Music can change your mood. Experiments have shown that it can help people recover faster from an operation or injury, and even improve IQ, as well as cheer you up when you're feeling low. Of course, it has to be the right sort of music for you... which might not be the same music that works for someone else.
My first novel Song Quest sprang to life after I'd been reading a book on music therapy. I started thinking 'what if'? What if there was a magical song that could heal everyone? What if young singers could be trained to sing this powerful Song? And, if there was a Song that could heal, why not also a Song that could kill?
So I invented the Echorium, where children could be taught to sing these Songs, and ended up with five Songs of Power: Challa for healing, Kashe for laughter, Shi for sadness, Aushan for fear, and Yehn for death. The names of these Songs were plucked out of my head as I was writing the Echorium Anthem - they just seemed right the way I imagined them pronounced, and I added the colours because that seemed right, too. (Muse: don't blame me!)
The Echorium Anthem
For healing sleep of lavender dreams,
For laughter, golden and gay,
For tears shed in turquoise streams,
For fear, pain and scarlet screams,
For death of deepest midnight shade.
For these the Songs, five in one:
Challa, Kashe, Shi, Aushan, Yehn.
Song Quest won the Branford Boase Award, and eventually grew into a trilogy with the addition of Crystal Mask and Dark Quetzal.
This spring, to celebrate 15 years since Song Quest's first publication, you have a chance to win your very own gold-foiled, signed paperback edition of this award-winning book. Just tell the unicorn which song (from the real world) is special for you, and why.
See the competition page of my website for more details. Closing date 31st March 2015.