February 8, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Author Josephine Myles

A warning and a note from Brie: this post contains a NSFW picture, so careful when reading it. The comments on the pictures are mine.

We are very excited to welcome author Josephine Myles to our little corner of the blogosphere. If you like m/m contemporary romance you’re probably familiar with her work. Her stories are fun and touching, filled with great characters that feel real and relatable. Oh! And they are quite steamy as well. 

Musings on Muses

This is Josephine.
Artists and writers often refer to their “muse” as the fount of their creative inspiration, and as something that speaks through them as if from somewhere else. The idea of the Muses has been around since classical Greece—they were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. I can only cope with the one muse as he’s a difficult so-and-so, and I thought I’d share with you today the tale of how I first encountered him, and the merry dance he’s led me on since then.

Keep reading,
the NSFW pic is coming.
After a long period of being scared off writing by the strange things that came out of me when put pen to paper (or fingers to keys), I finally relaxed enough to write when I discovered the strange world of slash fanfiction—Torchwood fanfiction to be precise. At last I’d discovered a community happy to read the kind of tales I wanted to tell, where men loved men in a very detailed, physical manner. I revelled in writing my humorous and smutty little stories, but soon discovered I wanted to take things beyond the limits imposed by the show and write original m/m fiction.

This was the point where I started reading every writing book I could lay my hands on. One of them talked about personifying your muse in your imagination so that you could communicate with her better, and I rather liked the idea. The author in question had some kind of fluffy animal as her muse, so I tried to go down that route. I wanted a red squirrel muse as I’ve always adored them, but for some reason it just didn’t work. I couldn’t see a cute and shy squirrel inspiring my kind of stories. Especially not a female squirrel.

I can see why someone
would like to have a muse
that looked like that.
Then I wrote a story called First Impressions and I realised I’d met my muse. He’s called Steve, he’s smart and funny, he wears a pinstriped suit with garish underwear and he has a dominant streak. He does bear a certain resemblance to one of the characters in Torchwood, I’ll admit, but I think of him differently to Ianto. You see, Steve the muse has a wild side.

Just in case you were wondering,
he isn't peeing. And yes, this is the
NSFW pic. Disappointed?
When the mood strikes him, Steve strips off his pinstripes and saucy undies, messes up his hair, streaks himself with mud and prances around like a wild thing. He loves Bacchanalian orgies, and sometimes I picture him as a proper satyr with hairy goat legs, horns and a raging hard-on. He’s no Mr Tumnus—he’s more like Pan, spreading mischief and lust everywhere he goes. I like to think of this as Steve’s “goat boy” persona—in tribute to the late comedian Bill Hicks’ lascivious alter ego.

Of course, I know deep down that my muse is in some way an aspect of myself, and I’m not entirely sure what that says about me. Still, calling him Steve or Goat Boy allows me to compartmentalise that part of my imagination, and provides a convenient scapegoat for when he gets difficult. For instance, I recently sat down to write a sweet and romantic holiday story, and ended up with kinky BDSM erotica. Or there was the time I wanted to write kinky foot erotica and ended up with a rather sad and moving story about love and death. My muse delights in throwing me off the path I’m following, but I’ve learnt to trust his instincts and follow him deeper into the forest of my imagination.

Has anyone else out there met their muse, and if so, what’s he or she like?

About the author:

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

If you want to find out more about Josephine you can visit her website and follow her on Twitter.


Josephine has kindly offered a copy of one of her books to one lucky commenter. The winner gets to choose between Tailor Made and her First Impressions series (if you choose this one you get the whole series: First Impressions, Fuzzy and Last Chance). All you have to do is leave a message commenting on Josephine’s post, answering her question about your personal muse or telling us about your favourite m/m romance. Remember to leave an email on the comment so I can contact you if you win. Contest open internationally.


  • Winner gets e-book of choice between Tailor Made and the First Impression series.
  • Open internationally.
  • Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced here and via email and will have 72 hours to respond.
  • Ends on 02/12/12
  • Comments must have email address.


  1. Nice to meet your muse Jo :)
    Those horns are very...horny, aren't they? Definitely diverted my attention!

    My muse is a sulky piece of womanhood. Slim, short dark hair, she wears a leather skirt and jacket and has knives secreted about her person. We're getting acquainted. Gradually.
    And yes, she throws me off course so I end up in with the most convoluted, tangled plots.

    1. Oh, he's a particularly horny muse in both senses of the word!

      I like the sound of your muse - a little bit dangerous there. I hope she brings you much inspiration in the future!

    2. Hi Prue!

      I think I'm a bit intimidated by your muse...

    3. Hi Brie!

      I'm a bit intimidated too...

  2. I paint/draw (as a hobby) rather than write, but I guess that involves a muse too. Never thought about it before - maybe a cat. The sort that has very sharp claws and is quite happy either ignoring me or yelling for attention.

    1. Looks to me like your muse is already lurking there in your username and userpic, then! I don't suppose it's essential to personify your muse, but I do enjoy the fact mine now has form. It makes it easier to have a discussion with him for a start.

      Of course, I do end up looking like I'm talking to myself...

    2. I like the idea of a cat. However, they are a bit lazy and a lazy muse has to be bad for your inspiration, right?

  3. I wish I had a muse! I'm not sure he really exists, he flits in and out without me ever really catching sight of him. But then I am much more of a reader than a writer :-)
    I'm glad that yours is both productive and friendly.


    jennysmum 2000 at yahoo.co.uk (no gaps!)

    1. I'm sure he's there somewhere, Jan - perhaps he's something like a fairy trickster, with wings and the power of invisibility :)

      My muse has been very well behaved today *pets him*

  4. I always wondered if the writers tried to personlized a muse or if they changed sex, shape and dementor with each story. I am a reader only so no muse. Invisible friend is Samson and he is bulky and loves me to read M/M. Thanks for a chance to win a book.

    1. Oh, I think an invisible friend is pretty much the same things as a muse - perhaps Samson is your reading muse! After all, it takes creativity and imagination to picture the story in your head too.

      I guess some writers probably have muses that change more. I'm glad mine only has the two sides to him, though. Not sure how I'd cope with more. Uh oh - I think I see him donning drag as I type... ;P

  5. Hit the button too soon.


  6. Please don't enter me in the contest a I don't read M/M anymore and would hate to win when someone else would be more interested, but I did want to comment on the post. When I did read M/M I was a big fan of E. Lynn Harris. He really opened my eyes to this world and it's dynamics.

    As far as my muse, if I've met him or her, I don't know about it or recall. Maybe they'll make an appearance soon.

    1. Hi Jade - I think we sometimes have to extend an invitation to our muse to show him or herself. Pretty soon they'll turn up and then you'll start wondering how you ever wrote without them.

      Or maybe it's just that writing can be such a lonely occupation, we all invent invisible friends for ourselves...

  7. nope, sadly i don't have a muse. but the idea to create one is fascinating.
    the pictures are interesting ;)
    and i loved torchwood too, though for me it was the harry potter fanfiction fandom that brought me to love m/m romance.
    well now i want to read harry potter and watch torchwood - i blame you ;)

    witchvela at web dot de

    1. I need to watch that show, everyone seems to love it and I don't even know what is it about.

      Did you see that video of Ralph Fiennes reading HP fanfiction? It was hilarious!

    2. It's never too late to create your own muse, although I think it works better if you invite them to come to you rather than forcing them into a shape they don't want to take :)

      Watching Torchwood is always a good idea - so long as you stick to the first two series.

  8. Nice pic Brie and excellent post Josephine, I haven't read a M/M in a while but I'm curious about what your muse says.
    About my muse, I guess that it all depend on what I am writing, usually when I'm doing an academic paper or essay my muse is an angel or God, you'll see I'm always letting everything for the last minute so I'm always praying for inspiration or a miracle. On the other hand, if I have more time to relax my muse is a faery, I have a thing for the fae.

    1. I wonder why this story sounds so familiar... Oh, that's right! Because it's me. We could go to the procrastination Olympics!

    2. Aha - someone who has different muses for different situations! Interesting - I like the way it adapts to the circumstances :)

  9. I don't really have a muse sadly... I do however love reading m/m romance - I enjoyed your free short during the Cupoporn birthday bash Josephine!

    My favourite m/m romance would probably be No Souvenirs by KA Mitchell or Regularly Scheduled Life because I'm a sucker for the angst but it's a toss up between those and Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton (how could I not adore Cole?).

    Please count me in! :)

    hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

    1. I've got a soft spot for Cole as well, and for Marie's books in general since my first m/m book was one of hers.

    2. Thanks Kaetrin! KA Mitchell is one of my all time favourite writers and I adored No Souvenirs, although I think that Life Over Easy is still my favourite of hers (possibly because it was the first I read?)

      I'm a huge fan of the Coda series too, although Angelo and Zack are my favourite characters there. Cole is a cutie, though :)

  10. Hi jo.. Live the ianto pic :/D

    I'm favourite mm romance I think a has to be special delivery by Heidi cullinan

    Sarah S


    1. Hi Sarah! Ianto always did look good in a suit... ;D

      I love that book! It was the first m/m ebook I ever read - I devoured it over a couple of days when my daughter was sick. I must read it again soon.

  11. Very interesting post about muses. I had never really considered them. Very intriguing.

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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.