Friday, 23 November 2012

What's with the Muses?

I was recently invited as a guest to a new blog run by four lovely fellow authors. It's called "Four Seduced Muses" and I'm reposting the main article here, in case you missed it (Still, the blog is worth checking out, so after you finished here, go visit them:

I always find it hard to come up with something to write. Guest blog posts are even trickier because they're about addressing a different circle of people than my own readers. In this case, however, it was fairly easy for me to find a topic. The name of the blog. Four Seduced Muses. It's a great name and I like the imagery. Above all, I like muses. Or rather, the Muse—my muse, precisely.

 But what is this “muse” that authors, or creative people in general, talk about so frequently? 

The Muses (…) in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths.”
The classical understanding of the Muses considered them nine goddesses “who embody the arts and inspire creation with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music, and dance”.
"In modern English usage, muse (non capitalized but deriving from the classical Muses) can refer in general to a person who inspires an artist, writer, or musician."
So far the Wikipedia explanation. But do muses exist? And if they do, what are they? Goddesses? Ordinary people who, for some reason trigger a creative process in a writer, singer, sculptor or painter? Or is the muse perhaps simply an aspect of a creative person's own mind, of their subconscious, that reveals itself in certain situations or with a certain stimulation? 

Maybe looking at a creative process in action makes it easier to build an opinion. For me, writing usually works like this: I have a general idea to start with. I'll grab my laptop, sit down with it and start. Most of the time, that's the moment the story starts developing. Sometimes what happens is not at all what I thought would happen. Sometimes I find myself writing things I never thought I would write. I wrote characters I never thought I would write. It's like the words are just flowing through me, or, as a friend and fellow author once described it, “the story is being channelled through me”. It already exists somewhere, all I have to do is write it down. 

Now I'd like to hear your opinion. What do you think muses are? Favourable goddesses? Ordinary people? A subconscious part of the artist themselves? 

I honestly don't know. All I know is that my muse can be very generous. Oh, and I think his name is Matt.

If you'd like to read more about what writing means for a passionate author, why don’t you give my Phoenix-series a try? Jazz Spencer can tell you far more eloquently what it’s like to be a neurotic author.

Catching a Phoenix
(MM contemporary erotic romance, novel)

Confined to rural England for a holiday, Ryan Holmes isn’t expecting the only person within a five-mile radius to be the man of his dreams. Hotheaded but introverted, Jazz Spencer, Ryan’s solitary neighbour, may look like a dream come true but has the potential to become a nightmare.

Giving in to mutual attraction, they begin an affair, and Ryan finds himself increasingly intrigued. But even though they are obviously very compatible on a physical level, Jazz remains distant. His reluctance to reveal his feelings, or indeed much personal information at all, forces Ryan to make his own assumptions, which mostly turn out to be painfully wrong.

Ryan soon has to realise that whenever he is about to fall in love, Jazz just shies away, leaving Ryan's heart burned by the heat of passion.

Determined that he can solve the mystery that Jazz is to him anyway, Ryan sets out to catch him for good.


Barnes and Noble:

 available as e-book and in print


Keeping a Phoenix

(MM contemporary erotic romance / novel, sequel to “Catching a Phoenix”)


Catching a Phoenix was just the beginning.

Sinfully sexy and intriguingly smart but highly strung and neurotic, best-selling author Jazz Spencer, aka JS Phoenix, isn't one to be kept easily. He wants love but doesn't know how to live his happy-ever-after now that he has found it with Ryan Holmes, who, deeply infatuated with him, would do anything for Jazz - if only he knew how to keep his precious Phoenix.

Just as it seems that Ryan is finally getting somewhere with Jazz, things take a dramatic turn and Ryan finds himself broken-hearted after yet another break-up. He is certain that they will never meet again until one day, Jazz returns into his life, ready to start all over.

As Ryan unveils Jazz’s secrets, he is determined not to let him escape again. Going all in, he shows Jazz exactly how much he's wanted - with astonishing results.


Barnes and Noble:

available as e-book and in print




  1. That's interesting about your muse named Matt. LOL. I always thought a creative person's muse was a part of their psyche that needed expression in words, crafts, art etc. Are the Phoenix series similar to shapeshifter stories?

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

    1. Hm, I like your explanation of the muse being a part of the creative person's psyche - maybe I should refer to that part as Matt ;)
      The Phoenix books have nothing to do with shapeshifters. The explanation for the phoenix reference is rather boring, I'm afraid. Jazz Spencer is an author, and JS Phoenix is his pen name.

  2. Sage,

    I don't think your explanation is boring at all about the Phoenix, and is quite cute since his name is Phoenix. Also there can be such meaning in rising from the ashes of his situation etc.

    strive4bst (Jess)