A Quick News Flash! Laura Drake is our local Query Queen. She’s shared the knowledge gained from her 15 year stint in the submission wars in several blogs here over the years. She wanted to let you know that she’s teaching a month-long, online class for Margie Lawson’s Writer’s Academy in March, Submissions that Sell! A submission is much more than just a query — and you have one shot at a gatekeeper’s attention. Make the most of it! You can learn more here.
Now, on to a new guest we’re excited to introduce you to!
Today’s guest is Kathleen Harrington, is a multi-published, eclectic Historical Avon author. She’s written novels set from Regency England, the American West, and Medieval Scotland. The research alone make me shudder! But after reading her blog, you’ll understand where all her stories came from! Take it away, Kathy~
There are several fairytales currently playing in our movie theaters. Hansel and Gretel. Jack the Giant Slayer. The Great and Powerful Oz. Along with Beautiful Creatures, a story about Casters, aka witches. (As in the land of Oz, some casters are good and some, not so much.)
Every culture on Earth has its myths. Legends as old as time. Which seems to beg the question: What do we and the cavemen have in common?
Everyone loves a good story!
Those ancient cavemen sat around the fireside spinning yarns to entrance their listeners. As the storytellers of our generation, we sit at our computers instead. But our goal is the same. To captivate our readers.
Where do our own stories come from? They spring from the treasure house within us, that gift of creativity that lies within all human beings.
When I was five years old, my Grandpa Louis built a playhouse for me. A marvelous structure, with a door and windows for light, white siding on the outside, a charmingly arched roof trimmed in red, and a planked wood floor. A house clearly meant for children, for no adult could stand up straight, once inside. A house meant for exploring the world of imagination.
Inside my playhouse, my two cousins and I recreated countless stories of heroes and heroines. Tales of unflinching valor and derring-do, with fire-breathing dragons and that awful green witch from the Wizard of Oz. We took on the roles of pirates, knights, cowgirls, and movie stars. We cooked make-believe meals served on our pint-sized china, dressed in long gowns and high heels that had once been worn by our mothers. We played with our baby dolls, our paper dolls, and our storybook dolls. In endless summer days of pure imaginative delight. Sometimes, we even let our brothers join us, but only if they behaved to our satisfaction. After all, someone had to take on the roles of the villains.
These happy memories bring to mind a quote of Albert Einstein. “If you want your children to be smart, read them fairytales. If you want them to be even smarter, read them more fairytales.” (My point is not to infer that I’m smart, because I’m faaar from a genius. Way far!) Rather, it’s the vast importance of fairytales in our creative psyches. As Einstein further stated, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” And he, of course, was a genius.
Throughout history, storytellers held exalted positions in their cultures, for they were the keepers of the flame of knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil.
Today, we writers are the keepers of the flame. Through our stories, we tell of the joys and heartaches of the human experience. We show people who stumble and fall, who recognize and overcome their individual flaws, and succeed, against all odds, in returning with the elixir.
My childhood playhouse is the symbol of the treasure house within me. The place where my heroes and heroines conquer fire-breathing dragons. And prove the value of always carrying a bucket of water. Just in case we meet up with that awful green witch from Oz.
Visualize the treasure house within you. What do you see?
Kathleen Harrington is a multi-published author of historical romance. Her latest book, the second in the Highland Lairds Series, Lachlan’s Bride, an Avon Impulse, will be released April 30th. http://kathleenharringtonbooks.com