What inspired “Inspirations”?
I know this is a terrible answer, but I honestly don’t remember. It’s one of those stories that started from like eight different directions at once. I had to put it together like a puzzle, one piece at a time. I remember sitting in a friend’s kitchen in St. Paul, working on the middle section, so it took a long time to do. Sometimes the stories I like the best work out like that: they don’t have a concrete beginning. They’ve just always been with me.
Whenever I read a story that ends with a twist, I find myself wondering: did you start from the idea of Polyhymnia’s betrayal and work backwards from there, or did you work forward from Melpominee’s imprisonment?
I started with the idea of muses falling, and where they would wind up. So they sort of came at the same time, hand in hand, like a terrible chain. It was never possible for me to have one of them without the other.
Melpominee notes that several people have formed the intention to free her, only to change their minds once they taste Communion. As a writer, do you fear you’d fall prey to the same temptation?
Once. I think that, if the temptation had been offered to me before I was more confident in what I do, I would have had trouble refusing the drink. Inspiration is powerful. It’s a narcotic, in its own weird way. But effort matters just as much, if not more. I like to believe that I know enough about hard work to stick with it. But that’s probably not true. Offer me an easy way to write more and better, and I’d probably take it.
What are you working on these days?
Currently, an unnamed Mira Grant project and the next October Daye novel. And a bunch of short fiction projects. There are always a bunch of new short fiction projects. The day that there aren’t, I’m probably dead, and my estate is trying to hide that for as long as possible.
When you wake up in the middle of the night and look under the bed, what’s there?
A bunch of plush Pokémon and occasionally an irritated Maine Coon cat. Alice and Thomas go wherever they want, and sometimes it’s under the bed.
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