Hello Everyone! It’s a very rainy, New England day over here which doesn’t help to improve my Monday spirits. However as a plus, well…as a major plus, I have the honor of participating in Maggie Stiefvater’s “mini” blog tour for THE DREAM THIEVES (The Raven Cycle, #2)!!!
Oh, and be sure to read the amazing guest post (the perfect post for a lifelong mythology buff/nerd like myself)…on the mythology in the book!
The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after….
“The mythology behind the ley lines and mystical, sleeping, dead Welsh Kings”
by Maggie Stiefvater
When I was a small and dark child, a sort of junior Wednesday Addams, I used to check out collections of mythology and folklore from the library. While other children were doing . . . whatever it was that other children did (play catch? Is that a child activity? Something about a little red wagon? Sing songs?) . . . I had my nose buried in big encyclopedias of magical and mysticial and rumored things. One of my favorite things was to catch sly references to mythology in the novels that I read, too. I already knew, in a rather folkloric and certain way, that I, too, was going to be a writer, and I was determined to do the same thing in my own novels.
So when people ask me how much mythology research I did for my books, I suppose the truthful answer is: “a lot. Long ago.” I will often reread my favorite books on it, but it doesn’t really count as research if you’ve already seen it.
But then, for the Raven Cycle, I found I needed something more. I needed to throw myself into researching the ley lines, and that was something completely different. For starters, stuff about the ley lines wasn’t found in the mythology/folk lore section. It was found in the New Age section.
In I plunged, expecting to find more of the same. A modern sort of mythology, really.
Here is the thing about mythology and folklore. It is not real, but it is true. It reflects the culture and mores of the people who invented it. It captures for all time a moment of collective longing or fear or pride. Every hero represents a historical ideal, even if he doesn’t represent a historical figure.
Really, it is history with all of the facts taken out and magic put in instead.
But reading about the leylines wasn’t like that at all. The books about them didn’t feature any mythology or folklore: they were fairly new creations. The ley lines in the UK throbbed very faintly with a cultural desire to reconnect with their history, but by the time the ley line stuff got imported to the States, it was all feeling quite airy-fairy and ungrounded.
I was presented with an entirely new challenge: make this fairly new creation feel not only like it had been around forever, but like it was organic. I wanted the readers to believe in Gansey’s quest, and to do that, his belief in the ley lines had to feel quixotic but not absolutely unfounded. It meant that even though my research started in the New Age section, it then ranged through geology books and history books and back to yet more mythology books. It is hard work to make something look like it’s always been there, but I’ve always enjoyed a good bit of forgery (is this a childlike activity? If so, go back and add it to the list up at the top).
When you’re reading the Raven Cycle though, I hope all of my work will be invisible. I hope that the new bits and the old bits are indistinguishable. And I hope that, most of all, it makes you feel like Gansey: curious. How it would please my black heart to know that I was creating more people who eschew red wagons (and . . . jump rope? Children still do that, right?) to get lost in the mythology section of their library.
About the Author
All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.
Courtesy of Maggie Stiefvater and Scholastic Inc. in conjunction with the Maggie Stiefvater Blog Contest. © Maggie Stiefvater 2013.
Also…a huge thank you to Maggie Stiefvater, Krista Kucheman, and the rest of the Scholastic, Inc. team for the chance to participate in this tour & for these awesome goodies!
Though I do love the signed copy of THE DREAM THIEVES (review to come!), I’m especially in love with the custom model Mitsubishi (my little brother would be so jealous!) 🙂