It became real a few weeks ago that, ohmigod, this was actually happening: The Muse was being published!
This novel has been in the works for over eleven years. I started writing it in 2003, before ebooks had really taken off, never intending to actually have it published. I was a die-hand Pride and Prejudice fan, living alone and lonely in Japan. I had no access to English television, and scarce access to English movies. I subsisted on DVDs and, in particular, the six-hour BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Darcy. At the same time, I also worked a mind-crushingly boring translation job with the Japanese government. A busy day held about an hour’s worth of work for me. I surfed the internet a lot, reading pages of Jane Austen fanfic at sites like the now-defunct Hyacinth Gardens (RIP).
I decided to write The Muse because, frankly, I was bored. That spring, The Phantom of the Opera movie with Gerard Butler as the Phantom had come out in Japan. Something about the parasitic dynamic between the Phantom and his muse, Christine Daae, piqued my imagination. I envisioned a story that started off Phantom and ended Darcy. The Muse was born.
With the encouragement of my beta, Debbie, I began posting a chapter every Tuesday to Hyacinth Gardens. I had no expectations for my story, but it became incredibly popular. Regular readers on the site dubbed my posting days as “Tuesday Muse-Day.” I finished posting the story and it lived on Hyacinth Garden and then on A Happy Alternative when the Garden shut down. There it would have remained had it not been for my angel/beta Debbie who nudged me every so often to suggest I think about publishing it. In April 2013, her suggestions finally sunk in and I decided to go for it.
Being a perfectionist, it took me a year-and-a-half to revise and edit. I took a while figuring out my next steps, working up my courage to let The Muse out into the wider world. And now…here I am! The Muse is set for a release around the holidays, nearly eleven years after I wrote it!