretching from Brighton back to Wales, both figuratively and literally.

So it was really inevitable that at some point, and entirely flying in the face of my current taste for noisy German music & dubstep, I’d cave and get the latest Take That album. What can I say? Every now and again, even my inner pre-teen wins out.

And while I avoid the ballads like the plague (some things never change) there’s some feisty little pop songs on there. This one has to be one of my favourites, and it’s been on repeat over the last week… for more reasons that one.

The quality’s crappy and the less said about the video that’s been put together for it (youtube! Why hast thou abandoned me?) but it’s not a bad live version of what must be a fiendishly difficult song.

And let’s face it, don’t we all feel a bit like that on a Monday?