Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kickstarting the Muse by Naomi Clark


I have to admit, although I will talk jokingly about my muse as a writer, I don't really believe in the concept of The Muse. If I write, or don't, it isn't because of the influence of some mythical, mental creature – it's entirely down to me. And so far in 2013, well...I haven't been a very good writer. I've struggled to find my groove and get productive and it would be so nice if I could blame that on a mythical, mental creature! Alas, I have to take responsibility and admit that I just haven't had the direction or the energy for creative works for most of this year.

So what to do? I'm a writer – I want to write! How do you get that groove back after a long, dry break? I tried lots of things: writing in different genres than usual, rewriting old projects, revisiting abandoned projects...Nothing held my interest. I started to panic, thinking maybe I'd lost “it.” Maybe whatever it was that made me a writer had just fizzled out and I'd never do it again. I lost confidence and found myself telling people that I wasn't really writing anymore. That's a very odd thing to be telling people when, for your entire life, all you've told people is that you're a writer!

Then, just when I reached the point where I'd resigned myself to having lost the muse, I had some good news. My novel, SILVER KISS, was going to be republished by Evernight. Now, this would be exciting anyway, but it was doubly exciting because SILVER KISS was my first contracted novel, the first book where a publisher had said, yes, we want this! And it was a real success for me – it was one of the American Library Association's recommended reads for 2011, a huge achievement for me! To know it was going to get a new home and be out in the world again gave me a little kick.

That little kick became a little voice. A little “what if?” What if SILVER KISS was well-received once again? What if I submitted the sequel to Evernight as well? What if I could write a third book? And quietly, slowly, those little what ifs became bigger ones. Ideas for expanding the Urban Wolf world and developing the characters started filtering into my imagination. I found myself researching bits of folklore and mythology and wondering how I could use them in a third book. The muse, that sly devil, was waking up.

And once it started waking, I started writing. I've got a couple of short projects on the go now, which I think will be perfect for easing me back into a writing schedule. And the ideas for Urban Wolf 3 are coming thick and fast...especially now that Urban Wolf 2 has been accepted by Evernight! So I guess the moral of the story is, you can't keep a good writer (or muse) quiet for long. It feels so good to have fallen back in love with writing, so let me share a snippet of the book that brought my muse back to life.


SILVER KISS

Shannon sighed and shook her head. “I hate it when you’re like this. Let’s just go to bed and talk in the morning, okay?”
“Like what?” I challenged, barely hearing her. “When I’m like what?”
“Stubborn. Werewolfy.” She began stripping off, keeping her back to me as she peeled off her top. “Bitchy.” She glanced at me over her shoulder, a deliberately coy look, all pouting lips and creamy skin. “Drop it and come to bed.” She was trying to distract my wolf with sex.
And it was working. My anger cooled a little at the sight of her naked back and slender hips, the dusky rose satin of her bra. I wet my lips, not sure if I was ready to stop being angry. “I’m not bitchy.”
“You are.” She unzipped her jeans and did a little shimmy for me as she slid them off. “You’re being bitchy because I insulted your precious Pack. The Pack you took off from because they were so close-minded and intolerant, remember?”
Her tone was light, teasing. Soothing the savage beast, I thought with a flicker of annoyance. But it worked every time, damn her. My wolf responded to her even when I wanted to stay mad and argue some more.
Grudgingly, I shucked off my own clothes and rolled under the duvet, determined not to let her have it all her own way. She was going to have to work for it.
Shannon slid in beside me, pressing her naked body to mine with a little wriggle. “Look at me,” she coaxed, slipping her arms around me. “We’re not going to fall out over this, are we?”
I turned, keeping my sulky mask in place while internally my wolf wagged her tail. “Depends….”
She tugged gently at my lip ring. “Bad dog. No brooding in bed, remember?”
That slight tug sent a shiver through me, as if she’d touched me far more intimately and a little more of my anger dripped away. “You’re not playing fair. Why can’t I just be angry?” I complained.
“Ayla, you don’t even know what you’re angry about.” She traced the shape of my lips with her fingertips. “You just get yourself all worked up and forget why you started.” She kissed me chastely, sending butterflies fluttering through me. “Your eyes have gone all wolfy,” she murmured.
My vision shifted, changing the world to sepia hues. Shannon’s blonde hair turned to dark honey, her blue eyes fading to a whitish-yellow. My wolf prowled through me, eager to claim her mate and I gave in. Shannon was right; I didn’t really know what I was mad about. Molly was home and safe. Surely that was the most important thing.
That and Shannon’s hands trailing lazy paths down my body, pooling wet heat between my thighs. I growled again, aroused this time, and took her mouth with a deep kiss. She snuggled closer to me, fingers slipping down between my legs. I closed my wolfy eyes, feeling those butterflies grow bigger as she teased and toyed with me. I wanted to roll her over and take her, no games, no waiting. My anger burned away in the heat of my sudden desire. I writhed and moaned as Shannon whipped me into a frenzy with her clever fingers and sweet lips.

SILVER KISS

Ayla Hammond has come home. After years as a lone wolf in a self-imposed exile she's rejoining the pack and trying to mend fences with her parents. She's convinced them to accept her girlfriend, but can a lone wolf change her ways? As if homecoming wasn't hard enough, Ayla also can't help getting involved in a missing person case. With pressure to solve the case mounting from the pack alphas, Ayla is starting to question where her loyalties lie - and if a return to the pack she left behind is really what she wants.

Silver Kiss is available here!

Naomi Clark

Naomi Clark is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. When she's not writing, Naomi loves making perfume, drinking fancy tea, and watching weird and unusual documentaries – the weirder the better! She lives in Cambridge with her fiance, one neurotic cat, and two lazy snakes.

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