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Showing posts from October, 2011

Tricks and Treats in Unicorn Wood

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As Katherine’s muse, I naturally have a lot of influence over her work. This week I’d like to point my glittery horn towards her second novel Spellfall, which features a whole herd of unicorns as well as a haunted wood, an old lodge, a mysterious standing stone, an evil Spell Lord, and – since it's set at Halloween – plenty of tricks and treats!

This is the only one of Katherine’s books that starts in a supermarket car park in the rain, but strange things are happening the week before Halloween and it’s not long before our heroine Natalie is drawn into a sinister magical plot:

Natalie saw the first spell in the supermarket car park. It was floating in a puddle near the recycling bins, glimmering bronze and green in the October drizzle. At first she thought it was a leaf, but as she drew closer it began to look more like a crumpled sweet wrapper – a very interesting sweet wrapper. Pick me up, it seemed to say. Surely I’m worth a closer look?

Not everyone sees spells in supermarket …

The Mystery of Unicorns

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It didn’t take Katherine’s new publisher Templar very long to find out about me. I suppose an author’s muse is quite important, since without muses where would our poor human authors be? They would just be writing their old stories over and over again… which is only good if their last story happens to be something like Harry Potter.

Anyway, Templar wanted a biography of Katherine to go on the last page of her new book – you know, the sort of thing that makes authors appear to lead incredibly exciting lives jumping out of aeroplanes and saving the rainforest etc., accompanied by a photo that makes them look like a beautiful princess or (if they’re men) moody and interesting?

The Muse suspects half this stuff is as inventive as the words in their novels, since an author actually leads a very boring life hunched over their computer writing about people jumping out of aeroplanes and saving the rainforest - because if they were doing all of that themselves, they wouldn't have time to w…

The Unicorn’s Great Dream

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What do authors do on their days off? I followed mine when she sneaked away from her computer last weekend and tracked her down at Interrogate! the UK’s first ever festival of social justice, held at the lovely Dartington Hall.



This festival used a mixture of debate, dance, and drawing (the artistic kind, not the “hung, drawn and quartered” kind) to interrogate income inequality, which is something Katherine has blogged about, but occurs in all sections of society and not just among authors. Wherever there’s income inequality, they tell us, there’s unhappiness… things got quite heated, and bankers were mentioned a few times (in “hung, drawn and quartered” terms, I have to admit).

At this point, judging the audience to be a rather miserable crowd and not noticing my glittery horn at the back, the new Minister for Happiness told us all the secret of being happy… apparently, all you need is a GREAT DREAM.

Janet Street-Porter (famous on TV for being a Grumpy Old Woman) has already tried it