SOUNDTRACK 11+ years (Young Picador)

*Scottish Arts Council Book Award 2000

*Scottish Arts Council Writers' Bursary

*Shortlisted for the S.Lanarkshire Book Award

*Waterstone's Book of the Month

*The Guardian's Children's Book of the Week

'Brilliant...a superbly drawn, complex portrait of adolescence.' The Sunday Telegraph

'This is outstanding writing.' The Scotsman

'mesmerising...powerful, compelling and memorable.'

The Guardian

'Julie Bertagna weaves a magic....(her) writing is refreshingly light and powerfully creative.' Julia Eccleshare. Children's Book Editor

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'Utterly compelling, literary and action packed. Bertagna's empathy with this 'awkward age' is total.' Lindsay Fraser, Scottish Book Trust

'An original, strikingly confident story. ' The Independent


A comet hangs like an omen over the ocean and music-mad Finn hears strange sounds that draw him towards the sea. Disaster hits Laggandall Bay and Finn is hurled into battle with the forces that threaten to break him, his friendships and his town.....

The Story Behind the Story

One sunny morning on the stunning train journey up to Rannoch to write the last part of The Spark Gap (which is set there) I saw the most beautiful little village at the head of a sea loch. Then the train turned a bend and I saw that the village was right beside a huge ugly brute of a building. This was Faslane, the nuclear naval base. What a horrible thing to put in such a beautiful setting, I thought. Months later I was in Carradale, on the Mull of Kintyre, a tiny fishing village and I saw the bronze plaque on the harbour in memory of the four young men who died in the Antares disaster in 1990. A nuclear submarine had caught in the nets of a fishing trawler and in seconds the boat was dragged to the depths, drowning the men on board who were all from Carradale. I remembered Faslane and the village of Garelochhead; I remembered the colourful cluster of peace camp caravans I had seen at the side of the road. And I felt there was such a strong, moving story in all this......

But the book wasn't easy to write. Some people very close to me died and suddenly I was living through my own personal disasters. It was hard. At one point I felt ready to bin the whole book. I just couldn't get it to work.' 

Over to you....

'Days are eggshell. And today, any day at all, could be the last ordinary day of your life and you wouldn't know - the day the eggshell cracks and nothing is ever the same again. Because a day can shatter in pieces, as many pieces as there are waves in the sea.'

Soundtrack is the story of how sixteen year old Finn's life changes forever. Write about the day, real or imagined, that your life or someone else's changes forever.

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