Who is Your Writing Muse?

August 26, 2010

Do you have a writing muse? Here’s mine.

It’s Lady Caroline Lamb, the one who called Lord Byron ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ (he could probably have said the same thing about her!).

She had an affair with Byron in 1812—and was a thorn in his side ever after, doing all kinds of ridiculous, dramatic things to challenge him and re-capture his attention (like dressing up as a page, penning her own versions of his poetry, impersonating his writing so she might scam a portrait from his publisher, etc).

I wrote my Honours thesis in University on her Gothic/gossip novel ‘Glenarvon’ (which is based on Byron and other notable personalities of the Regency age). It was a bestseller but snubbed by critics (and her fellow aristocrats) as being too popular and trashy. It didn’t make her the darling of Society, either, that’s for sure.

(Byron read it and remarked: “I read Glenarvon too by Caro Lamb….God damn!”)

A remarkable, audacious, off-centre, rebellious, irrepressible and somewhat manic woman, it was through her inspiration that I crafted the first beginning of my current romantic-comedy-Regency-mystery whilst in University many moons ago.

I named my main character in my book after her: Caro.

Do you have a muse? Or a writer who inspires you? What do they say to you?

Leave your comments below!


  1. My muse? I joke about how my muse is one of my Chaos Elves, whispering madness into my ear during the day and pouring the pure essence of chaos into my dreams at night. The inspiration behind all of my writing is my mom, and her dedication to her craft. She died seven years ago without ever once seeing any of her stories in print. But I currently own every single one of her unpublished (and in some cases only partially edited) manuscripts, which my dad was going to throw out after she died. My mother was the one who first encouraged me and it’s her words of advice scrawled in the margins of her manuscripts to herself that keep me motivated to keep moving forward with my own writing goals.

  2. I’m sorry your mom never got to be published…but it’s great you had a fellow writer in the family! Someone who understood the drive of creative expression. What a great role model to have growing up. And also a great inspiration!

    Thanks for dropping by, Annikka!


  3. Talk about a notable woman lost in the mists of history! Thank you for the tidbits about Lady Caroline Lamb. They don’t exactly teach much about her when you go to college in the Bible Belt. 😉

    So, what if I don’t a female muse? Maybe what inspires me is a male energy? I’m just sayin’ …

    • I stand corrected! Traditionally, a muse is female…but I think that’s because all those heterosexual male writers made it that way!

      A muse is anyone, male or female.

      Hmm, you just gave me a writing idea for a new paranormal-romantic-comedy…the male muse, female writer…

      Better jot that down!

      Julie J.

  4. […] university, after I took that Romantics English course and became enamoured with the time period. Lady Caroline Lamb became my muse and–boom, the novel started pouring […]

  5. […] Glenarvon by Lady Caroline Lamb (pg. […]

  6. […] I’m starting to think ahead to Book 2 in my Regency mystery series. And this time around I think I’d like to include some significant ‘real life’ Regency guest stars–namely Lord Byron and (my muse) Lady Caroline Lamb. […]

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