Greetings, you have discovered the fourth stop on the U.S. leg of Maureen McQuerry's Beyond the Door blog tour. Today, Maureen will be talking about "What I've Learned from Myth, part II".
About the author:
Writers are like crows. They collect shiny objects that capture their attention and hide them away. Maureen has been collecting interesting bits since she was six and decided she wanted to be a writer. Like all interesting journeys, the road to her goal took many twists and turns along the way: teaching middle grade through college, coordinating a program for gifted students, marrying and raising her own two children, traveling the world, and all the while writing in the spaces in between.
You can haunt Maureen McQuerry at-
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Beyond the Door Blog Tour
What have I learned about the world from myth as a writer and a reader? Since writing Beyond the Door and The Peculiars I’ve been thinking about why myth matters. Over the next week I’ll be blogging in the U.S and U.K. about six things I’ve learned from mythic stories that have inspired me. Plus there will be fun giveaways and a post by cover artist Victo Ngai! Follow the thread…
We are All More than Meets the Eye—
Reluctant heroes are at the heart of many ancient and contemporary mythic stories and fairytales. This isn’t surprising because they illustrate one of the greatest truths we so easily forget. We, every one of us, are more than we appear. Shall we make a list? Bilbo Baggins, Lucy Pevinse, Harry Pottery, Arthur, Faced with extraordinary situations we can be heroic, noble, self-sacrificing. Isn’t that what stories have been whispering to us for time out of time: you are more than others see, you can make a difference in the world, you with all your flaws, prejudices, inconsistencies are immensely valuable and have something unique to offer the world.
“Let's have no more argument. I have chosen Mr. Baggins and that ought to be enough for all of you. If I say he is a Burglar, a Burglar he is, or will be when the time comes. There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself. You may (possibly) all live to thank me yet.” Tolkien, The Hobbit
We Can Fight Dragons and Win
All children know the world is full of dragons. What they to know is that sometimes they can be the hero who defeats the dragon. They (and we) need to be reminded that the dragon isn’t the end. Even though the path through the woods is dark, the story doesn’t end in despair. Like Timothy in Beyond the Door, we need to know that when the wolf is at the door, hot breathed and bloody clawed, we can be Wolfproof. Myth is tells us that the least expected person may be the hero.
“Fairy stories are more than true, not because they tell us there are dragons, but because they tell us they can be defeated.” G.K. Chesterton
Story is Transformation
We love stories of transformation selkies, shapeshifters, changlings, enchantments. Without change there is no story because story is not about plot. It’s about how events change people. The human heart is made for stories and the greatest satisfaction for a reader is the protagonist’s inner journey. We read to see how the conflicts, struggles, antagonists will transform the hero, because her story is our story too. Stories aren’t prescriptive, they’re transformative. They are acts of identification. In the best stories we identify with the protagonist’s struggles and something in us is changed by the end. The Hero’s journey is our journey.
“And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
U.S. 6/13 http://smack-dab-in-the-middle.blogspot.comInterview/ give away
U.K. 6/13 http://wesatdown.blogspot.com – The cover story post illustrator Victo Ngai
Beyond the Door (Time Out of Time, 1) by Maureen McQuerry, March 1, 2014. Published by Amulet.
With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.
You can add Beyond the Door to your Goodreads shelves.