Oh, the beloved muse or in some cases, the dreaded muse. No one has the same one. Some people have more than one. Sometimes they are beyond annoying because they disappear for days, weeks, months at a time. Regardless of what or who your muse is, when they're around and doing what they do best—inspire—they are precious commodities.
The muses of six authors were recently interviewed in a no-holds-barred question period. Here's what they had to say. Enjoy.
Hello muses. Since I don’t have specific names for any of you, I'm just going to assign you your author’s name. Is that okay?
Megan Derr: Well it's more of a name than I usually get
Xara X. Xanakas: Is that a trick question?
Piper Vaughn: No comment
Melanie Tushmore: Melanie's Muse is fine, I suppose. ::mutter mutter::
T.A. Chase: Sure, but I do have a name. :D
K-lee Klein: That's perfectly fine, and thank you very much for having me.
~~First of all, is there a different name you’d like to be referred to?
Megan: 'Lord and Master' is acceptable
Xara: Well, She calls me Spunky, so I guess that’ll do.
Piper: Call me Ed. :)
Melanie: I have many names, most of them curse words.
T.A.: Hello, my name is Marcus and I’m a muse.
~~What do you look like? Are you male or female or do you even have a gender? Do your looks change depending on what you’re “musing” about?
Megan Derr: I'm whatever gets the job done, which can sometimes be extremely aggravating, and I really prefer to skip the details.
Xara: *Spunky points to his picture below* Just look at me.Piper: I’m genderless and my looks usually change depending on the idea. Sometimes I might be a demon, or a nerdy hottie wearing glasses, or a crossdressing bartender with a fondness for blue nail polish and eyeliner. ;)
Melanie: Gorgeous, androgynous, and more 'ous' words... The obnoxious son of bad fairies and rock stars.
T.A.: I’m male, and have dark hair. I’m really quite charming when I need to be to get TA to write, or as she’ll say I can be a complete nag as well.
~~I’ve heard some people say they have more than one muse? Do you have a partner or are you single?
Megan:Single. Can't get her to get through what's already on the to do list, what good would more of me do? Go to waste, that's what.
Xara: I work alone, baby. She can barely keep up with me as it is. Have you seen my scorecard? I keep her hopping.
Piper: Single and loving it. I think Piper might combust if I had a partner. I keep her busy enough.
Melanie: Often I have to fight for position with vintage photos of Axl Rose, and random photos of actors.
T.A.: No partner. It’s just me, and at times, TA will tell you, I’m more than enough for her to handle.
~~Writers sometimes refer to you going on vacation or falling off the map, usually in much more profane ways. Where do you actually go?
Megan:I go wherever the hell I want, when I want, and sometimes that is far, far away from the writer. Everybody needs breaks.
Xara: I lurk around the edges, always there. Okay, I admit that sometimes, I get tanked and disappear for a while, but when I climb out of that gutter, I am right back on top of things, spitting ideas at her like crazy. In fact, I just shot another one at her.
Piper: Barbados. :D You can find me on the beach with a rum runner and a book.
Melanie: I tell 'Tush I'm partying hard with my peers, although actually I'm sitting outside her window pulling faces and laughing as she beats her forehead on her computer.
T.A.: Me? I never take a day off. I’m dedicated to my job. I can’t risk TA getting too lazy if I’m not around here.
K-lee: I would choose to stay with K-lee all the time but—
K-lee2: I make him take some time off. He's too damn strict on himself and we all need a break to have some fun, right, Phai-baby? Remember the last time when we went to Brazil and I took you to that exclusive bathhouse and you got your...
K-lee2: Yes, sir. general, sir. *snorts*
~~Are you comfortable with your writer working on more than one project or do you prefer to inspire one story at a time?
Megan:I've been trying to break her to multiple projects for years. Not very good at it, but I still have hope.
Xara: I’m a “what if…” kind of muse. I drop the little crumbs and make her work for the story. Sometimes I sneak up while she’s writing and derail the whole thing. Those are fun times.
(He’s a freaking deadbeat dad, knocking up plot bunnies and leaving me to raise them – Author)
Piper: My writer can usually only work on one or two things at a time anyway, but usually focuses on one, so this isn’t really an issue for me.
Melanie: I like to give her as many ideas as possible, in the hopes that one day she'll spontaenously combust.
T.A.: Of course, I’m fine with her working on more than one. Hell, if the characters pay me enough, I’ll have her working on three or four. How do you think I can afford these awesome clothes?
K-lee2: I'll take this one, Phai. I think the woman HAS to work on more than one thing at a time. She's never been officially diagnosed but I'm pretty sure she has ADD or ADHD or whatever the hell they call it now. She gets stuck on one thing and then just switches to something... hey, Phai! I can't find my green sneakers, have you seen them?
~~What’s the most outrageous idea you ever tried to get your writer to work on? Did she do it?
Megan:She hasn't done it yet, but she'll be getting to it soon. Want to screw with an author really well? Time travel is the way to go. Lots of swearing and sulking involved there, it's fantastic.
Xara: Uh, you have seen some of the things I’ve made her write, right? I mean, a were-boa constrictor? Who does that? She’s got stories for a were-scorpion, a were-chicken, and even a were-bunny thanks to me.
Piper: Hmmm. I’d rather not give out the whole idea, but let’s just say it has to do with tattooed convicts. And she’s still thinking about it. :P
Melanie: I gave her dreams about fairies and ghosts, and she's currently writing both. However they never turn out how I originally plan them!
T.A.: Hmmm….to be honest I haven’t come up an outrageous idea yet, but I do believe if I do find something totally crazy, TA will write it. She’s pretty willing to try just about anything once. Twice if she likes it. ;)
K-lee: I cannot think of anything outrageous that we've inspired her to write.
K-lee2: What about that wolf/gypsy/witch/lion thing? Or don't you consider menage as outrageous, Phai-baby? You did the other night when I suggested it.
K-lee: Jared! That story is not menage, it just has a lot of characters. Now please hush so we can continue.
~~Now some questions from some contributors on Twitter:
~~“Why the hell can’t you stick to my outlines?”~~
Megan: They're wrong, obviously.
Xara: Now where would the fun be in that? Come on. If you knew how what was going to, why bother writing it?
Piper: To paraphrase Elizabeth in Pirates of the Caribbean, “You’re writers. Hang the outlines! They’re really more like vague suggestions anyway.” ;D
Melanie: Because I'm a free spirit (and a goddamn pest)
T.A.: What are these outlines you talk about? I don’t have any rules to follow or anything. I go wherever I want, and it doesn’t matter what she’s written down. I’m the one in charge. Not her.
K-lee2: I'm a song writer and we don't use no goddamn outlines so why should she get to have one? That's not even a real question. Phai, are you rolling your eyes at me again? I told you, man, they're gonna stay that way. Freaky, dude.
~~“Why are you more active at bedtime?”~~
Megan:That's when they drop their guard, easier to slip in and crank it up to overdrive
Xara: I’m just a night-owl. What can I say?
Piper: I’m a night owl. Luckily my writer is, too.
Melanie: Night is more exciting (and I'm a goddamn pest)
T.A.: Because most of the time I’ve been asleep during the day. TA can attest to that, considering some times it’s harder for her to write.
K-lee: Most of my inspirational thoughts are sent during the day but Jared and K-lee are both insomniacs so they are very compatible in that regard.
K-lee2: The night's where the magic happens, baby.
~~“Why so stubborn muse? Why you hide things from me at first then only reveal them later?”~~
Megan:Because authors are meant to be screwed with, and it keeps things interesting
Xara: I like to make it interesting. Keeps you on your toes.
Piper: I like to maintain an air of mystery. Keeps me young.
Melanie: I have to entertain myself somehow...it's like a game of cluedo with you authors.
T.A.: Trust me, it’s rough being all-knowing, and I don’t have to give away all my secrets at once.
K-lee: It's not my intention to be stubborn.
K-lee2: It's more fun that way.
~~“Why do you sneak up on me in the shower?”~~
Xara: Because I like you wet and naked?
Piper: Well, I like seeing Piper scramble to remember the idea afterward, of course. Nothing like a bit of torture at shower time.Melanie: I'm an outrageous pervert.
T.A.: You’re kind of a captive audience. Best time to grab you is when you’re naked and wet. You’re not going to run off anywhere without me.
K-lee: I don't think I go near her when she's in the shower. That's just not in my nature.
K-lee2: He's telling the truth there. Besides, she'd probably just pull out that iPad of hers like she does in the tub.
~~“Do you sit and ponder about ways to torture your writer or does it just come naturally?”~~
Megan:Any good muse, torture is a mix of natural talent and practice, practice, practice.
Xara: It’s all me, baby. Besides, she makes it too easy for me.
Piper: Oh, this talent at torture is 100% all natural. :D
Melanie: It's all natural, darling. I'm a sadist.
T.A.: It comes naturally. Trust me. Not everyone can be a muse.
K-lee: By the gods, I hope she doesn't think I torture her. I'm very fond of her. That's very upsetting.
K-lee2: I'm a bit of a sadist so I enjoy it. Ah, Phai. Does the big, tough general need a tissue?
~~“If you’re so smart, why can’t you write the stories yourself so I can do more reading?”~~
Megan: Because then I'd never get to do more reading.
Xara: Because I love to watch her squirm. I drop an idea, then sit back, pour a drink, and watch the fun begin.
Piper: Hey, my job is to provide the ideas. I can’t be expected to actually do anything with them. I’d rather be reading myself.Melanie: How very dare you! If I'm that unappreciated, I'll be packing my bags and leaving for Hollywood. Goodness knows script writers need some original ideas these days! Now get back to writing ::cracks whip::
T.A.: Hey, I’m busy enough organizing all the characters for all TA’s stories. I never get a damn day off. Don’t ask me to write the stupid things as well.
K-lee: I am very satisfied with helping K-lee with her writing but I have no dreams of doing it myself. I do not do a lot of reading either. Someone has to babysit Jared, after all.
K-lee2: Dude, that's not cool.
K-lee: I apologize, Jared.
K-lee2: You're too easy, Phai-baby. Wanna go jump in the hot tub.
<-- "Lord and Master" would love for you to check out Megan Derr's LiveJournal here, but he asks you to please do it quietly in case he's down for a nap.
Xara X. Xanakas and "Spunky" -->
can be found hanging out here. Spunky asks that you please bring your own wine and glass because as he's an expensive drunk. Xara says, "he chugged that wine and tossed the glass onto the floor when he finished"
Piper Vaughn and "Ed" spend a lot of their time here. Drop on over and check out "Tattoo Tuesday", it's a fan fave.
Melanie Tushmore and her muse-of-many-curse-words are usually getting busy here and they'd love it if you stopped by for some cocktales and hot sauce.
<-- "Marcus" and T.A. Chase do some fabulous blot stories. You can check them out here. She says that Marcus is a little shy at first but he'll bring you flowers. Gotta love that.
And finally, Hephaistion, Jared and I would like to thank all these lovely authors for agreeing to this gruelling interview - oh and their muses too. You can find us right here for your viewing pleasure. Thanks for stopping by. :)