Q: Do you use music for inspiration? If so what do you listen to?
A: Constantly. That is, I don’t consciously look to music for inspiration, but it helps me out all the same. I like to write (and read) with music on, and every now and then something will just jump out and suggest a story to me. Given that I’m not listening with my full attention, it’s a misheard lyric as often as not. Sometimes it’s a fragment of lyric that I repurpose. Either way, it goes down in the idea file for future use.
The only time I consciously set out to work from a song was with my first ever story, “Blind”, written in the 1980s (published in 2011). It’s a very literal interpretation of the Deep Purple song by the same name. In slightly more recent days, I stole Brian Setzer’s title “Drive Like Lightning…Crash Like Thunder” for a pair of pulpy SF adventures, and a line from Fred Eaglesmith’s “Seven Shells” for a children’s story.
Those artists give you a feeling for what I listen to: hard rock, rockabilly, and gloomy singer-songwriters. Throw in some classic country (Merle, Waylon) and some Euro-pop (Herbert Grönemeyer, Fiorella Mannoia), and that covers a lot of it.