Times Like These


If it weren’t for copyrights I think I’d use songs in every one of my stories. Seriously. It’s difficult not to get inspired by certain lyrics or the emotional resonance of a song.

Driving home this afternoon I heard the acoustic version of “Times Like These” by the Foo Fighters. As usual, I cranked it up and just drove. It was fantastic. And then I remembered, that back in 2010, I did write story with a song in it, the exact same one on the radio.

I know I plug my gritty, violent, dark and sometimes foul novels, but in 2010, I wrote something much more quiet, and slightly haunting.

Riptide Journal, a UK publication, had a contest for YA stories with crossover appeal. The entries were judged by Philip Hensher, whose acclaim I didn’t know at the time, and the top ten entries were published. Yes, mine was one of them.

“Times Like These” is a story of a mother and son trying to find their way again, as a new family, with a stepfather and infant brother added to the mix. That family dynamic is one I’ve watched for years as a teacher, and one day decided to write about. And that Foo Fighters song stuck in my head and pulled it all together.

So if you love the song or are interested in the premise, pick up a copy. The volume is great and I was so glad to be a part of it.

If not, no worries. In the big push and aplomb of Dare Me, I was reminded of this bit of something more gentle, and thought you might enjoy.