Captain Swing and the Blacksmith is a novel inspired by traditional song. I was attracted to the terse economy of prose that is found in English folk song and the quirky melodic structure that is a characteristic of this tradition. Folk song is idiosyncratic in nature; lines are strung together in another-worldly marriage of tune and verse resulting in a singular power. Strong emotion and drama, and indeed whole epics, can be successfully conveyed in a few lines. And these sparse lyrics, handed down from one voice to another, are a lesson for any would be writer in choosing a few but well considered words over complexity of language. I wanted to produce a story in prose that mirrored the simplicity of these lyrics and yet was a deeper exploration into the lives of the characters that coloured the verses.