linkin park


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…


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.

Park Life

It was inevitable that you’d get a Linkin Park track today, given that I went to their gig on Wednesday (more about that another time… it is Friday, after all). Suffice to say they were brilliant, and I went hoarse singing along with this song. Handily, the anime video ties in nicely with the general Art Week theme I’ve had going: it was directed by band-member Joe Hahn (who I had no idea had bought the rights to King Ratnow there’s some unexpected coolness for the weekend), and supervised by Kazuto Nakazawa.

Linkin Park: Breaking the Habit

If anime’s not your bag, there’s a second video – a rehearsal performance, which is here.

Interestingly, I always thought this was one of Chester‘s songs – for obvious reasons – but it turns out it was actually all Mike Shinoda‘s work, which is just freaky. Anyway. Enough of me.

Have a great weekend.

Leave Out All The Sunshine

Or something.

One of my favourite recent sci-fi films is Sunshine, for a good number of reasons. I like its look and its plot, and it doesn’t creep me out like Event Horizon does (and boy, does that film creep me out. I first saw it on some bizarre late-night cable channel out in Bangalore the best part of a decade ago and sweet lord, it still bothers me). But I digress.

How I’d not come across this video before, I’m not sure, especially as it’s one of my favourite songs from the last Linkin Park album (in spite of the Twilight connection, it’s a song that actually has very real meaning for me). But it’s definitely got that Sunshine feel to it. In more ways than one….

It’s making feel all warm and fuzzy.

Or maybe that’s the supernova. It’s hard to tell.