Here’s another writer, popping by the blog just to meet all of you. Amy is in my RWA chapter, plus she’s been known to hang out with our smaller local bunch of troublemakers – I mean, writers. She’s smart and funny (the credentials necessary for writers to hang out with me, or so it seems) and she writes several different subgenres. (I like that in a writer, too.) You might know Amy as Amy Ruttan, or you might just have met her as A.C. Ruttan. She has a new book out, and even better, it’s a change from what she’s written before. (I like when authors try new things – or as Amy will tell you, when they get haunted by characters who insist on having their stories told. I’ve known a few of them myself.) She’s here today to talk about her Muse, who can be a bit elusive.
So, please welcome A.C. Ruttan!
I want to thank Deb for having me on her blog. I have known Deb for a couple years now and she is a fantastic person and I also adore her Dragonfire books. 🙂
I want to talk about recharging the Muse, because recharging the Muse is what brought about Incarnate my debut A.C. Ruttan/Urban Fantasy release from Samhain Publishing. The journey leading up to Incarnate was also the longest dry spell in my writing life.
See, I’ve always written stuff. I wrote when I was being teased in school, I wrote for hours in my room, things which will never see the light of day. I wrote on my LONG commute when I was living in Peterborough and commuting to Toronto.
I wrote on my lunch hours, if I wasn’t reading a good book.
Most of said writing will never see the light of day, including a piece I wrote when I was 14 very similar to the Princess Bride only Westley was Buttercup and Buttercup was Westley … yeah don’t ask.
Anyways, by the time I became pregnant with my third child I had been writing steadily for almost twenty years. It was then, during a rough pregnancy my Muse disappeared. There were days during carrying my youngest I wish I could’ve disappeared as well.
Nine months of pregnancy, with about half of that being on bed rest and I wrote … NOTHING. It was horrible.
It was after I had him when I was lying in that hospital bed that the heroine of Incarnate walked into my mind and started talking with me.
I had no idea what to do with her because she was pretty tough, had two souls one of them being the soul of the ancient Celtic queen, Boudicca, and she liked to kill demons. How the heck could I make a story out of this and where would I set it. I tried to forget about it for a while and concentrate on some other things, including finding a home for some books after my publisher closed its doors.
I’m afraid I forgot about Cia for a while.
During my recuperation from the C-section I watched Ice Road Truckers. I was hooked and suddenly, Cia returned and I knew I had a setting.
I started end of October 2009, about five days before NaNoWriMo and the book, all 80,000 words of it, was finished mid-November 2009.
Only I didn’t know what to do with it. It wasn’t a romance and the agents I queried said it was so different they didn’t know where to place it.
So I took a leap of faith and tried Samhain.
Jennifer Miller contacted me about rewrites and what I could do to make it even better. After several LONG emails she offered me a contract.
My Muse had been recharged and I went on a writing binge. I gorged myself, but lately it came back, the dry spell. My Muse was on hiatus. I needed a re-boost again and I wasn’t going to go about having a fourth kid. No way. I had to think of something else.
I haven’t been camping in ages. I used to go every year with my parents without fail. I haven’t been camping in a decade, not since 2001 with the hubby when he was just my fiancé. This just wasn’t right. I love camping. I love campfires and cookouts. I love sleeping in a tent and hearing nothing but the whisper of pine trees. I love hiking and roasting marshmallows (I prefer mine black please) and I didn’t realize how much I missed it.
I booked us a site at Point Farms Provincial Park and disconnected for three days. As I sat out listening to the waves and the trees my Muse came wandering back and I wrote pages and pages long hand. It was amazing.
The hike through the woods, the swim in the gorgeous turquoise waters of Lake Huron and sleeping on a leaky air mattress in a very small tent with three small children who took up most of it, was the best camping trip I had been on.
My Muse is fickle. Sometimes she likes music or movies, good books too, to recharge. Other times it takes more to woo her back, but the point is I am absolutely recharged and raring to go.
As we packed up camp this morning and I looked at the pages of long hand and all the words I knew I had to come back next summer. The DH and I cooked up a plan to hit every one of the provincial parks in Ontario visiting one a year and then maybe two a year when the kids get older.
This is a recharge plan I can get on board with.
So, my question is to you what do you do to recharge? What fires your creative Muse?