I am so excited to welcome M. H. Woodscourt to Books, Tea, Healthy Me today for an amazing guest post. She will be discussing the importance of fantasy and fairy tales in our modern world. But before we hear her words of wisdom, let’s take a look at her new book, Crownless.
M. H. Woodscourt
Publication date: June 19th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
A fugitive storyteller running out of time. A prince hiding from his mother. A kingdom on the brink of collapse. A search for a world of magic.
Convinced his tales are true, storyteller Jinji is determined to find the legendary fae realm of Shinac to save his world from a dread lord trying to cross over—before a fatal illness ends Jinji’s life.
Prince Jetekesh is caught between a controlling mother and his affection for his dying father—until he’s kidnapped and forced to journey with a delusional storyteller and a motley band of fugitives in search of a myth.
Hunted by the queen, hindered by a malady, and invaded by an enemy empire, Jinji and Jetekesh race across a crumbling kingdom to find the alleged gate between worlds.
But even if Shinac exists, how can a humble storyteller and deposed prince hope to stand against a devastating evil?
Writer of fantasy, magic weaver, dragon rider! Having spent the past 20 years devotedly writing fantasy, it’s safe to say M. H. Woodscourt is now more fae than human. All of her fantasy worlds connect with each other in a broad Universe, forged with great love and no small measure of blood, sweat, and tears. When she’s not writing, she’s napping or reading a book with a mug of hot cocoa close at hand while her quirky cat Wynter nibbles her toes.
Learn more at http://www.mhwoodscourt.com
Guest Post: Tale As Old As Time Itself
“Tale as old as time,” brings to mind a favorite story told in classic Disney fashion. Belle has always been my favorite Disney Princess, not only because she loves books, but because she’s a wonderful example of someone who sees past the tough exterior into the kind, lonely heart of another living creature. Through her bravery and love, the Beast remembers his humanity and transforms into what he really is all along.
Similar messages can be easily found in many fairy tales, not just the Disneyfied renditions.
My love of Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and other animated films instilled within me the curiosity to delve into the minds of the greatest storytellers who ever put their words to paper: Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, J. M. Berry, Lloyd Alexander, and so many, many more, where my imagination found fertile soil to set down permanent roots.
More than once, I’ve been asked, “Why write fantasy?” Some have inquired out of curiosity, others out of misplaced scorn for what is magical and “untrue.”
My answer to this question is usually a crude paraphrasing of what C. S. Lewis so eloquently said of fairy tales: “Since it is so likely that [children] will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. . . Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let villains be soundly killed at the end of the book.”
G. K. Chesterton wrote a similar musing, and while this isn’t an exact quote of his philosophy (that’s too long to share here), this paraphrased version sums it up well nonetheless: “The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. […] That there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.”
Whether or not the bad guy wins is subject, of course, to the fairy tale. But either way, C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton had the right of it. Fairy tales, fables, parables; such methods have been used down the centuries by the wisest sages of our many diverse Earthly cultures, because such stories resonate with our hearts and stick in our minds and souls.
Why fairy tales and make-believe?
Why, to learn. To feel. To grow!
I don’t recall every lesson on grammar, mathematics, or science I ever had as a child. But I do recall nearly every story read to me after the age of five and many I’ve read on my own since. Especially the ones that really matter. Those that teach compassion, forgiveness, courage, or the lessons found in stories whose heroes lacked such qualities and paid for it.
Our world has survived for countless millennia without advanced science, math, or indoor plumbing. But never, in its entire history, has there been a time without stories or the need for them—especially the kind that plumbs our very souls, like those stirring, transcendent tales as old as time itself.
As the immortalized Samwise Gamgee once said: “It’s like the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad has happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer. I know now folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something. That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Thank you to M.H. Woodscourt for this amazing guest post!
GIVEAWAY! – Enter to win:
- A signed paperback copy of Crownless + $20 Amazon gift card
- 2x $10 Amazon gift cards