When Your Muse Mutates…

Attn:  I’m tagging this post as EYE CANDY.

My muse has been known to mutate.  It’s not his fault.  I take complete responsibility.  I get the kernel of a story in my head, and then I begin to ponder physical traits for my hero.  I rarely start with more than an amalgam of gorgeousness in mind.  Tall, of course.  Usually dark, but not always.  Broad shouldered and narrow hipped (I like swimmer’s bodies).  The eyes are a shade of blue, running from pale through electric (I reserve green eyes for my heroines).

I can chug along at the beginning of a story with this vague notion of my hero while I’m elbowing him in the ribs and generally getting to know him.  But sometimes I hit a snag.  I lose the excitement.  I need a nudge.

I begin a reconnaissance mission.

The first place I look is movies and TV.  Who is currently floating my boat in the celebrity arena?

While I was writing The Gettysburg Vampire (which will debut November 5 from Crimson Romance), I was heavy into The Tudors on Netflix.  And, woo doggies, I did like me some Henry Cavill.

He served me very well for quite a few chapters, and then I decided that he wasn’t dark enough (emotionally).  The better I became acquainted with my hero, the more tortured he became.  My muse needed to be more mysterious and brooding.

I began another quest.

My friend, Rachel (who’s English), asked if I’d ever seen the BBC series, North and South?  I wondered why the BBC would be doing a story about the Civil War, but she said that this was about England in the Industrial Revolution and the differences between the industrial north and the agricultural south.  Hmm.  Okay.   Turns out this wasn’t really about a story line, it was about the male lead, Richard Armitage.  Wowzers.

Yes, he was a perfect Malcolm McClellan, Ph.D.–college professor, Union cavalry officer…and vampire.

And then I saw Michael Fassbender in Jane Eyre, and when I needed an extra oomph of pure angst, I inserted him into a scene.  I’m big into five o’clock shadow.

And occasionally, I’d need a man in uniform.  Here’s James McAvoy as a Union officer.

How about you?  Does your muse ever mutate?


  1. Very fun post, Susan!
    -R.T. Wolfe
    Black Creek Burning (Sept 24)

  2. My hero stays the same throughout my story, but my heroes are all pretty different from one another, physically, as well as their personalities. Always interesting to hear how other people work and how much it varies. And…the eye candy wasn’t too bad either. Thanks, Susan!

  3. Wait–this was about how you work, Susan? Wow. I guess I’ll have to reread it. After I delete the images so I can actually pay attention to the words.

  4. That top guy is sooo foxy. Is that the guy from Borgias? The only reason I watch that show is because he’s soooo foxy.

    • It’s Henry Cavill from The Tudors. He’s going to be the next Superman, so you’ll be seeing a lot of him.

  5. Too funny. I have two of my heroes on my desk – viewable. My ginger headed grocery store owner from current WIP and my witch hunter/corporate lawyer from A Member of the Council.

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