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What inspired you to write this story?
HI, I’m Janet Schrader-Post. I write young adult fiction and have an award-winning YA Science Fiction book out, part of a series called The Vagrant Chronicles. The book is Vagrant, and it won two Best Book Awards, one for Science Fiction and one for New Adult, an International Book Award for SciFi and an Apple Award. After I received these awards, my publisher, Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds, suggested I write a How-to book for young adult fiction. She thought the time for it was right. I asked her to partner with me because I felt her knowledge and position in the publishing industry would make it a more complete work.
What was your favorite part to write?
I really enjoyed writing about the kids, the different types of teens in modern high schools. I covered the high-school beat when I was a reporter, sports and high-school events. I covered Middle School sports and events when I had the time. I was stunned at how amazing these kids are, how hard they try and against some pretty steep odds. Exploring the various cliques and groups with my 15-year old granddaughter was a plus.
What was the hardest part to write?
I found writing about the technical parts of book creation tedious. This is where Elizabeth was a lot of help.
How did you come up with your characters?
Elizabeth and I put our heads together and wrote about the teenagers we know. Since our book is nonfiction, we didn’t have to invent any.
Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?
The second book of the Vagrant Chronicles just came out. Mutant is just as terrific as Vagrant. I’m proud of the series.
From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.
Joseph Campbell was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College, where he worked in comparative mythology and religious studies. He was strongly influenced by Carl Jung's view of myth. In his 1949 work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell described the basic mythic structure as follows:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered, and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. (Campbell, Joseph (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 23.)
His iconic classic deconstructs universal story patterns. In his study of the myth of the hero, Campbell posits the existence of a Monomyth (a word he borrowed from James Joyce), a universal pattern, structure, found in heroic tales in every culture. While outlining the basic stages of this mythic cycle, he also explores common variations in the hero’s journey, which, he argues, is an operative metaphor, not only for an individual, but for a culture as well. Although the stories may vary to suit the needs and beliefs of a specific culture, the underlying universal archetypes remain.
Christopher Vogler used this hero’s journey to write, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. He simplified Campbell’s 17 steps into 12, handy in today’s 12-step minded society. What he did that was fantastic is make it more accessible for modern writers, who are not always scholars. There are several similar editions, including one for screenwriters. Women like Maureen Murdock have written books specifically about The Heroine’s Journey. Although the steps may vary, the universal pattern, used in a novel or screenplay, creates a story with themes that resonate across cultures. It is so powerful, creating hit after hit, that it was required reading for Disney executives, a company that knows the importance of creating a hero’s journey to appeal to mass audiences. Using this pattern to construct books in Young Adult novels provides the reader with a satisfying experience.
To illustrate the hero’s journey, it’s easier to understand in the context of a classic young adult book/movie, such as Harry Potter, already used to illustrate points throughout this book. It will be broken down for you according to the different stages in The Hero’s Journey, with particular attention to how the journey relates to a YA hero/heroine, the focus of this entire book. Following are some things you need to think of before you sit down to write your first scene.
Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.
A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.
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