‘Leaving Sadie’ character illustrations, by Chloe Keogan.
Fly my pretty . . .
Leaving Sadie is now available in paperback and on Kindle.
It’s nice to write those words.
Get your copy here.
And enjoy 🙂
If any other writers out there are like me—and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that they are—then music plays a part in their process. Maybe songs hum gently in the background as the individual types away on the computer or typewriter (hipster alert). Perhaps they write a scene and they connect to it a certain song, they think “this track would be prefect for this scene” (tip for new screenwriters: if you’re submitting a screenplay to a production company or a competition, don’t include songs in your script). Maybe some writers are like the great Haruki Murakami and, like him, go for very long runs and listen to music from a variety of genres (tip for everyone: read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running).
Well, for me, music is a constant companion (I didn’t get the word tattooed on my wrist in a foreign language for no reason…). Music is my first love, and it shapes my days and my mood to a degree. While promoting Leaving Sadie on Instagram, I’ve been adding tracks to Insta stories, and it got me thinking: I should create a soundtrack for Sadie… Or, a playlist on Spotify.
And here is that Spotify playlist. It’s filled with songs that capture the mood and playful nature of the novel. And I’m not gonna lie, I’m a fan of all these artists, even though certain characters did determine the tracks that muscled their way onto the playlist. I’ve made it public and collaborative—so if you do happen to pick up a copy of the novel and feel a certain song suits the story well, please go ahead and add to the playlist.
Here’s the list in full:
- “Lovefool” by The Cardigans
- “I’m Writing a Novel” by Father John Misty
- “Who Loves the Sun” by The Velvet Underground
- “Are We Still Friends?” by Tyler, the Creator
- “A Perfect Sonnet” by Bright Eyes
- “Satellite of Love” by Lou Reed
- “Love Street” by The Doors
- “Time After Time” by Chet Baker
- “Once Around the Block” by Badly Drawn Boy
- “Lost Cause” by Beck
- “Let Me In” by Snowmine
- “Two of Us on the Run” by Lucius
- “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes
- “Lawman” by Girl Band
- “Little L” by Jamiroquai
- “Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground
- “911/Mr. Lonely” by Tyler, the Creator (feat. Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy)
- “Prototype” by Outkast
- “War” by The Cardigans
- “Still Life” by The Horrors
- “Moving On” by James
- “The Time Is Now” by Moloko
- “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon
- “Sunburst” by Picturehouse
- “All In My Mind” by Lonnie Smith
- “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” by Ella Fitzgerald
The Kindle edition of Leaving Sadie is now available for pre-order on Amazon. If, like me, you prefer a physical book, you can order a copy when the novel is released on February 29th.
The always lovely and invariably talented Ellie O’Neill (bestselling author of Reluctanly Charmed) has kindly provided me with a quote for the book:
“Wildly charismatic and deeply funny . . . Wonderful, eccentric characters get tied up in an adventure of lost love, finding yourself and the mysterious mind of a playwright. Coules has a great gift for storytelling.”
So – following that rather flattering endorsement! – those of you who prefer reading on screens, order your copy now.
It’s a strange thing, sharing a novel with the world.
But maybe it’s a stranger thing to write a novel and not share it.
So here it is.
I hope you enjoy it.
“Don’t breathe no mo’!” Never have four words relating to a near-death experience been so funny. Anyone familiar with Richard Pryor’s legendary 1979 show Live In Concert will know the routine I’m referring to: Pryor walking through the yard when suddenly he suffers a heart attack. Not funny. But funny when the person telling the story is a comic genius.
After announcing the publication date for my novel Leaving Sadie (February 29), I’ve often had moments where I’ve heard those four words bellow between my ears; this all being relative to what I can only surmise is some form of very minor panic attack (Don’t breath no mo!”). Although panic attack is too strong a term for such moments; there’s no genuine anxiety coursing through my veins, no heart palpatations, no hyperventilating; just a recurring bout of what I’ve coined the Shit Fears.
Every writer experiences the Shit Fears. Not just every writer, any creative individual who shares someting they’ve made, experiences the SFs. To sum it up in a few words, it’s basically “what if people think this work is a piece of shit?” Cue Pryor: “Don’t breahe no motherfuckin’ mo’, you heard me!”
But the Shit Fears are not something to be ashamed of. They are only natural. Creative Anxiety Syndrome (CAS) is another term I’ve coined. This can be used as a more-appropriate-for-public-speaking Shit Fears synonym, although it’s valuable to note that while the terms might be used interchangably, they are, in fact, two different conditions. While the Shit Fears are relative to post-publication (or post-sharing) anxiety, CAS is a body-permeating apprehensiveness experienced intermittently during the creative process, from start to finish. After all, it’s not unusual for creative people to experience higher instances of anxiety, according to PyschCentral, at least.
However! I believe that I’ve found a cure to both the SFs and general CAS in the form of this individual:
I first experienced Tyler, the Creator around eight or nine years ago when he appeared on Jimmy Fallon performing ‘Sandwitches’, accompanied by fellow Odd Future member Hodgy Beats (now simply Hodgy). The performance was raw, intense, full of energy, and it reminded me of the first time I’d encountered N.E.R.D; the heavy percussion being a major factor.
While Tyler’s quirkiness was apparent in his performance (and his debut record Goblin), nothing could have prepared me for his most recent effort Igor. With this album, blending hip-hop with funk and neo-soul, Tyler fully embraced his idiosyncratic creative nature. Donning a blonde wig and garish two-piece suit, Tyler presented to us his alter-ego, Igor. With this character, he delivered, for me, the most interesting and enjoyable album of 2019.
But how does Tyler act as the panacea for all things related to Creative Anxiety Syndrome? Well, simply, look at what the man has put out there; look at how he’s placed himself in the firing line. For Igor, he could’ve been mocked, ridiculed, laughed off of the Billboard Charts, never to return. Of course, Tyler must have had confidence in his work (how could he not?), but he was prepared to take risks, to take a different approach both musically and personally and artistically. And he did it.
For me, the SFs and general CAS can be alleviated, if not expunged, by looking at people like Tyler, and how they’ve been brave and bold enough to share their creations with the world.
My novel Leaving Sadie is ready to go. It will be available on Kindle and in paperback on February 29th, 2019. The SFs are almost gone, and Richard Pryor’s beautiful voice now speaks to me: Breathe, motherfucker. You heard me!
A little taste of my debut novel ‘Leaving Sadie’ with quotes from some of the characters…
“You become a slave to the life you carve out for yourself… and then you spend your time trying to escape it.”
– Miller Moore
“Only writers know the sheer torture of reading an exquisite piece of literature.”
– Ezra Cooper
“Had I known parenting was so important, I would have taken it more seriously.”
– Helena Cohen
“The little things. It’s . . . It’s what we do on most days. That’s the crux of any relationship.”
– Rachael Wilson
“We’re heroes to thousands; hundreds of thousands… Reverence. Heroism. And for what? There’s nothing heroic about what we do. There’s nothing heroic in spending time on your own doing what you love to do. What’s so heroic about that?.”
– Miller Moore
Read more about my debut novel ‘Leaving Sadie’ here. I’m currently submitting to literary agents (it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll), with a long, long list to get through. Self-publication is still a possibility, but not until I feel I’ve exhausted the submissions process.
I would love to know if the above quotes whet your appetite for the novel, or at least pique your interest. Drop a comment below if you have any thoughts!