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  • Chris Bannor

The Tenth Muse




One thing I love about writing speculative fiction is the ability to crossover new and different ideas. When I learned about the call for Clockwork Dragons, I was immediately intrigued. It was my first time interacting with the publisher Zombie Pirates Publishing. It was a great experience and I love this publisher. The call was asking for a sub-genre they called Fantasy Punk. I’d never tried to write anything like that before, and I really enjoyed it.


I came up with a few starts before something settled for me. The first two starts were very much steampunk, and while I liked the stories, they didn’t feel right to me for this call. In the end, I wrote something a little quieter.


“The Tenth Muse” is about a woman who runs a small curio shop in a rundown strip mall. I loved the idea of using magic to power technology, but instead of using the technology in the story, I thought about what it would be like to gather that magic. The idea came to me of a woman who runs a small shop where magical creatures come in to sell their magic.


I started to think about what sort of shop would have something like that, and I remembered a small gardening shop that I used to go to. It was a great gardening shop that carried so much more than plants and planters. You never knew what you’d find there so every visit was like a treasure hunt.


I wanted to invoke that same sense of wonder and love that I had for that shop. Telling the story from the point of view of the shop owner who put her heart into every bit of her store gave me the ability to tell that tale.


It’s a story I love, and I had so much fun writing. I’m so glad that it became a part of Clockwork Dragons. It’s an amazing anthology full of talented writers.


That’s a bit of my head for this week. I hope you enjoyed finding out what inspired “The Tenth Muse”. Please click on the link to learn more about it. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! The first will come out later this month where I’ll send out some fun links, share information about amazing authors, and give out a new short story exclusive to my newsletter followers.




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