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Playlist from Alex Thornbury’s The Bridge to Magic and the long road to get there

by Alex Thornbury

Music is an important inspirational part of my writing. When I drive to work, shops or school runs, I always listen to a rather unchanging playlist of around 100 songs. Maybe once every three years I revisit it and replace some of the more tired tunes. It is not as up to date as I might like. It a haphazard collection spanning nearly one hundred years and beyond, featuring classical and old classics such as Vera Lynn from 1939, skipping the 60s lingering a little in the 80s and marching on to 90s and modern day.

Music helps me set the atmosphere of the scene I am working on, a mood, or character traits. It helps to motivate me and gives me a fresh urge to write when I’d rather do anything else. When I listen to music, I imagine scenes from my stories and work on how I can rewrite and improve them. Music is thus an integral part of my writing process and creativity.

As a writer suffering from a common ailment of Perfectionism, it took me twelve years of nearly full time writing and editing three different manuscripts before I finally said ‘Enough is enough’. There came a time when I found myself 12 years older and realised that my dream of being an author would never come true unless I accepted that my manuscripts will never be perfect and took that final step into publication.

There were times when I thought I didn’t have what it takes to be a professional author. This song would remind me why I started on this journey and that I needed to see it through. ‘Never Give Up’ by Boulevard:

This is the tune I associate with the atmosphere in the city of Terren on the brink of disaster, the palpable sense of waiting for the approaching doom. ‘Gothic Moonlight’ by Brandon Fiechter

When I listen to this one, I think of Elika, the protagonist of the story, her fading hope and the battle to keep it. ‘Crying of the Sun’ by Metalwings

This one puts me inside Elika’s mind when she stands on the edge of the chasm, looking down into the Abyss, knowing that the time must come when she must cross it. ‘Fear of the Dark’ by Iron Maiden

This one I associate with my favourite character in the story who deserves a book all to himself — Peter Pockets, the feared gang leader of Terren who dreams of being king. ‘Icon of Dominance’ by Lordi

The Blight reaching the city. ‘Extreme Ways’ by Moby

When the city rises against the King who has failed to stop the Blight and is hoarding the last of the food for himself and the nobles. ‘Uprising’ by Muse

This one I listened to when I took that terrifying step across my own bridge to magic and finally released the ARC copy of my debut book to early readers and reviewers. ‘I surrender’ by Rainbow.

This is how I felt when the book won the 2022 Royal Dragonfly Honorary Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy. ‘Walking On Sunshine’ by Katrina & The Waves

This is the song that helped me break through the endless rounds of daily editing in search of that ideal manuscript I could never reach. When I listen to this song and the lyrics, I think of my decade-long battle with my first manuscript, The Sprite Catcher. ‘Time is Running Out’ by Muse

This one came to mind when I received my first negative review… ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ by Elton John

OK, just kidding. This one is probably more apt. It stings getting bad reviews, but that’s part of putting yourself and your work out there, and besides, there is often good feedback to be had from those too. ‘I will survive’ by Gloria Gaynor

This one is for everyone who helped me along the journey to publication, as well as my supportive friends, family and all my readers out there. ‘I Couldn’t Have Done It Without You’ by Peter Allen

Alex Thornbury

Alex Thornbury is an award-winning author. She grew up in Cheshire UK, and developed deep love of history and fantasy thanks to the many castles she visited as a child. Though she grew up to be an Alchemist by trade, she never stopped fantasising about other worlds, dragons and epic battles.

She has abandoned her Alchemy and potion making career, and is now a full time author of high fantasy. Three of her books are to be released in early 2023.

In Alex Thornbury’s debut YA fantasy novel, The Bridge to Magic (February 21, 2023, Shadow Lore Publishing), magic and its guardians have been banished to the deadlands and the Blight threatens mankind’s survival. Terren, the last remaining city, stands alone against its relentless advance. Ever closer draws the choice they all must make: face the deadly Blight or cross The Bridge to Magic.

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