Meet My Muse with Alison Stuart
While I would like to think of my muse as an ethereal personage, perched atop my bookshelf, helpfully strumming a lyre and dropping pearls of wisdom on to my desk, I suspect my muse is more likely to be found in a drunken stupor underneath my desk or completely absent and drinking wine with other muses at a local taverna.
The only time I can guarantee that my muse will present herself in good order at my study door is when I am in the middle of a household or work crisis and writing is the furthest thing from my mind. Then, and only then, will Calliope, Clio or Thalia (or whatever her name is) pluck at my sleeve with a passage of purple prose to impart a fabulous idea for a new story.
In short muses are unreliable and no substitute for hard graft.
While I was writing The King’s Man (which is a re-edited re release of a book I mostly wrote when I was living in Singapore) my muse was mostly to be found in a heat induced stupor, reclining on a sofa under the airconditioning.
I had been really struggling with the hero, Kit Lovell’s motivation for what he was doing (and it is pretty reprehensible). It all seemed very self serving and not in the least bit ‘heroic’. He was more anti-hero than hero… Sensing my frustration Calliope/Clio/Thalia roused herself sufficiently to prod Kit into a conversation with me.
Wiping the tropical sweat from his handsome brow (he was rather overdressed for the weather), he parked himself on a corner of the desk and said quite clearly in his slightly French-accented English. ‘You do realise this is all because of my brother…’
Brother? He had a brother? No one (particularly Calliope/Clio/Thalia) had mentioned a brother before… and of course it all fell into place. There could only be one motivation for what he was doing and it had nothing to do with him. Far from selfish, Kit was selfless.
With Kit’s motivation now clear, the whole book fell into place… and had its flow on to By The Sword. The conclusion (Book 3 – Exile’s Return) is that brother’s story…
Calliope/Clio/Thalia waved a languid hand from the sofa and muttered something about ‘My pleasure… no need to thank me…’ before reaching for another gin and tonic.
However these moments are few and far between, most of my writing involves gluing my backside to my desk seat and hewing my stories out of granite. And in the absence of lyre playing ethereal beings, most of the time I just have to put up with the ‘mewse’ of the feline kind… the late and still much missed, Oliver Kat and now his brother Toby…
The King’s Man (Book 2 in the Guardians of the Crown series)
The second in a tantalising trilogy from award-winning author Alison Stuart, about warriors, the wounds they carry, and the women that help them heal.
London 1654: Kit Lovell is one of the King’s men, a disillusioned Royalist who passes his time cheating at cards, living off his wealthy and attractive mistress, and plotting the death of Oliver Cromwell.
Penniless and friendless, Thamsine Granville has lost everything. Terrified, in pain, and alone, she hurls a piece of brick at the coach of Oliver Cromwell, and earns herself an immediate death sentence. Only the quick thinking of a stranger saves her.
Far from the bored, benevolent rescuer that he seems, Kit plunges Thamsine into his world of espionage and betrayal – a world that has no room for falling in love.
Torn between Thamsine and loyalty to his master and King, Kit’s carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. He must make one last desperate gamble – the cost of which might be his life.
About the Author
Award winning Australian author, Alison Stuart learned her passion from history from her father. She has been writing stories since her teenage years but it was not until 2007 that her first full length novel was published. Alison has now published 6 full length historical romances and a collection of her short stories. Her disposition for writing about soldier heroes may come from her varied career as a lawyer in the military and fire services. These days when she is not writing she is travelling and routinely drags her long suffering husband around battlefields and castles.
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