Category Archives: folk song

Detecting folk songs

One of my favourite authors is Dorothy L. Sayers. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve reread or simply revisited her detective novels, even though I’ve known whodunit in each of them for years. Her best known books … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, Dorothy L. Sayers, folk song, novel, personal opinion, Twentieth Century Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Love in folk songs

I’ve been listening to Nic Jones (great man; his set at Towersey a few years ago is one of the highlights of my musical experience) and, well, after an evening in the company of Annachie Gordon and a Bonny Light … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, folk music, folk song, love, Music, Nic Jones, verse | 1 Comment

Songs behind stories

This started out as a blog about folk songs. It’s evolved since then into a more general blog about books and writing, but the songs are still there in the background to my work. The inspiration they provide is nothing … Continue reading

Posted in After the Ruin, Child Ballad, fantasy novel, folk music, folk song, The Crooked Path, thoughts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

An encounter with Captain Wedderburn

Yesterday I visited Rosslyn Chapel. It wasn’t raining, I wanted to get out of the city for a couple of hours and the chapel does, of course, have some of the finest and most characterful mediaeval stone carvings in Scotland, … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, folk music, folk song, Scotland | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Comfort listening: five songs

This started off as a blog about folk songs. I haven’t talked about them much recently but they are there still as the backdrop to my writing and so, to give you something of their flavour, here’s a post about five of the Child … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, folk music, folk song, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Short Story: Usher’s Well

She waits by the window. Behind her, the kitchen clock beats out the time. Seconds slip away into minutes; minutes pile up into hours. Strangers’ voices fill the room: the pips, the news, The Archers, drama, more news. She listens. … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, death, folk music, folk song, Harriet Goodchild author, Karine Polwart, Music, short story | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments


In the absence of any news or thoughts about novel writing, here are a few poems. Most were written quickly for twitter. Triolets A rising tide A fullblown moon In crimson dyed A rising tide Sense override To sleep too … Continue reading

Posted in folk song, haiku, triolet, twitter poems, verse | Tagged | 5 Comments

New book: ‘The Crooked Path’

There’s news! Today I signed a contract with Eric T. Reynolds of Hadley Rille Books for The Crooked Path. It’s a prequel, after a fashion, to After the Ruin, and is a fairy-tale inspired by Celtic mythology and Greek myth. … Continue reading

Posted in Allegory, fantasy novel, folk song, Hadley Rille Books, Harriet Goodchild author, novel | Tagged | 4 Comments

‘Folk song’ in fantasy (Another post on world-building)

It’s no secret that After the Ruin was largely inspired by folk songs and that the book is a conscious response to many of the themes and motifs found in the Child Ballads. I’ve written about such things here so I won’t … Continue reading

Posted in Child Ballad, fantasy novel, folk song, verse | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My first villanelle

I was playing around the other night trying to write a villanelle. Doing so is, of course, far harder than proper poets like Dylan Thomas make it look, but I managed, in the end, to come up with something that fits the … Continue reading

Posted in folk song, verse | Tagged | 11 Comments