Finding The Muse: Jessie Burton

I have often looked for inspiration. I now know it doesn’t quite exist as a moment of greatness. In the past I have walked miles to find it, read pages to see if it was hiding in-between the words and I have trawled the World Wide Web in hope of catching a glimpse of my next project. I will force myself to sit and write and sometimes there are great moments or I get sparks of inspiration that light me up like a firework. I have a rush of excitement run through my veins. This was one of these moments when I read Jessie Burton’s debut novel – The Miniaturist. 

I am very guilty of living in the past and I will be honest – I don’t care who knows. I have picked up so many bestsellers in my time and have been disappointed beyond chapter two. Some have slipped through the net but they are rare, so when I buy books they generally tend to be from the 1920s-1980’s.

Rewind a few months ago when I picked up a copy of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. The launch of the book and its publicity was all over social media when it was first published back in 2014, I decided to have a look at the plot and then I bought the book. Well, it blew me away and so did she. After reading it I was so enchanted by the world she had created, these characters were rich and wonderful. I would sit at my desk in work waiting for my commute to begin just so I could get back into another chapter. After reading it I went online and happened upon her blog that although not updated very often, is full of amazingly brilliant and honest thoughts. This post right here was especially important in my return to writing. She had (from afar) kicked me up the rear end into starting my novel again. I then had a bit of a book hangover when I finished the last page; I wanted it to go on for longer.

Then I read her second novel The Muse and again, I absolutely fell in love with the characters, the setting and how it was all wrapped up in the world of art. It did worry me that the second novel syndrome might strike but it didn’t. It was never going to be like her first novel because it was a different story and a different time.

It isn’t very often that I find new writers that I can hands down say are brilliant at their art; Jessie is wonderful and I hope you think so too. Please see her interview from the BBC when she first published her debut novel, I love to hear how writers create their art and this is just great.


Image of Jessie from The Independent Newspaper

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