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Showing posts from April, 2011

Wedding Days

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The unicorn has heard there’s a certain wedding on today… while my author is watching it and admiring The Dress, I thought I’d trot over here and tell you the secrets of her wedding to husband Jerry (ahem) 20 years ago:

Here she is looking radiant on the day:

And this is where it all happened - St Bridget’s church in the village of Bridstow, just across the field from their cottage. My author wanted to walk there, but it was February and muddy and she had white shoes, so she was driven there in a friend’s car decked out with ribbons for the occasion.


Here’s her walking out of the church with Jerry after the deed was done, followed by her brother Walter and Jerry’s sister Rebecca, who had her arm twisted to be bridesmaid.


After all that hard work, they enjoyed a hearty wedding roast with their families in their local pub The Red Lion at Sellack, and afterwards moved down to the village hall to celebrate with their friends at a ceilidh (“cay-lee”) - which, in case you've never been …

Friday Favourite - Women of Camelot by Mary Hoffman

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Women of Camelot (click here to see inside this book on amazon)
The Muse was sent this beautiful book by the lovely Mary Hoffman, because she knew my author is writing about King Arthur’s daughter. It contains nine stories, each by one of the heroines from the famous legends of King Arthur, fabulously illustrated by Christina Balit in full page colour.

Most of the stories are retellings of perhaps the most famous account of Arthurian legend - Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory - which was written in the fifteenth century. So you’ll find plenty of romantic chivalry in its pages, with knights in shining armour and damsels in distress, and a helpful family tree at the start explains the relationships of the heroines to King Arthur.

Although it’s a book with pictures, this is not a picture book aimed at young readers as such, because the stories have powerful adult themes. The Muse would call it an illustrated short story collection, though the stories also link together to give di…

Agatha Christie’s Greenway – “the loveliest place in the world”

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This Muse Monday is cheating a bit, because legendary crime author Agatha Christie can’t do a guest post on this blog to tell you about her muse. But visiting Greenway, her holiday home on the River Dart in Devon, you can see where she found inspiration for her best-selling books.

The beautiful gardens bordering the river have been open to the public for many years, but the house has only recently been restored by the National Trust and opened its doors in 2009. It’s a bit tricky to get to, because there is only one narrow lane as access through a local village, so Greenway (appropriately!) encourages green transport by giving a discounted ticket price to anyone who manages to get there by foot, bicycle or ferry. There’s also a cool vintage bus you can catch from Torquay or Paignton. (Muse: My author rode me there, of course, disguised as an old bicycle.)
The house you see above was built in 1792, replacing an earlier Tudor mansion on the site. Agatha Christie arrived in 1938, and it ha…

Muse Monday - A spaniel called Trudy by Miriam Halahmy

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This week the unicorn is excited to welcome another animal muse to this blog. She might not have a glittery horn, but she does have four legs and a curly tail... and she belongs to the talented Miriam Halahmy, both poet and author, here to talk to you about her new book HIDDEN

Over to you, Miriam...

As soon as I started writing for children, I started putting dogs into the story. It was a chance to revisit an important part of my childhood. I grew up with dogs and I have not been able to keep pets in adult life. But I still have a strong affinity with dogs and cannot pass one without having a conversation and a pat.

My mother trained as a nurse in the Navy in WW2. Our dogs always came from rescue centres and she would nurse them back to full health. All the kids in the street would bring birds with broken wings and sick pets to my mum because they knew she had a magic way with animals.


My favourite dog was our blue roan cocker spaniel, Trudy. She was so ill when Mum rescued her, she ha…

Anne McCaffrey Reading challenge – The White Dragon

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This is my second review for the Anne McCaffrey Reading Challenge set by Portrait of a Woman. Last quarter, I reviewed a McCaffrey book that inspired my own writing The Crystal Singer, so this time I’m tackling one of my favourites from her famous Dragonriders of Pern series…

THE WHITE DRAGON

Young Jaxom has accidentally impressed (Muse: telepathically bonded with!) Ruth, a white dragon so small he could hardly break out of his shell without help. But as only son of a Lord Holder of Pern, Jaxom cannot become a proper Dragonrider and fly his dragon to fight the alien “Threads” that fall from the Red Star and attack organic matter. (Think acid rain with nasty spores.) But since a dragon, once impressed, cannot be impressed by anyone else, he is allowed to take Ruth back to his Hold, where the other boys – jealous – call his beloved dragon a runt who will never fly. Needless to say, they are wrong…

“The White Dragon” begins with Ruth’s first flight, proving that – although small – he is p…

Muse Monday - the Daemon of Susan Price

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This week the Muse is delighted to welcome Carnegie award-winning fantasy author Susan Price to talk about her muse (which seems to be rather scary!) Over to you, Susan...



Rudyard Kipling, in his autobiography Something of Myselfwrote:
Let us now consider the Personal Daemon of Aristotle and others… Most men, and some most unlikely, keep him under an alias which varies with their literary or scientific attainments. Mine came to me early when I sat bewildered among other notions, and said; ‘Take this and no other.’ I obeyed, and was rewarded....
After that I learned to lean upon him and recognise the sign of his approach... As an instance, many years later I wrote about a mediaeval artist, a monastery, and the premature discovery of the microscope. Again and again it went dead under my hand, and for the life of me I could not see why. I put it away and waited. Then said my Daemon—and I was meditating something else at the time—‘Treat it as an illuminated manuscript.’ I had ridden off on…