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Showing posts from January, 2010

January Reading

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As well as writing books, it may surprise you to know my author also reads them – and, fortunately for all the other authors in the world, she reads a lot more than she writes. This is not because she likes reading more than writing. It’s time. Since she takes an average of nine months to write a book and only nine days to read one, by the Muse’s calculations she gets through about three and a third books every month, or 40 books a year… am I right? (Remember I have to do this calculation in base 4 because I’ve only got four hooves – sometimes it’s tough being a unicorn!) Anyway, at the end of each month I’ll take a peek at my author’s bedside table and tell you what she reads when she thinks nobody’s looking…

1. ALIEN INFLUENCES – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
I happen to know my author has read this book at least twice, which means it’s comfort reading. (She needs some comfort, because it’s snowing outside and she’s been recovering from flu.) It’s a science fiction novel that tells the stor…

A Zook’s Tale (avoiding unmentionable animals).

My author tells me pigs are out of fashion these days in publishing circles, which means I’m not allowed to post her first story here! I think she might have made that up to stop me embarrassing her… but bowed horn if I have offended in any way. Is anyone offended?

Pigs are not half as beautiful as unicorns, so I promised her I would not mention them again. I am still going to post her story, though, because I am a muse and stories are more important to me than fashion. To avoid offending anyone, I’m going to change the unmentionable animal into a fantasy creature called a zook. The story will work just as well, maybe even better. (In case you’re wondering, a zook is bright yellow, about as big as your thumb, can make itself invisible, and comes from the far side of the Universe…)

“A Zook’s Tale” - written by Katherine Roberts when she worked at GEC, edited for the modern reader by Reclusive Muse.

My first impressions of Planet Earth were somewhat less than favourable. It all began with …

Katherine’s first ever stories!

After sending you all away to read the first story you ever wrote (you can come back now!), I thought I’d dig out my author’s first ever story so you can all have a good laugh. This has proved more difficult than you might think, since back when my author wrote her first story, computers had not been invented. In fact, she says she didn’t even write her first stories down. She just told them to her little brother at bedtime…

Katherine’s first ever story (aged 8)
Snowy, Silks and Soot.
Actually a series of stories about three magical dogs who lived in kennels in the clouds. Snowy was a proud white terrier, Silks was a beautiful golden retriever, and Soot was a black mongrel who got into a lot of trouble. Her brother (aged 4) had three little plastic dogs he used to play with, so that was where the characters came from. She says she can’t remember the plots! But they had some amazing adventures and kept her little brother amused (a-muse-d, get it?).

Katherine’s first illustrated book (aged …

Stranger Eyes – Muse’s Secret Formula for revising your story.

As you might have gathered, my author has just come back from holiday. She has been catching up with all the emails and letters that arrived while she was away, so I have come over here to blog because she always tells me to get lost if she’s stressed. But the bemused (be-muse-d, get it?) look on her face when she opened her front door reminded me of my Secret Formula for revision, so this might be a good time to tell you about it.

You know how, when you’ve been away for a while and just come home, your house or your bedroom seems strange? It has all the same things in it that you left there (assuming you haven't been burgled!) and yet it almost seems like someone else’s place. Well, my author had just this feeling when she walked back into her house on Sunday. She immediately saw several things she had not noticed before… like a hole in the curtain that needed sewing up (it was Tara’s claws, not my horn – honest!), like the ash in my incense burner that she had forgotten to clean …

Why you never see a unicorn on skis.

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Bowed horn for my long absence! But my author went away one snowy morning with a heavy suitcase and a shovel in the back of her car and did not come back. She left her cat Tara…



who started making horrible mewing noises and scratching at the doors. Naturally I was worried about my author (not to mention poor Tara) so I galloped after her just as fast as I could, over hill and through dale and across water – or rather ice.

I finally caught up with her near a place called Geneva where some big metal birds with wings were circling in a blizzard. My author had travelled inside one of these birds across the Wide Water. I could see her face looking out of the glass holes in its belly but I couldn’t do anything to help her until the bird landed and spit out all the humans it had swallowed earlier. My author then took her heavy suitcase up into the High White Mountains, where I needed all the magic in my golden hooves to gallop through the snowdrifts after her without being seen. I thought she …

Some pictures of me

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I know you're asking. How does my author know I'm a unicorn, and when did I first enter her life?

If you're new to my author's books, it may surprise you to know I've been bringing her ideas out of the enchanted mists for about twenty years now. She started out by writing short stories. Then she won a competition for one of them and got some prize money. Since it wasn't enough to pay any bills, she decided to buy something special with it to remind her of her success.

Amazingly (could it have been magic?) as she was walking through town the next day, she saw some unicorn book ends in a shop window. It took only a gentle nudge from my horn to make her spend her competition winnings on them. Here they are, holding up some of her books:



I know, I know... I don't sound your typical sweet and sparkly sort of unicorn! But I was a foal in those days, and that's what unicorn foals look like. My author also has my poster on her wall, which she found a few years aft…

Story beginnings

I’ve been pestering my author for her New Year resolutions so I can put them on this blog for you to all see. But she just grunted, put her head under the pillow and told me to go away because it’s too cold to get up yet. There I was bright and early on January 1st with my new blog… and she still hasn’t got out of bed, four days later. I think she’s a bit angry with me because she’s found out what I’m doing online. Of course she claims she’s dreaming up ideas for new stories, because apparently she’s been working really hard all Christmas holidays redrafting her latest book and has finally just about finished it (about time, because I was starting to get bored). But as I told you, new ideas are my job as her long-suffering muse. So what’s my author doing? Trying to make me redundant already? I hope not!

Anyway, while my author’s still dreaming I thought I’d trot softly over here and bring you some first lines from her published books, in case one of your New Year resolutions is “write …

In the beginning there was a unicorn...

Starting a blog is like starting a story. So this isn’t a beginning, not really. The characters already exist and have probably done so for some time. They will have done some interesting things you may get to hear about as the story continues, plus a lot of uninteresting things you don’t really need to know about so you probably won’t. This is only a beginning for you, the reader, where you meet the characters for the first time. So I'll get on with it and introduce us.

First, there’s my author. That’s Katherine Roberts, the one in the small picture galloping down a beach on a black horse called Lomand. She’s shy and hates people taking photographs of her, but I’ll do my best to sneak a few into this blog for you while she’s not looking.

Then there’s me, Reclusive Muse. I’m the one who does all the hard work while my author just writes the book words. There used to be three of us, and then there were nine. All romantic young women, I believe. You can look them up here if you’re int…