Change can strike fear into the heart of a writer. We are a stubborn breed, prone to getting stuck in our ways. We have favorite chairs and favorite pens; we start our days with the same cup of coffee and end them with the same glass of scotch. So when my creative routine was uprooted a few months ago, I wasn’t sure how well I’d fare.
Up until very recently, I shadowed NYPD detective Kate Beckett as research for my Nikki Heat books. She provided me with a bounty of knowledge without which these books would not exist. She inspired me to dig deeper into the character and explore places I wouldn’t have gone. In short, she’s been my muse. But, being the talented woman that she is, she moved onto bigger things. Naturally, I feared this would affect my writing.
But it hasn’t. It’s amazing that even after all this time writing professionally, there are things about the craft that surprise me. This was one of them. Each and every moment we’ve spent solving murders together continues to inspire me. Even though I’m not working cases with her day in and day out, a part of her stays with me, and informs everything that I do. That is the mark of a truly great muse.
Of course, I wish I could still follow her around, but I’m drawing from a deep well. Every day I sit down at my laptop and I kick my feet up, and in the moments before I commit the first word to paper, I fear that nothing will come. But it always does.