The Field Guide To Magical Animals is a fantasy mystery series set in a magical world called The Verdant Kingdom. Each adventure features amazing magical creatures, and the problems their magical abilities can cause. Our hero, Lee, is an aspiring zoologist who wants to know everything there is to know about these incredible creatures. With her wits, cunning, and encyclopedic knowledge of animal facts, she is always saving the day.
Lee's partner is an ill-tempered ghost who used to be the greatest adventurer alive. Maddy wishes she could relive her glory days, bashing heads, swinging from vines, and stealing piles and piles of treasure. Now her restless spirit is bound to an ancient book, which chronicles the adventures she had while still alive. Maddy is always pushing Lee to be more of an action hero, and solve her problems with her fists. She is so bored every time Lee prefers to solve puzzles and outthink her challenges, rather than relying on a sword to fix everything.
Do you guys know about Joseph Campbell's monomyth? Do you care? It's sort of the idea that a lot of the stories humans write, across every civilization and at every point in our history, have actually had a lot in common with each other. There are several plot points and symbols that keep reocurring in nearly every great myth, or story, any human has ever written. To give you an example of why this is so interesting, a lot of people believe the original Star Wars trilogy was such a classic because it followed these points very closely, almost like a recipe for how to write their movies. Somehow these things are like a key that gets to the core of us, as humans.
I was nerding out about the monomyth for basically the whole time I was writing The Secret Dragon. Where to follow it, where to subvert it, where I think Joseph Campbell was wrong (a lot of people don't like the monomyth because back in 1949, when he was writing about it, no one thought of girls as heroes, so it seems behind the times today). I kind of want to talk about it in these little artist blurbs here, but I'm a little afraid people would find it deeply boring.
I'm going to leave it up to you. If you're interested in all the nerdery behind the scenes, maybe tweet at me, send me a tumblr ask, a facebook message, whatever you're comfortable with. I try to get back to everyone but I'm really bad at it. but if enough people want to read these things, I'll be more than happy to just open the flood gates. Believe me, I can go on and on. And on. And on. You get the idea.