Candles and Music…

It’ll soon be time to shout from the rooftops that the second book in the Hartsford Mysteries series, Watch for me by Candlelight is out. It comes out on the 3rd of April, and I have quite a soft spot for this one, I must confess.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you might recall that I was ‘doing a timeslip’ for my MA dissertation. It seems like a million years ago now, but it was only 2016. Watch for me by Candlelight was that timeslip dissertation, and it’s changed so much from what I originally submitted that I’m going to be interested to see what my dissertation tutor thinks of the new version. He likes to get paperback copies of my novels, so it’ll be a while (if ever but I’m hopeful!) that he gets this one; but I’m sure he’ll let me know what he thinks if he gets the opportunity.

And I’ve just realised I don’t think I’ve shared the cover on my blog – tut tut. Must rectify.


Anyway, a friend contacted me the other day about Watch for me by Candelight. She’s already seen the manuscript and loved it, and said it stayed with her even overnight, and she woke up with the Christina Perri song A Thousand Years in her head – that song and my book are all about soulmates and finding each other after a lifetime. I just love that concept, and it does crop up in my books frequently. Indeed, it is a trope (posh word, learned on my MA, get me!) that I have in mind as I write. Again, I’m probably going back to my love of Wuthering Heights, and the fact that Cathy and Heathcliff have to more or less wait a lifetime until they are reunited. Their love transcends time and place, eventually – but I cannot ever see either of their souls ever finding a home in anyone else’s body. No. Never. They are twin souls that played their wild passion out in a short space of time and that could never hope to be repeated. My stories are a little gentler, I think, but they are still powerful, I hope, and a lot of readers thankfully seem to agree. (Please see below for a very gorgeous Heathcliff – Tom Hardy. Mmmmm. What I loved about this version, was that it was so raw, and that Cathy actually had a Yorkshire accent.)


Going back to Christina Perri’s song, I told Helen that it had actually been in my mind when I was writing the story. I find that I kind of hang onto a collection of music and play it all on an interminable loop when I’m writing. My family is probably pleased I tend to write when I’m on my own – and if they are unfortunately (for them, as I growl and grumble and chase them away on occasion) in the same room, I can’t immerse myself in it at all. We writers are strange creatures. The Girl in the Painting was largely written to a variety of James Blunt CDs; Candlelight and the sequel Watch for me by Twilight (ha! Did you know that one was coming out at some point??) was a mixture of U2, classic  80’s rock and the Script, and my latest Christmas one (still with the publisher but with the intention of being the fourth Hartsford Mystery) was a lot of Ellie Goulding. During my edits this last few months, I’ve also snuck in a bit of Lawson, Wet Wet Wet, One Direction and Linkin Park amongst other stuff. Oh – I’m writing my current one to the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman. So yes, my music can be eclectic – but if it helps me carry a story along, I really don’t care if my son goes ‘urrrrrggggghhhh what’s that?’ ‘It’s good music!’ I tell him – and then I try to educate him. Because you have to, don’t you?!

Having  said that, wearing my leg-warmers and ra-ra skirt is possibly a step too far though, even for me… (I had that hair in the 80s though – even down to the banana clip. And the jacket and badges as well – gosh, it’s almost 80’s me. Apart from the cigarette!)


You can grab a copy of Watch for me by Candlelight here… if you want to see how the music inspired me.

Picture credits:

Cathy and Heathcliff

80’s girl

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