Thursday, March 29, 2012

Miriam Newman, Ireland and the Pesky Muse

Karen: I'm thrilled to introduce Miriam Newman, the author of heartfelt historical romances and adventure-filled science fiction tales. Teas brewing so sit back and enjoy your stay.

In Miriam Newman's Words:
Once upon a time there was a poet.  She was a poet because she had no time to write.  When you have a husband, five kids, a full-time job and you like to raise horses, you have NO time.  That was my drill for years, and since penning a sonnet took considerably less time than knocking out 90,000 words, I wrote poetry.  I did well at it.  Still, there was always a little voice in the back of my mind whispering, “But I wanna write a book!”  That voice was so persistent that I finally realized it was a muse and I named her The Wench because she was totally annoying.

Then my fairly happy if somewhat madcap life began to fall apart.  The kids grew up, my husband died after a 4 ½ year battle with leukemia and my job was history because I had left it to care for him.  I could no longer afford horses.  My muse was peeking at me around corners, trying to get in, but I was so annoyed I renamed her Persephone.  You know…the Queen of Hell.  Eventually I decided I was going to blow my entire small fortune on a plane ticket to Ireland, with no plan to return any time soon.  Despite the pleas of family and friends who thought I was out of my mind, I did.  What I didn’t realize was that Persephone was in the cargo hold.

She finally announced herself in a sheep pasture on the west coast of Ireland where I was sitting sort of like J.K. Rowling with one of those ubiquitous yellow legal pads, since I couldn’t afford a laptop.  I had a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean pounding green surf against 300-foot cliffs, but even above the noise of the waters I heard Persephone whining at me like some sort of literary mosquito.  “What if you were a princess, sitting at your castle window, watching that surf?” Seph whispered.  “What if your father was a king bound on using you as a pawn to save his kingdom?  What if…”

“STOP!” I screamed.  “I’m writing a poem!”  But Seph just smiled.  I put my pen to the paper and started writing—or should I say SHE started writing?

133,000 words later, she finally stopped.  Some poem.
* * *
I was the King’s daughter once, so many years ago that sometimes now it is hard to remember.   Before the tide of time carried away so many things, so many people, it was worth something to be the daughter of a King.

Our little island nation of Alcinia was not rich, except for tin mines honeycombing the south.  It wasn’t even hospitable.  Summer was a brief affair and fall was only a short time of muted colors on the northernmost coast where my father sat his throne at the ancient Keep of Landsfel.  Winter was the killing time and spring was hardly better, with frosts that could last into Fifth-Month.  But from the south, where men cut thatch in a pattern like the bones of fish, to the north where rock roses spilled down cliffs to the sea, it was my own.

One thinks such things will never change, yet all things do.
* * *
That was “The King’s Daughter,” Book I of The Chronicles of Alcinia.  Book II, “Heart of the Earth,” I wrote a little later--in a pub in Killarney.  But that’s a story for another day.

You can purchase a copy of The King's Daughter at:

About the Author:
Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been Miriam’s passion for as long as she can remember.  She was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug.  She brings that background to her writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where she nurtures her muse.  Her published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance.  Currently she lives in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals.  You can view her books at   


Miriam Newman said... Best Blogger Tips

Karen, thanks for your beautiful presentation of this, my favorite of all my books. If anyone has a taste for fantasy historicals, I hope they will give this award-winning novel a try.

Celia Yeary said... Best Blogger Tips

133,000 words? Yikes! Oh, good mornng, Miriam. I'm proud of you--I could never go off to a foreign country by myself. I might yearn to,...but don't have the nerve.
Your life story is a story in it's self. But if you are like I am, I don't write about me. I do that plenty on FB and blogs, but in a novel? No.
(I do write short anecdotal stories about my childhood, though.)
I'm so glad you found all of us on Rebecca's site. She's a wonder, isn't she? She appeared at the right time for me. I have nine novels and a bunch of other stuff, but I began writing for the anthologies, then realized she was my ticket for a couple of other things I want to do.
I enjoyed your post. Well done.

Miriam Newman said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Celia. Well, I do write about myself in my characters, but that's enough for the world!(LOL) Now if only I could get that princess thing down. Thank you for stopping by. Yes, I think the world of Rebecca, too.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks so much for being here today! I love your stories and am thrilled you stopped by to share them with everyone.

How brave you were to head off to Ireland by yourself.
I know Ireland is beautiful! But why there? Family? Just because you could? Your muse lured you? :)

Miriam Newman said... Best Blogger Tips

That's another story within a story, Karen. But my grandmother was Irish, believed in being fey, told me that I was (and that she was) and that I would have trying times in my life (well, who doesn't, of course?). In any case, when that happened, she told me to go to Ireland. I did. I've now written twelve books since visiting there and it has opened up a whole new chapter in my life (pun intended). So Nana knew best, apparently.

Linda Swift said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Miriam, it was nice to learn more about you today. What an adventure you have had, (are having?) And this book sounds wonderful. I've read an excerpt and you have a fine writing style.
I wish you great succes with this and all of your books. Linda

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

All the while I was reading The King's Daughter I never once thought about how long it was--I thought instead of how much more I'd like to read about all the well-imagined places that you write about, and how I'd love to look behind the screen and find out more about the Goddess, the ones who interpret her word, the Fire that longers on Tia's hands, and a lot more.

I knew while reading your book, Miriam, that you are a horse fancier. I also write about horses, since my MC all seem to ride horses. But my ignorance is vast, and I learned a lot just by reading your apt descriptions. I also write somewhat about currachs and longships, again with vast ignorance. I think that you have a good knowledge of ships too, just by reading your book.

For those who read these comments and Miriam's own comments--if you hae not yet read her work, you will see instantly that she is a poet. Almost every line is redolent of poetry, and it will take you in thrall and hold you until the last sentence.

Best of everything to you, Miriam, in this your second (at least) journey in life. May your muse be gracious from now on.

Slán, Erin O'Quinn

StephB said... Best Blogger Tips

Miriam, what challenges to bring The King's Daughter to life. You are a true inspiration, Sweetie. Wishing you many sales.


Miriam Newman said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks to Linda, Erin and Steph for stopping by and for your kind comments. I have a feeling the muse is not quite finished with me yet. That evil wench. I wonder where she wants to go next?

Pat McDermott said... Best Blogger Tips

The Atlantic Ocean pounding against cliffs. Oh, yes. Though I'm glad the roar didn't drown out Seph's whine. She was right, and so was Nana. Hope you get to go back some day, Miriam. Wouldn't it be great to stand in that same spot and think how far you've come? And that you ain't anywhere near done yet?

Miriam Newman said... Best Blogger Tips

Pat, those are all happy thoughts! Keep 'em coming.

Paula Martin said... Best Blogger Tips

Great post, Miriam - you transported me to the west coast of Ireland and the Cliffs of Moher. One day I'll set one of my novels in Clare, Galway or Mayo!

Evie A said... Best Blogger Tips

Your story sounds like quite the undertaking. I think I once wrote a story over 100,000 but not a published work, and then the plot started to repeat itself.

Best wishes on your work and your writing.

B.J. Scott said... Best Blogger Tips

Great post and looking forward to reading your work

Miriam Newman said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks to Paula, Evie and B.J. Paula, I think any of those settings rock! I loved Galway. Evie, it was surprising that even though TKD was the longest of my books it was the easiest to write! Who knew? B.J., I hope you like the series. I'm quite serious when I tell you the book you have was written in a pub. With a few trips back to the sheep pasture!

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Miriam, your prose reads like poetry--so vivid and emotionally deep. I've never been to Ireland but I can see how it would be so inspiring. I have a laptop but I often revert back to my ancient pencil and paper when I need inspiration. The King's Daughter sounds like a fantastic story.
Great post.

Jacquie Rogers said... Best Blogger Tips

Miriam, what a beautiful story! And what Celia said. I'd never have the nerve to travel to distant lands on my own, and 133,000 words? Lawsy! I enjoy reading books of that length, but writing them doesn't seem to be in my DNA.

One other thing--your rescue animals are very, very luck to have adopted such a wonderful human.

Monya Clayton said... Best Blogger Tips

Miriam - totally charming post and beautifully written. Glad your muse is so active, too. Mine took a break for a couple of years but I do believe she's finally sticking her nose out of the woods again. And she has a bad habit of inspiring involved tales of great lengths which I then have to reduce to please publishers!

May you travel more Irish roads and meet more kings' daughters.