More About the Story
While researching the hero's journey I read that girls don't need heroes, that's why all the heroes in these journeys are male: Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Luke Skywalker.... After years of volunteering with abuse survivors and supporting groups trying to end female genital mutilation, childhood marriage and sexual slavery, I didn't agree with this conclusion. I set out to write a hero's journey with a female protagonist, eager to dig into the psychology so I might create a work that would not just inspire girls to recognize and celebrate their greatness, but to also have males do so, and to show the value of the feminine through all of my characters, females and males. This resulted in having the stories of the brothers' struggles of self-acceptance woven into the main plot of a cloistered princess becoming the savior of her world.
As a result, THE ISLE OF WAITING, the first book in this epic journey is about the evolution of self-acceptance that is necessary for anyone to reach their full potential. The waiting doesn't just represent the physical place my protagonist is struggling to reach, but also the psychological space she must break free of. It also represents her world's wait for the change that will free it from the prejudice and dogma that is destroying it. By the end of this first book, Anie has come to accept herself and her powers and the fires of change are sparked in her world. In essence, THE ISLE OF WAITING chronicles the gestation of Anie's origin story, something I've struggled to maintain in an effort to truly honor the feminine. In the next book, A Sea of Storms, Anie will be metaphorically born as the rainbow catcher, ready and capable of using her powers as her world descends into the chaos of change.
The idea for The Rainbow Catcher came from my golden German shepherd, Keltie. Keltie had been a warehouse guard dog for the first seven years of her life. I had adopted her when she became crippled and the business who owned her planned to euthanize her. I believed Keltie would be fine as soon as she had a warm home and support, and I was right: she thrived with my family and lived to be fourteen. One day while I was working at my desk the prism hanging in my office window cut the light and spread a rainbow over Keltie's side. I said, "Princess, you're a rainbow catcher!" and as I had just completed a class visit where I did experiments with a grade five class on the physics of light, I began to image a cloistered princess with the ability to act as a crystal. The story has evolved with the characters and now has a magic that sits at the edge of quantum physics, where science and magic and spirituality might meet, but this doesn't become clear until later in Anie's journey. For this first book, it is enough that Anie learns to control the light and sound determined to explode through her.
If you're interested in more about why I wrote this story, this brief TED Talk sums it up perfectly.