As they’re meant to do, reading a book creates imagery in your mind.

Of course, the better the writer, the better the imagery created, and only the best writers will create such a well-formed description of a character or location that when we finally see their inspirations for ourselves that we appreciate the book so much more.

That exact revelation happened to me when I first saw the trailers and then movie for the first Harry Potter book. JK Rowling produced such a perfect image in my mind when I read her book that when I saw the movie, I was blown away at how perfectly it married with what was in imagination. Of course, this also goes with producing a good movie from a book’s adaptation, but the movie-makers have to have somewhere to start.

Our favorite authors will often create their own image boards of inspirations for their writing. Whether it’s a single image, a public persona, or a scene cut out of a magazine, nearly every book we read started with a muse—a guiding spirit or source of inspiration.

I asked some authors to reveal, some for the first time, their muses for their books. Here’s what they had to say:

Just for funsies, enter to win a book from my Secret Stash below!

Syreeta Jennings

Fear of Falling—Blaine aka Mateus Verdelho

Blaine Collage Syreeta Jennings

Dark Light and The Dark Prince—Dorian aka Ian Somerhalder; Niko aka Marlon Teixeira

Ian Marlon

Alice Clayton

The Redhead Series—Jack aka Robert Pattinson & Max Irons

“It’s embarrassing to admit, but I have muses for every single character I write. And not only that, in my head they are all already movies so I always cast in my head when I’m writing! For Jack Hamilton in The Redhead Series, while it was most certainly Robert Pattinson when originally written, now he is 100% Max Fucking Irons. I can’t tell you how perfectly this guy fits Jack. Sexy but funny, charming in that way only an Englishman can be, he is my Jack.”

Max Irons

Wallbanger—Simon aka Jensen Ackles

“And Simon Parker from Wallbanger? Mmm, he is perfectly captured by Jensen Ackles. Someone as good looking as Simon, but also has the wicked sense of humor and panty dropping grin. Oh yeah, he could bang anyone’s walls and not have to apologize for it afterwards.”

Simon Jensen Ackles

Katy Evans

REAL—Remy (see explanation)

“My muse for REAL was a book called The Genie in Your Genes by Dawson Church, which discussed wonderful and amazing things, including the fact that there have been cases reported where people with my hero’s condition have an instant change in eye color. Then and there, I met Remington Tate, who would sweep me away with his and Brooke’s love story.

But my general muse I believe is simply love. It’s what inspires me to write love stories. I firmly believe in the healing, all-consuming ever-lasting power of love. (Go ahead and call me cheesy, haah)

My ideal answer would have been that I saw some sexy guy (insert picture) and felt inspired.  But alas, that is not my muse, haha”

Tara Sivec

The Chocolate Lovers Series—Carter aka Ian Harding

Ian Harding

Because of You—Brady aka Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles as Brady

Kim Karr

Connected and Torn—River aka Chace Crawford; Dahlia aka Blake Lively; Ben aka Alex Pettyfer (see her Pinterest board for more images)

Chase and Blake

NM Silber

The Law of Attraction—Braden aka Armie Hammer

“Did you ever see the The Social Network? Armie Hammer (six foot five inches of beautiful man) plays both of the Winklevoss twins. He himself is an heir to the Armand Hammer fortune in real life and he sounds all high class and cultured:) Well, when I was writing The Law of Attraction, I kept a picture of him up on my desktop and I watched The Social Network about fifty bazillion times. Armie Hammer – this Bud’s for you!”

Armie Hammer

Annabel Joseph

Mercy—Matthew aka Daniel Craig
Comfort Object—Jeremy aka Daniel Craig

“My big muse, the person who got me started writing, was Daniel Craig. I wrote Mercy for some ladies on a Daniel Craig fan board, just chapter by chapter, and Matthew, the dom in that book, was totally based on fantasies of Mr. Craig. Then I flat out wrote Comfort Object with him as Jeremy in my mind.

I will say that while I have a photo of myself with Daniel Craig posted on my website and elsewhere, he’s not a personal friend and I have no idea what he’s really like. Everything I wrote was pure speculation and fantasy, mostly based on his James Bond dom swagger. I’ve always thought he would probably be horrified if he read those books and knew that I based the heroes on him!”

Daniel Craig Annabel Joseph

Tessa Bailey

Protecting What’s His—Willa (see collage)

“I’m working on an NA book right now (or at least the proposal). Willa Peet is the heroine. Hopefully you’ll remember her from Protecting What’s His (Ginger’s little sister). Here are the pictures I’m using as my muse for Willa. I usually use pictures as a muse, occasionally song lyrics, almost always courtesy of Jack White. The song Love Interruption would be the song inspiring Willa currently.”

Willa Peet

TJ Hamilton

Buying Thyme

“Well as corny as it sounds, I draw a lot of my husband into the hero of my Thyme trilogy. My husband is my leading man. So why wouldn’t he be my muse… the good, the bad & the hot! The naked one is my fave from a GQ shoot he did years ago… drool!”

(Yes, TJ’s husband was a real hot-ass model back in the day. Lucky wench.)

TJ Hamilton

Mary Whitney

Beside Your Heart—Adam aka John Kennedy Jr


CC Wood

Friends With BenefitsFrenemies

“My friends and family inspire a lot of my characters. My SIL appeared in my second Girl Next Door novella and various characteristics of people I know show up as traits in my characters. Especially the entertaining quirks, like face-planting for no reason, shin kicking, and bad singing in the shower.”

Sarah Latchaw

Hydraulic Level FiveSamuel aka Gael Garcia Bernal

“Samuel Caulfield Cabral of Hydraulic Level Five (Sept 3, 2013) and Skygods (2014) is a mesh of genius author and boy-next-door. I read these beautifully allegorical, intelligent stories by authors like Italo Calvino or Bruce Chatwin, and couldn’t help but wonder what their childhoods were like. They inspired the creation of my deep-thinking, secretive Samuel. I envision him as a clean-cut Gael Garcia Bernal, packing the creative power of a literary wonderboy. Bernal has this gorgeously angular face, tempered with sensitive eyes and mouth.”

Gael Garcia Bernal

Christina Lee

All of You—Bennett (see image)

Honestly? It was this photo that originally got me thinking of exactly how I wanted to write my virgin tattoo artist, Bennett Reynolds in my NA Contemporary Romance, All of You.

All of You Muse


Books currently in my Secret Stash include 5-star books like Knight & PlayCaptive in the DarkBlind ObsessionCollide, and Pulse and lots more. I can’t guarantee the titles listed will be available when this giveaway ends; I simply wanted to give a peek into what kinds of books are in the Stash.

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