Kelly Blanchard lives in the middle of nowhere in Texas, but has an online global reach. While she’s a dedicated writer in both fantasy and science fiction, her true self shines when she takes on the role of Muse for other writers, mentoring them, prompting and challenging them, and counseling their characters. She’s developed a unique method of interviewing both author and character, and she uses this to promote the authors. She strongly believes the community of writers should encourage and support one another, and she strives to do just that.
Thanks for being with us today, Kelly and for bringing The Muse. This dichotomy is a mystery to nearly everyone who will be reading this so perhaps you can tell us a bit more.
- Tell me how you came to call yourself ‘The Muse’: The way I came to be known as ‘The Muse’ is because in writing groups online, I’d always share pictures that tended to spark ideas for other people. They started calling me ‘The Muse’, and it just stuck.
2. How would you define a muse? Everyone has their own muse. Usually this is something in their own mind that generates ideas. A muse then inspires ideas, connects the dots between two formerly disconnected idea, and sparks a story.
3. How do other people relate to you differently as Kelly Blanchard as opposed to The Muse? There really isn’t a separation between the two. The Muse aspect of me isn’t like a fictional character that I’ve written. She’s not a separate personality. The Muse is Kelly Blanchard. Kelly Blanchard is the Muse. 4. What function does being a muse play in your creative pursuits? I get ideas just like everyone else. Sometimes I seize the idea and apply it to my own pursuits, but other times I give the ideas away because it might just be what someone else needed in that moment.
5. How do people react when you explain about The Muse to them? Actually, I don’t explain it to them. I’m merely Kelly Blanchard, but if they spend enough time around me, they begin to call me The Muse because they see what I share and how I try to inspire other writers, and they’ve likely gotten a few ideas from all my sharing.
6. Why The Muse rather than a specific Muse? Or is this an entirely different concept from the Greek traditional idea of the nine muses? It’s ‘The Muse’ because that’s what everyone merely called me. My boyfriend once read through all the different nine Muses to see if I would be a specific one, but he said they all applied. But, if anything, I like to say I’m the Tenth Muse, and I’ve made up an entire backstory for that.
7. Do you feel that the muse is specific to you or that everyone has a hidden muse and you’re just a lot more in touch with yours? Everyone has their own muse, but what I do is different. Most people get ideas and keep them for themselves, but I get too many ideas, so I freely give them away yet I never find myself low on ideas.
8. Is there a transitions when you are Kelly and become The Muse? I’ve always been The Muse even before I realized it. I always had ideas, ideas, ideas! And sometimes all the ideas would make me feel like I was going insane (more than a writer usually is), but when I got online and started giving away those ideas, I realized that was what I was supposed to do.
9. What does Kelly Blanchard do in an average day? If there’s any difference between the two, I’d say that Kelly Blanchard is the one who does everything in real life, interacting with others, writing, housecleaning, cooking, etc.
10. What does The Muse do in an average day? The Muse takes those every day activities and finds inspiring ideas.
12. How do the people in ‘Kelly’s’ life react to the concept of The Muse? Can they tell the difference between the two? People in my life really don’t know of the Muse side of me because they’re not in the online groups where I act more like the Muse. To them, I’m Kelly Blanchard.
13. Do you get the sense that The Muse continues with her life separately from you when you are stuck with the mundane in life? Not really. I mean, she’s always there, lingering in the back of my head, and she’s always the first to hit me with an idea regardless as how mundane life is in the moment.
14. What is the greatest gift The Muse has given you as Kelly? The knowledge that my ideas aren’t bad ideas and that they can actually be the key someone needs to unlock an aspect of their story.
15. Is there a down side to being a muse? Getting overwhelmed with too many ideas.
16. How have you impacted the world and/or your environment as The Muse? The greatest impact I think I may have on the world as The Muse is to show people that their ideas aren’t bad ideas and to encourage them and offer them a safe place to spread their wings. There are a lot of writers out there that don’t have family support, and their friends just don’t understand what it means to be a writer, so I offer a bit of a safe haven. Writers who are encouraged then go out and gift the world with their stories—any of which could impact the world in numerous of ways.