Monday, March 05, 2012

Blog tour: The Look Playlist by Sophia Bennett

I am so pleased to welcome to the blog today, Sophia Bennett, the lovely author of The Look as well as the Threads series. The Look is an absolutely gorgeous book and I hope you've already seen my (gushing) review of it earlier today.

I'm very happy to be taking part in the blog tour for The Look and today I'm bringing you the playlist that goes along with this wonderful journey into modelling and sisters and doing the right thing.

To find out more about The Look or Sophia, please do visit the following websites:

It's lovely to be back on Fluttering Butterflies, having written about London here for Clover's British themed month in November. This time, I'm writing about aspects of the writing process for my new book, The Look. And today - it's all about the music.

I know many writers start off a new book by making a playlist. It's a great means of procrastination. Actually, I have loads of other ways of procrastinating, so I usually save the playlist until later. These 8 tracks accumulated over time, and capture some of the best moments the writing of The Look for me. It's an eclectic mix - from Xena, Warrior Princess to the Pet Shop Boys.

I've added links to the appropriate YouTube videos, so you can get the full effect. I hope you enjoy them.

The Look opens with Ted and Ava busking in Carnaby Street, which is just south of Oxford Circus in London and technically in Soho. I used to work around the corner and absolutely love its mix of small indie shops and cafes. The girls are trying to earn some money by playing Hey Jude on the flute and tambourine. They are seriously not good. I'm a big Beatles fan and felt a bit guilty about abusing their tune this way, even in fiction. This version, even though it's by a Japanese toddler in a nappy, is probably better. Nearly 30 million YouTube hits can't be wrong.

Shine - Take That -

Ted has regular moments of mortification throughout the story, but one of the biggest takes place in the school assembly hall, as the choir attempts a reggae version of Shine. I was never one of Take That's original fans, but I love them since their comeback. And I've met Mark Owen and he's lovely. T

he first verse really sums up how I felt about Ted when I was writing the difficult first half of the story, when Ted is plagued by younger-sister syndrome and very insecure: 'You, you're such a big star to me/You're everything I want to be/But you're stuck in a hole/And I want you to get out'. The rest of the story is how she does it.

Great Dane's cheekbones
Teenage hormones
Young complexion
Non-physical affection
You're a god send
Do you want a boyfriend?
Crazy crazy, easy tiger

To start off with, Ted doesn't really have her own musical taste and relies on her best friend Daisy for ideas. Daisy is into Indie, so I imagined them liking The Kills and The Vaccines. I've picked the Vaccines' song Amanda Norgaard, as it's about a model and I love the music. Would I have liked someone to have written those lyrics about me when I was 17? Probably not. Which is one of the many reasons I wouldn't have made it as a model. She obviously didn't mind, though: she starred in the video.

Another of Daisy's favourite bands, also adopted by Ted. I've chosen Little Sister, because that's what Ted is.

Ted really grows into herself during a crucial hairdressing scene in the book. How many novels feature crucial hairdressing scenes, I wonder? Anyway, this one does. And by the end, Ted and her sister end up thinking about Xena Warrior Princess and her handmaiden, Gabrielle. Who. Seriously. Kick. Ass. This is the theme tune, and some video of Xena doing what she does best.

Rapture - Blondie -

Ted's friend Daisy's other great musical love is New Wave - particularly the bands that played at CBGBs in New York in the 1970s. Daisy's dad is in a Blondie tribute band and their music becomes the real soundtrack to Ted's life, and if I could only pick one song to accompany the book it would be Debbie Harry singing Rapture, which is the song that's playing while Ted tries to pose for her biggest photoshoot. Debbie has an iconic, beautiful face, but such a kick-ass attitude to music, fashion and life. It's a heady combination. I'm a real fan.

This song doesn't appear in the book, but it was on my iPod all the time while I was writing it. I first heard Janelle Monae while I was on tour in Ireland with Sarah Webb and Judi Curtin. She is a truly amazing singer and a fabulous dancer, with an impressive personal style. I loved Tightrope so much I found it too distracting to write to, so I would play it a couple of times before I started each day, to get me in the mood. Janelle certainly has a look. Like Debbie, she owns it; she rocks it. She's another great role model for girls in music. This video of her first performance on the Letterman show is a favourite.

This was a song I did play while I was writing. I've always loved it and it summed up Ted and Ava travelling from Putney into the centre of London for their various adventures. That atmospheric introduction always gets me in the mood to write.


  1. What a great playlist! It sounds like Daisy's taste in music is pretty similar to mine - I must admit that I was not expecting to see Queens of the Stone Age on this list!

  2. I think Daisy and I have very different musical preferences, but Hey Jude is brilliant. Somehow I prefer the original to this video, but good on her! I love that opening scene.

    Great post (:

  3. What a wonderful guest post, thank you Sophia! I shall listening to these songs tonight as I write blog posts :)

  4. This is just what I was looking for. I did not expect that I’d get so much out of reading your write up! You’ve just earned yourself a returning visitor.


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