Author playlist: Ethereal Messenger by Scott Nicholson
Ethereal Messenger is an omnibus collection of three supernatural novels, and they span three different phases of my career, and with different musical tastes. The title comes from John Milton’s 17th-century poem “Paradise Lost,” which I have only browsed and never fully read, but it looks like Satan rocks the house for a while. Interestingly, there is a heavy metal band that uses it for the band name. I like the airy, mysterious overtones of the title.
The Red Church was the first novel I ever published, and the fourth I wrote. That was in the late 1990s. I’d been playing in bands for about a decade before that, but we wrote most of our own songs, so I don’t know if I had direct musical influences back then. When I write, I only listen to music that I know well enough that I don’t have to “listen” to it; otherwise, it’s distracting. So I tend to stick with the core favorites when writing.
However, around that time I was writing to a list like this:
XTC Nonsuch and Skylarking
The Police Ghost in the Machine and Zenyatta Mondata
The Cranberries No Need to Argue
The Smiths Greatest Hits
Certain Distant Suns Certain Distant Suns
Robyn Hitchcock Element of Light, Queen Elvis and Perspex Island
The Cure Wish, Disintegration, and Pornography
David Bowie Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, and Scary Monsters
I wrote Drummer Boy around 2007 or so, about the time I was having a tough time getting any book deals, so in a way, it was like the beginning of Act II in my writing career. That’s not so long ago, but in the scale of publishing evolution, it practically belongs to another era, and is a loose sequel to The Red Church. While I still had the same core of favorite bands, I’d also picked up a few like:
The Cure Bloodflowers
David Bowie Heathen
Elvis Costello Brutal Youth, All This Useless Beauty, When I was Cruel
Natalie Merchant Tiger Lily and Motherland
Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Speed Dating with the Dead rolled along in 2009 and I picked up a couple of new ones:
Tegan and Sara The Con
The Eels Hombre Lobo
The Strokes Is This It?
Clearly I’m not up to date on trends, as I tend to stick with the bands I like, although there are many bands I listen to but don’t really write to, like The Beatles, Pete Townsend, Hank Williams, Sr., The Clash, REM, and They Might Be Giants. Really, if you plug in The Cure, that’s usually the type of mood I’m feeling, sort of darkly romantic and bleakly hopeful. I hope.
"Like Stephen King, he knows how to summon serious scares." -Bentley Little
An omnibus edition of three supernatural novels by bestselling author Scott Nicholson. DRM-free.
THE RED CHURCH: A young boy and a sheriff must solve the mystery of a haunted Appalachian church after a strange preacher returns to town. A 2002 Stoker Award finalist.
DRUMMER BOY: One misfit kid is all that stands between a mountain town and a chilling supernatural force when the past and the present collide.
SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD: A paranormal conference at the Blue Ridge Mountain's most haunted hotel goes haywire when ghost hunters accidentally stir up demons.
Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the #1 Kindle bestseller in mystery and suspense, DISINTEGRATION. Other titles include THE SKULL RING, FOREVER NEVER ENDS, BURIAL TO FOLLOW, and AS I DIE LYING. He's also released the paranormal romance series OCTOBER GIRLS and, with J.R. Rain, the urban fantasy CURSED!, as well as six story collections.