Music is my muse.
I load up the CD player, yes I am that arcane, with music that either my characters listen to or are inspired by. The lead singer of The Tea Party supplied me with the hero's overall look in Heaven Coming Down. I was fortunate to have a one-on-one conversation with him in which we realized we drew our inspiration from similar sources. It seemed fitting to write the entire book to his music.
I've written to salsa, blues, metal rock and country. They've all been instrumental in flicking the switch in my brain to CREATE mode.
Part of the challenge with this project has been the lack of musical identity for Alex. It's not that big a deal though. Nea's music is definitive and strong. It's angry, loud and sums her up. Alex listens to instrumental. It's his music I hear every night before I go to sleep. Fitting as that's when I do most of my pre-writing. Nea may be Queen of the Night but Alex is at heart a dreamer. It's an interesting contrast to listen to their music.
Who or what is your muse?