Rukia: writing hindrance or muse?

Today is release day for SHROUDED SOUL, the 3rd book in Clare Davidson’s Y.A. urban fantasy series, Hidden.

Shrouded Soul (Hidden: Book 3) is the penultimate book in the Hidden series. It will be available for Kindle and in paperback on Thursday 7th August.

“Davidson has done it again with Shrouded Soul! If you haven’t read her Hidden series, you are missing out.” Graham Austin-King

Shrouded Soul is an intense read.” J.L. Mbewe

From the back of the book:

Keeping secrets. Telling lies. Kim is protecting everyone. Isn’t she?

Kim’s secrets are pushing Sophie away, whilst AJ’s fears are damaging their fledgling relationship. Kim tries to reassure him, but she knows he should be worried. He should be running. She keeps telling herself they can all have a normal life, free from the influence of the Baneem—but it’s the biggest lie of all.

The illusion Kim is clinging to is shattered when AJ vanishes. But he isn’t the only one put in danger by the information Kim is hiding. How can she defend everyone from enemies who keep growing stronger?

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

To kick off Release Day, I asked Clare to take over my blog today and write about someone very dear to her – Rukia.

Rukia IMG_8345

Yep, this little sweetie.  Seeing as she was a puppy at the time Clare got her, I wanted to know if she found Rukia to be a help or a hindrance to her writing.  Please continue reading to see what she said.


Rukia: writing muse or hindrance?

Jenny asked me to write about the new addition in my life and how she helps (or hinders) my writing.

Meet Rukia, the Finnish Lapphund. Lappies are part of the spitz families of dog and were used to herd reindeer in Northern Finland.

Rukia IMG_8608

We’ve had Rukia since she was eight weeks old (she’s now 7 months). Right from the start she didn’t sleep very much. She’s always full of energy and loves attention.

So, the big question… is she a hindrance to my writing schedule or a muse?

Definitely a bit of both.

We start our day with a walk, which helps me clear my head and gives me time to think through story and character details. I can often work through a problematic scene during our walks. Besides, the fresh air and exercise is also good for my health (both physical and mental).

I try to write whilst Rukia is napping. As I said before, she doesn’t nap very much, so I have to grab the time while I can. Often, half way through a writing session, she’ll run into the sitting room with a ball and put it in my lap, tail wagging, giving me her characteristic lappy smile. It’s impossible not to take time out to play ball with her for a while.

Rukia 2014-07-22 13.32.07So, whilst Rukia can be distracting, she always puts a smile on my face.

Is she a muse? I’m honestly not sure. I guess if I ever write a dog into any of my books you’ll know the answer! What I do know is that Rukia is great company and she makes me happy. And a happy writer is a productive writer.

Do you have a pet who makes you happy? Tell Jenny and I about them. Share pictures if you can.

rukia 2014-07-25 12.55.52Thank you, Clare, for sharing Rukia with us.  She’s adorable. I’d never get any writing done with her around because I’d want to snuggle with her all the time.

Want to learn more about Clare and her books?

clare davidson picture

About the author:

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband. They now share their lives with their young daughter, their cats and Rukia the Finnish Lapphund.


Connect with Clare:





Mailing List:

Where to purchase Shrouded Soul:


Other books by Clare:

Book 1 in the “Hidden” series
Book 2 in the “Hidden” series


Trinity Blog Tour – character interview with Nidan, Guardian

The following character interview is part of the Trinity Blog Tour.  Please read to the end to find other links to this blog tour.


There’s nothing that I love more than sitting in the tavern, drinking my mead and scribing, and having some wanna be hero sit down and demand to be heard.  It happens all the time.  It’s as if I have some ‘squat and tell me your problems’ sign hanging over my head.  Most of the time I introduce the churlish outlander to my two most trusty and very sharp companions, Rondel and Basilard, but there was something about this blond-haired sack of brawn that intrigued me.  I inclined my head and motioned for my guest to sit as I released Basilard from his scabbard and held him in plain sight.

“What do you want?” I asked, sliding my fingertips along the length of the blade.

The man dressed in black leaned forward and lowered his voice.  “I was told in Orholt by someone sympathetic to my cause that I could find you here.  You are J, devoted amanuensis and conveyor of news?”

My interest piqued.  “What if I am?”

“I have news of the Trinity.”

I leaned forward, more intrigued. “What news do you bring?”

He reached into his rucksack and withdrew pages upon pages of parchment.  “I have relayed my story to the scrivener Clare and she has written everything down for you as it happened.  She hopes you will relay this information to the world.”  He laid the pages before me.

I scanned the words, my heart pounding fast in my chest.  “Who are you?”

“My name is Nidan.  I am the Guardian to Kiana, the current incarnation of the goddess Miale.”

“Guardian?” I queried. “Aren’t you a little young to be a Guardian?”

A smile creased his lips.  “I’m twenty-four.”

I sheathed my dagger and gathered my own sheets of parchment to take notes.  “Keep talking.  Tell me more.”  I dipped my quill into the ink well.

“I don’t understand,” Nidan said, his brow wrinkled in confusion.  “Why are you taking notes on me?”

I stared unwavering into his brown eyes.  “You are the deliverer of unbelievable news that will change the world, that’s why.  I must give credit where it is due.  Now tell me, what are Guardians exactly?”

Nidan shifted uncomfortably.  “We’re warriors, but we’ve also been blessed with Pios’ healing magic. Our primary job is to guard Gettryne from those who seek to harm it, so essentially, the Wolves. A very select few of us are chosen to guard the incarnation of the goddess Miale.”

“And how did you get so lucky to become a Guardian?”

“I don’t see how this is important—”

“Let me decide what is important,” I said without looking up.

Nidan confiscated my flagon, tipped it back and belched.  “When I was sixteen, I was called by Pios. He plagued my dreams at night and was a constant presence in my mind during the day–like a dull headache without reason–until I walked into one of his temples and realized it was where I belonged. Most of the other Guardians I know said a similar thing happened to them.

“After that, I had to train for eight years: learning how to fight and call on Pios’ power in order to heal others. It was very rigorous.”

“Are other members of your family also Guardians?” I asked.

“I’m the only Guardian in my family. My father is a messenger, my mother a seamstress.”

“Hmm,” I said, brushing the quill across my cheek.  I sat back and looked Nidan up and down, taking in his average build.  He was the furthest thing from a warrior I could imagine, yet there was an air of confidence about him that made him a dangerous adversary.  I motioned to the bar wench to bring two more meads.

“You’re an interesting specimen, Nidan. Guardian, warrior, son, lover to a variety of women, I’m sure.  What would you say is your most redeeming quality?  What do you like most about you?”

“I-I don’t know.  That’s a really tough question. I’m not sure I can answer that. If I had to, I’d say my loyalty to Miale, Pios and Gettryne.”

“That seems like it could also be your greatest weakness as well.”

He lowered his eyes. “Yes, I suppose it is.”  He chuckled a little.  “Why else would I have let Kiana talk me into letting her go on her quest?”

The bar wench set down our flagons of mead. I took a swig and said, “It sounds as if you care for Kiana a lot.  Are you ashamed of your feelings?”

He glanced up at me, his eyes wide.  “Ashamed of them?”  He shook his head.  “No. It was awkward at first. I didn’t know how to act or behave around her. Finn had built her up to be something she wasn’t. I got to know her pretty quickly. Once I got over my embarrassment about showing her comfort, it was a lot easier!”

“What did you think of Kiana when you met her?  Did she look like a goddess?”

Nidan smiled.  “She was very talkative! She was also very naive and infuriating at times. But her naivety also made her really endearing. I’d never met anyone like her.”

I thumbed through the parchments he’d given me, growing more excited as I read.  He’d been through a lot.

“What’s the deal with you and this Skaric fellow?  Why do the two of you hate each other so much?”

Nidan’s eyes blackened.  “He’s a Wolf. I’m a Guardian. We’ve been enemies for a thousand years. Plus he’s one of the Wolves twisted mages. Pios took his magic away from the Wolves for a reason; they had no right to find an alternative source of magic, especially not one so twisted.”

It was my turn to be confused.  “Skaric’s a wolf? Literally?”

“No.  He appears as a man, but he is not.  Wolves are our enemy.  Plain and simple. Their self given name is quite fitting, given their brutal, inhuman magic and behavior.”

“Why have the Guardians and the Wolves been at war for a thousand years?”

Nidan’s brows furrowed, his lip twitched at the corner.  “Because one of them murdered the goddess Miale.”

“Yes, well I suppose that could put a damper on things.”  I pulled several strips of jerky from my bag and offered him one. He all but growled at me and smacked it from my hand.

“How can you eat those horrid strips of salt meat?” he asked.  “The Wolves eat those.”

I tore off a piece and chewed.  “And what exactly would you prefer to eat?”  .

He leaned forward, his arm on the table.  “Succulent roast chicken.”

I took another bite of jerky and rehung my bag on the chair.  “Sorry, but I’m all out.”

Nidan tapped his fingers on the table.  “Are you done with your inquisition?  I need to go as I’ve delivered my accounts to you as promised and have far better things to do than sit here and talk to you.”

Now it was my turn to sit back and smile.  “Like what?  What does a Guardian do when he’s not guardianing?”

“That’s not even a word!”

“Small technicality.  Come on, tell me.  What does Nidan do when he’s not guarding or fighting?”

“I’m never not a Guardian. It’s my life. However, when I’m not training, or on duty, I enjoy what most people do: playing dice games; spending time with my family when I get the chance to visit them, frequenting the local tavern.”

“Do you ever change out of your uniform?”

He shook his head.  “No.”

“You say that with some regret.”

“It used to be my favorite item of clothing.  I once felt such pride when I wore it.  Now… now I’m not so sure.  I feel quite differently about my sword, however.  I’ve never held a weapon more perfectly weighted. Then again, it was crafted specifically for me.  Now, if you have no more questions for me, I’m going to take my leave of you.”  He scraped his chair across the floor and stood.  “I wish I could say it’s been a pleasure meeting you.”

I stood and smiled.  “Well, I wouldn’t want you to do anything against your nature.  People might get the wrong impression you’re a nice guy.”  I gathered the parchments and tapped them together on the table.  “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure your story gets into as many hands as I can.  Go on.  Be gone with you.”

He swallowed back the last of his mead, and left the tavern.  Funny.  I don’t think it’s the last time I’ll be seeing the likes of Nidan.


If you liked this interview with Nidan, I urge you to check out the scribbler, Clare Davidson’s novel, TRINITY, documenting his, Kiana’s and Skaric’s adventures across the world of Gettryne.

Kiana longs to walk through a forest and feel grass between her toes. But she is the living embodiment of a goddess and has enemies who wish to murder her. Her death will curse the whole of Gettryne. Locked away for protection, she dreams of freedom.

Her wish comes true in the worst possible way, when her home and defenders are destroyed.

Along with an inexperienced guard and a hunted outcast, Kiana flees the ravages of battle to search for a solution to the madness that has gripped Gettryne for a thousand years. Pursued by the vicious and unrelenting Wolves, their journey will take them far beyond their limits, to a secret that will shake the world.

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fibre craft hobbies.

Ways to connect:


‘Trinity’ is available in paperback from:

Amazon and Amazon UK

and in ebook from:

Amazon, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Sony, iTunes and Barnes and Noble

Additional Trinity Blog Tour stops:

leigh ann kopans  (August 19)
nic widhalm (August 20)
kat ellis writes (August 22)
write a revolution (August 23)
rachel horwitz (August 24)
ruth ellen parlour (August 25)
natasha mcneely (August 26)
indie book blogger (August 27)
sally stephenson (August 28)