J. F. Jenkins: On Her Muse
Happy Birthday Bob
In a handful of days, my muse will be turning a quarter of a century old. Some people might think this is weird since a muse is supposed to be an ageless sort of thing. Mine, however, is not. Today, I’m going to tell you about Bob. Yup, I named my muse Bob. I’m not a fan of the name myself, but that’s what he said to call him. Something about having a basic, generic, sort of name makes him more pliable for the different roles I put him in.
Bob makes an appearance in all of my books. Sometimes he’s the main hero (IE: The Dragon’s Saga). Sometimes he’s the third part of the love triangle (IE: Vala). And other times, he’s the vital secondary character who supports the hero (IE: Battlefield). In the future he will be a villain, perfect romantic hero, and a sex pot. He’s very diverse in his skills.
I adopted Bob as a muse roughly three or four years ago. At that point in time, Bob was technically twenty-twoish, but in my head he was eighteen. You see, Bob is based roughly around a real person. When I saw this real person, the muse version came to life. He was born in a flash of lightning, and he has characteristics of this real person, but also a whole mind of his own.
For the past three years, Bob has been eighteen. Kind of little kiddish, sweet, innocent, but also manly and strong. That stage of life any person goes into where they feel caught between being a child and an adult so they maintain characteristics of both. That was Bob for a long time, which made him be able to take on a lot of different things.
Now Bob is slowly morphing into an adult man. He’s more rough, wise, and experienced. It’s starting to show in my writing too. As he matures, so do I. It’s been a great adventure, and I’m so glad that he’s stuck around to work with me. I’ve had other muses, but they’re kind of fickle. They come and go with the wind. Bob is the one who stays. He’s made himself comfortable inside of my head. And even though he’s older, he sometimes still gives me a younger version of himself to work with. Sometimes, he’ll inspire multiple roles. Like I said, he’s talented and diverse.
How Bob Works:
- Bob always starts by giving me a concept of a character. He whispers in my ear who he feels like playing for that day.
- As details emerge, Bob starts to show me actions and give me words. Kind of like he’s acting out some kind of a play in my mind.
- If Bob is playing more than one part in a story, he morphs his appearance, but I can always tell when it’s him and not another muse (I do have more than one, but like I said, the others are fickle).
How to spot Bob in a novel:
- Bob has blue eyes. That’s usually the first give away. He could have red, brown, blue, black, or pink hair, but the eyes always stay the same. Only in “Battlefield” does he not have blue eyes.
- He’s usually average height, and average in size. While he’s a good looking muse (especially in reality), his appearance is also that of an obtainable man.
- His build is lean but developed.
- Most of the time he does have dark hair.
While Bob may be based on a real person, when I see him he’s always a faceless shell. If I look into his blue eyes, those are all I see. Sometimes I can focus on just his smile, but the rest of him is like a faded memory. And I like it this way. It helps with making him malleable for my projects. That’s what makes him a good muse and I think that’s also why he’s stuck around for so long. He keeps all of the other muses in line too.
So Happy Birthday Bob! Welcome to adulthood!
or her website: