Arden Grey enjoys a life most women in 1898 London can’t even dream of: She has the social status, wealth, and independence of a countess. She also has the ability to witness the final moments of a murder victim’s life. But ever since the disappearance of her husband, Lucas, none of this means anything to her. Until one night, when Arden spies a man watching her—a man she recognizes as her missing husband.
He’s been ordered to assassinate Arden as retribution for her part in the killing of a Company agent. Luke remembers nothing of his life before the Company, a corrupt agency that has erased his memory. Even so, he can’t seem to complete his assignment. There is something familiar about his lovely target, something that attracts him, and fills him with dread. For he knows that if he doesn’t kill her, someone else will—and kill him as well.
Music has always been an important part of writing for me. Ever since I was young I would listen to a song and imagine a little story to go along with it. Once I began writing my own stories, I started listening to music that “fit” the book or kept me in the mood of the story. I was young in the ’80s, so it probably won’t surprise you that I still like to listen to power ballads when I write love scenes.
When I began working on Heart of Brass, and got to know Arden and Luke, it didn’t take long for them to get their own songs—music I would come back to day after day as I wrote about their reunion, their adventure, and the renewal of their love. Arden is a strong, capable and flawed woman who has never forgotten the man she loved. Luke is a tortured hero, haunted by memories of a wife who had been cruelly taken from him—a woman he has been sent back to London to kill. Their story has intrigue, fights, incredible machines, death, laughter, love and hope, so it should come as no surprise that their “soundtrack” is just as varied and emotional. Like many authors, I see the scenes unfold in my mind as though watching a movie, and just like in a film, the music can add depth to the story. When I listen to fast, frenetic songs, my writing takes on that sort of rhythm, which is great for fights or desperate love scenes. Subsequently, a slower song will lend a much more laconic sense to the scene.
What follows is a list of the songs I listened to most while writing Heart of Brass. I hope that when you read the book some of these songs will make you think of Arden and Luke. At the very least, I hope that maybe you’ll discover some new music and enjoy these artists as much as I do! If you do discover some new music, please let me know. (Contact me through my website, www.katecross.com). And, if you stumble upon any songs that make you think of Heart of Brass I hope you’ll share them with me as well.
Here are my top choices in no particular order:
- “How You Gonna See Me Now” by Alice Cooper
- “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Beatles
- “I Did Not Leave the Door Ajar” by Eli August
- “Runaway” by Beats Antique
- “Unlaced” by Emilie Autumn
- “End of the Line” by Concrete Blonde
- “Atmosphere” by Eli August
- “All About Loving You” by Bon Jovi
- “Nothing Left to Lose” by The Pretty Reckless
- “Blood on My Hands” by The Used