Vikram Seth said, 'I rarely listen to music while writing. If I don’t like it, it bothers me, and if I like it, it absorbs me so much I can’t write.' Other writers swear by instrumental music. Some of my students say they listen to film soundtracks when they write.
I've always listened to music as I write, but for Cold Crash in particular, I needed to immerse myself in a historical period. I wanted to listen to music that Max could have heard in 1952.
Three records quickly became important in the novel - and indeed appeared in the novel. 'Unforgettable' by Nat King Cole haunts Max, as it plays many places she goes.
I found 'Tenderly' by Rosemary Clooney when I first started writing, the result of a quick Google search for hit songs in 1952. I later released it wasn't released in the UK until much later, so I added that Max's American grandmother had posted the record to her.
Ella Sings Gershwin came out in 1950, but it's the record from Max's collection that Mr Knox chooses to play in Mull. Max gains a bit of insight into Mr Knox, as she never thought he would listen to Ella Fitzgerald.
I'm currently enjoying finding the correct historical music for the sequel to Cold Crash (including Gene Kelly singing 'All I Do Is Dream of You' from a single released early in 1952 ahead of the September film launch of Singin' in the Rain). In the meantime, I've created a Spotify playlist for music in Cold Crash. I hope you enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed writing to it!