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The Writer's Muse
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With Rita Schiano, author of the novel Painting the Invisible Man


In Greek mythology, there were nine goddesses who represented the creation of various arts and sciences and inspired their practitioners:

  • Calliope, muse of epic and heroic poetry
  • Clio, muse of history
  • Erato, muse of love and erotic poetry
  • Euterpe, muse of music and lyric poetry
  • Melpomene, muse of tragedy
  • Polyhynmia, muse of sacred song
  • Terpsichore, muse of dance
  • Thalia, muse of comedy
  • Urania, muse of astronomy.

Other mythologies that feature muses include Roman, Norse, and Indian.

Throughout literature, writers have invoked their own muses, asking them for inspiration and sometimes claiming to be a conduit through which the muses were speaking. Among musophiles: Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, Dante, Homer, Virgil, and this week’s guest.

A former nightclub singer, published songwriter, and restaurateur, Rita Schiano now makes her living as a freelance writer and editor while working on novels, screenplays, and teleplays. Painting the Invisible Man, the fictionalized story of her investigation into the decades-old murder of her father, is her second novel.  

Rita is working on her third novel, Sanctifying Grace, scheduled for publication by The Reed Edwards Company in 2009.

Please join Rita and host Paula B. as we contemplate:

  • How she found her muse
  • How her muse helps her on a daily basis
  • What happens when her muse gets ornery
  • What a writer's obligations to her muse are
  • Whether she could have written her book without her muse
  • Whether having a muse makes her a better writer.

Interviewee: Rita Schiano
Host: Paula B.
Date: March 30, 2008
Running time: 49:27
File size:  24 megabytes
Rating: G
Rita's Web sites:;

Purchase Rita's books at