Meet Sarah, Muse of Urban Fantasy Novels

The trouble is that there wasn’t a muse for novels, especially not urban fiction, until she introduced herself to me.

A bit of history about the muses. The Greeks recognized them as demigoddesses, only a few at first, but eventually nine. There is a muse for history (Clio), for religious music (Polyhymnia), and love poetry (Erato). There are muses for comedic plays, tragic plays, non-sacred music, and epic poems, dance, and others. The Greeks didn’t have the novel form, though, so there wasn’t a muse for it. (If you want more detail, I checked in Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.)

The Renaissance and especially the classical revival of the 17th century saw a great fascination in Europe for all things ancient Greek. The Muses were rediscovered and revered. Huge amounts of works in all the arts were inspired by or dedicated to the muses, who were also often the subjects of that art. The representation of the Muses was stylized. For example, the Muses for the tragedies and comedies always have their masks, and another always has a lyre. Flowing robes, classical beauty, and “Ode to a Grecian Urn” territory, although Keats was later.

Still, no muse for a writer of urban fantasy. Problem. I need inspiration, the creative spark that comes from beyond, as much as anyone else trying to produce art, or at least entertaining stories that lots and lots of people want to read. That’s when Sarah entered my life, and she’s here to stay.

Sarah doesn’t look much like her sisters. She dresses emo-goth, for starters. Fond of tight long black sleeves and fish-net black stockings, and anyone who questions her fashion sense can take a flying leap. There’s a choker collar, and silver chains, and a nose ring. She’s slender like her sisters, but a bit more solid, not so distantly beautiful as pretty, with a few dark moles. She has purple spiky hair, dark eyeshadow above slanted eyes, and a quirky smile.

Sarah doesn’t act exactly like her sisters, either. They pose gracefully on those reclining ancient Greek chair/sofa things, while she tends to stand with her arms crossed glaring and tapping a finger on her arm. They gently breath ideas and motivation into the artistic mind, while Sarah tends to ambush the mortal like a big sister ready to wrestle if he or she doesn’t get a move on right now. Not that she’s harsh. She praises good efforts and often leans a hip on the desk, humming, while the writer works.

She’s my muse, and when I need to know what to write next, I just ask Sarah. Life’s never dull.

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