Cover  Muse by Iris Carden. Cover art features a painting of ancient statue, with blood dripping from mouth.

Extract from Muse

Novel by Iris Carden

Someone who recently read Muse said they couldn’t understand how the same mind that produced my innocent little children’s stories, could also produce this book.

The truth is, I love horror just as much as I love the other genres I write (and read and watch.)

Horror in books and films has a distinct purpose. It allows us to experience, safely, the things we fear in real life, and gives us an opportunity to process and deal with those fears. It lets us ask, “What if this horrible thing happened to me? How would I react? How could I protect myself?”

Muse looks at a number of the things that people fear, not just the supernatural elements of the story, but far more mundane fears: the person who offers us help, but is really there to exploit our weakness; the person we love and support, who turns out to be a “monster”; the corrupt politician who uses their position for whatever personal gain.

Muse began as a creative writing project when I was studying literature as part of my BA way back when the dinosaurs still ruled the earth (the early 1985). I added part two almost ten years ago, when I first published the book under the name Karlee. Something about the story still bothered me, it was unfinished, too much was unexplained of the story I’d originally intended to tell. So I did a re-edit and wrote a new ending before republishing it under the new name in 2019. So this book only took about 30 years to write. (By contrast, the cover art only took me about a month to paint.)

Muse is definitely not suitable for children.


By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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