For the love of a muse By Kate Belle
Ah, The Wicked Muse Tavern. How I have longed to visit and finally, here I am. I stand waiting for my eyes to adjust to the dim light. My muse follows me in and is clearly less intimidated by the surroundings than I. He spots Lucien in his usual place in the corner and the pair salute in greeting. Of course, how silly of me, both being muses they must know each other.
We’ve arrived a little late, as usual, but Lucien doesn’t seem perturbed. My muse settles comfortably into a seat by Lucien and they wait for me to join them. I’m feeling awkward and way too human in their presence. The two are so powerfully males, it’s a bit overwhelming.
Seraphina sidles up to my muse, her eyes glittering. I hide a smile. My muse is like a mirror. When women look at him they see their perfect lover, when men look at him they see the man they wish to be. I can see Seraphina is attracted to what she sees and I know that devil muse of mine won’t let her escape without toying with her a little. Sure enough he wraps a strong hand around her wrist and pulls her into his lap.
‘What joys do you have to offer me, m’lady?’ he asks with a seductive smile.
Seraphina has wrapped one unconscious arm around his neck and thrusts her ample bosom toward him.
‘Mulled wine and meade, sir. Or whatever else takes your pleasure.’
I can tell my muse is pleased with the effect he’s had on her. ‘Mulled wine, please,’ and he kisses her fingers without breaking her gaze before releasing her to fetch his order. Seraphina leaves without giving me a second look. I don’t blame her. I’d probably do the same in her position. I decide I’m not thirsty anyway.
Lucien is studying me with an interested gaze. ‘So, what do ye want to discuss with us, lass?’
My throat is dry and I must work my jaw a little before I can speak.
‘Um… what is it about authors that readers find so mysterious?’
Lucien’s laugh starts as a low rumble and my muse joins in. The sound is deep and echoes around The Tavern, like rolling rocks.
‘It’s not the authors the readers find mysterious, lass,’ says Lucien.
‘I’ve tried to explain this to her, but –‘ my muse sighs as if his job is a hopeless one.
‘What then?’ I ask, frowning.
‘It’s us,’ my muse says as he gratefully accepts a goblet of dark, mulberry wine from Seraphina.
I notice the gleam of Lucien’s fine teeth and realise he’s smiling at me. At least I’ve amused him.
‘Authors aren’t at all mysterious, lass. Yer all ordinary humans, just like yer readers.’
‘But readers seem to gain so much from our stories. Our words…’
‘Ah –‘, Lucien cuts me off. ‘Not your words.’ He glances at my muse who is sipping his wine and admiring Seraphina as she glides around the Tavern cleaning tables.
‘Is she always this stupid?’ Lucien asks.
My muse turns from his meditation on Seraphina’s bottom to look at Lucien. ‘I’m afraid so, yes. You’ve no idea how hard she makes my job some days.’
‘My sympathies, sir.’ Lucien is serious now and fixes his gaze upon me. ‘Our words, lass. The readers gain from our words.’
Now I’m embarrassed. ‘Sorry.’
My muse is nodding. ‘We use you as a vessel through which we pour our love, our wisdom, our understanding of humanity. We use you to make love to the readers. When a reader is fully engaged with an author’s story, it is because they have found a connection to one of us. We use your body to touch those beyond you through words.’
I’m feeling altogether humbled. All the time I’d thought that my writing had something to do with my talent.
‘But not all writers are good writers,’ I protest.
My muse scoffs. ‘Not all muses are good muses.’
Lucien slaps his thigh and roars at this. The two of them are sharing some private joke and I smile lamely, pretending I understand.
‘So, you’re saying that, as an author, without you I have no stories?’ I ask.
‘Oh ye have stories, lass,’ says Lucien, ‘But the stories will have no –‘ he turns again to my muse. ‘- what’s the word?’
‘Joi de vivre,’ my muse answers. ‘Lust for life. No energy, no seduction, no meaning.’
‘We give your stories breath,’ Lucien continues.
If I really think about this I begin to see what he means. There are times when I’m writing that the story takes hold of me. At those times I write fast and don’t finish until I’m out of breath. Time disappears. My body wants nothing from me. The words pour through me, not from me. I see now, at these times, I am not the author. My muse is.
‘I understand,’ I say to them both. ‘I’m like your pen.’
‘Exactly!’ exclaims my muse with satisfaction. He turns to Lucien. ‘See. I stick with her because she’s not always so stupid. Sometimes she even surprises me with her wit. And she’s lovely to make love to. ’
This last makes me flush crimson. Lucien is chuckling knowingly. They raise their glasses to me in a toast. Lucien’s dark smile is shining through the shadows. My muse has lifted his goblet toward me, his eyes fixed on my reddened face. I wish I’d been more forthright with Seraphina and ordered a drink so I could join them.
‘To the eternal love between muse and author,’ they say together, and I bow my head in gratitude.
Kate lives, writes and loves in Melbourne, juggling her strange, secret affairs with her male characters with her much loved partner and daughter, and a menagerie of neurotic pets. She holds a tertiary qualification in chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Kate believes in living a passionate life and has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternised with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for 3 days.
Twitter: @ecstasyfiles https://twitter.com/ecstasyfiles
Books by Kate Belle
It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.
Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon notices the attention of one student, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.
Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. And what happens next will torment them forever – in ways neither can imagine.
Buy links: (Currently only available in Australia and New Zealand)
Local independent bookshops: (http://www.truelocal.com.au/find/book-shop/)
Master of Love series featuring the charismatic lover of women, Ramon Mendez.
Breaking the Rules: Grace is a beautiful woman in complete control of her world. A long time ago she chose a career over children and marriage, and has never regretted it. Then Ramon Mendez, her new PhD student, walks into her office. Aware of the need to maintain her professional reputation, she rejects his advances, but he persists. And during their intimate supervision sessions, her defences start to crumble, for Ramon’s work is exposing desires within Grace she never knew existed.
Follow this link for a sample chapter: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/kate-belle/breaking-the-rules-9781742758343.aspx
Breaking the Rules: iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/breaking-the-rules/id587669259?mt=11) & Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Breaking+the+Rules+by+Kate+Belle)
Bloom: Thirty-six-year-old Emma’s life looks as perfect, but something is missing. Her husband, Gary, hardly notices her anymore and she feels frumpy and invisible. When she joins a social boot camp class at the local gym, Emma immediately recognises their instructor as the gorgeous runner she sees each evening in the park. In spite of herself Emma is besotted. One evening, when things at home have become too much to bear, she bumps into him and an opportunity presents itself. Ramon promises and delivers everything that’s missing from her marriage – passion, romance and excitement – but Emma must discover if they are the things she really wants.
Follow this link for a sample chapter: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/kate-belle/bloom-9781742758350.aspx