Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Muse by Fred Warren

Stan Marino is a struggling writer looking for shot of inspiration to take him to the next level. He finds his muse, but it’s nothing like what he expected, and he discovers his world’s a lot stranger and more dangerous than he ever imagined. He’s in a battle for his soul, with the fate of the people he loves most in the balance.

An interview with Fred Warren:

Why did you write this book?
The Muse started out as a writing exercise--an attempt to prove to myself that I could write something more substantial than a short story. I figured I'd soon run out of ideas and resort to typing out random thoughts or my wife's recipe for chicken enchiladas, but to my great surprise and delight, the story kept flowing. The characters took on life, and things began happening that I hadn't expected. Fifty thousand words or so later, I had something I wanted to finish properly and share with other people.

What do you like best about it? In the course of having the manuscript reviewed and critiqued, I was pleased to discover that the story seems to make a solid emotional connection with the reader. I've had three different people tell me it made them cry--in a good way. There's a lot of lighthearted fun, mystery, adventure, romance, and even a few chills mixed in, but after all was said and done, I wanted the story to be uplifting, and I think it is.

What was hardest to write? The beginning and the ending were the most difficult in that I was worried about getting it right. The start of a story is like meeting a friend, and you only get one chance to make a first impression. Likewise, the end should leave the reader with a satisfying sense of closure and a memorable image that lingers in the mind.

What do you want people to get from the book? This story is about inspiration--its meaning, origins, and purpose. It also explores the idea that there's more than one kind of inspiration, and it's important to understand the source, nature, and ultimate effects of the creative energy we're using. I think creation is perhaps the most human activity of all, for in the act of creating, whether it's producing a work of art, telling a story, building a business, or raising a family, we express in microcosm the nature of the Creator, who gave us life and made us in His image with the intent that we, in our small, clumsy way, attempt the sorts of things He does with perfect excellence.

How do you want to be remembered as a writer? Well, being remembered at all would be really cool, but I guess I'd like people to think of me as someone who writes fun stories that they enjoy reading.

What's next for you?
I've got two more novel projects in the works, a sci-fi action-adventure story and a sequel to The Muse. I've also got some short stories on the way, "The Silver Tree" is coming out at the end of this year in a print journal called Kaleidotrope, and "The Chamber of Doors" will be in the April 2010 edition of Bards & Sages Quarterly, an online journal. Digital Dragon Online Magazine is also featuring one of my stories in its December 2009 issue.

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