American pianist and composer George Winston's Four Seasons are some of my favourite musical things, perhaps surprising given I'm also quite fond of listening to System of a Down, but there you go.
There's an iPod in the bedroom at McNabb mansions and we go to sleep listening to music - nothing to shouty, you understand. George Winston's work is perfect. And so it is that one night I went to sleep listening to this music - February Sea from the first season, Winter into Spring. It made me think of a girl dancing in the rain and that's what was in my mind as my eyes for what someone cleverer than me once called 'the little death of sleep'.
I woke up in the morning with a book in my head, clear as day - clear as blacktop through the desert, the story stretched out in front of me. I bashed it out in four weeks, then spent seven years editing, changing and re-writing it.
Oddly the sequence of the girl dancing in the rain (I always knew she was downhill from the Blue Fig in Abdoun) has not only remained in the book but ended up pretty smack bang in the middle of it and marks the pivotal turning point in the story.
You can find the whole album on YouTube, but it's available on Dancing Cat Records and you can buy it here at Amazon.com which is the same place you can also buy this rather wonderful book.