Music to Write Books By – Shelley Wilson

Next up on the Crimepieces feature where authors reveal the music that they write their books to is Shelley Wilson. Shelley divides her writing time between motivational non-fiction for adults and the fantasy worlds of her young adult fiction. Her non-fiction books combine lifestyle, motivation, and self-help with a healthy dose of humour, and her approach to writing is to provide an uplifting insight into personal development and being the best you can be.

Shelley writes her Young Adult Fiction under ‘S.L Wilson’ and combines myth, legend and fairy tales with a side order of demonic chaos. She was born in Leeds but raised in Solihull, UK, where she lives with her three children, a crazy kitten, and a fat fish. She is an obsessive list maker, social media addict, and fan of all things vampire related!

Check out Shelley’s Amaxon page here. All the music chosen for this feature can by found on the dedicated YouTube panel.

 Shelley. Thanks for appearing on Crimepieces. Do you have particular pieces of music you write to?

When I read your feature with Nick Triplow, I realised I’m a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to music. If I’m working on my YA books, I tend to listen to the music I enjoyed when I was a teenager – Prince, Spandau Ballet, Bowie. I was a child of the 80s and can happily rewind the clock in my brain and recall the emotions of being fifteen again – always helpful when writing a teenage protagonist. Times (and technology) may have changed, but emotions haven’t.

However, if I’m working on my non-fiction titles – about personal development and self-help – I will listen to the music I played when I ran my holistic health spa. My favourite is Piano by the Sea by Global Journey which is also perfect to meditate to.

I love their Nature Sounds tracks which include songbirds, waterfalls, and rainfall.

Has a particular piece of music ever inspired you to write something?

I’m not sure this counts as I never actually wrote it, but I still vividly remember what I wanted to write. When I was growing up, my parents would always play the Beatles. I was hugely influenced by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band. Whenever my dad played this album, an entire world would unfold in my head, and the characters story would follow each track. Maybe I need to re-listen to that album!

Could you recommend any particular pieces of music for a specific mood?

I would imagine that the Global Journey music is perfect for writing calmer scenes, or perhaps romantic chapters, Orithyia by Moonlight is a lovely track from Piano by the Sea. I only really deal with PG snogging so Wham’s Careless Whisper does the trick!

When I need to focus on the darker energies of my YA fantasy fiction I will turn to Guns and Roses or Aerosmith – the beat also gets me typing much faster.

Are there any longer pieces you can recommend? If you need to write for an hour, for example, is there a particular composer/artist you’d chose?

I love listening to movie soundtracks as they can be quite inspirational for writing. The Fault in our Stars soundtrack is great if you need to rip out your reader’s heart for example.

My absolute favourite movie soundtrack of all time is The Lost Boys – if I put this on, then I can write for hours.

What are you working on at the moment?

The final book in my YA Guardians trilogy, Guardians of the Lost Lands, will be released on 11th November 2016, so I’m getting ready for the launch. I’m also about to start the edits on a standalone YA novel called Oath Breaker which is a werewolf novel. I’ve released an Oracle book for the Mind, Body, Spirit genre so I’m busy promoting this as well as working on a second non-fiction memoir.

That should keep me out of mischief for a while.

Thank you for sharing your music choices with us, Shelley. Good luck with the writing.


8 thoughts on “Music to Write Books By – Shelley Wilson

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Now, that takes real skill – to write two such different sorts of books. I love this playlist, too. Of course, anyone who includes the Beatles automatically scores high in my book. Really interesting, so thanks, both.


  2. Terry Tyler

    Very interesting, but I don’t get how anyone can write in anything but complete silence!!! I’m a curtains shut, door shut, facing a blank wall writer. That probably sounds REALLY boring!


    1. I used to be like this, Terry, it’s only in the past two years that I’ve been able to have music on in the background. My kids do their homework and revision with music blaring out and they say it helps them to recall bits of information – still not sure if they’re pulling my leg about that though! 😉


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