At a point, I realized Gwendolyn’s the mother I wished to be—openhearted; nurturing; pushing herself into bravery; and trying to be the best mother she can.
I’m sure you’ve figured out that Strange One, the dragon, represents my son. In the first draft of the book, he was young enough that I could fool myself that the story could have my happy ever after ending.
So maybe John Sanford had a point—a bucket of water over the head didn’t sound so shocking.
New perspectives demand change. I rewrote and rewrote . . . and rewrote.
Every author has to answer the question of who is the audience?
My original hope for the story’s audience focused on parents and children who had read together for years.
Secrets of the Flame: The Power to Protect would be the grand-finale joint bedtime story—a story that helps a parent let go and a child claim his or her independence with grace rather than teenage rage at parental “stupidity.”
See what I mean about hubris?
After rethinking Joseph Campbell’s jewel story, my hope is that Secrets of the Flame is an entertaining and exciting practice step for the journey to independence that parents and children take—a journey that starts with the first wobbly cruise around the coffee table.
Joseph Campbell also gave me a way to think about the family story arc. Parents and children bond. To become adults, children must claim their independence, sometimes painful for both kids and parents.
Eventually, something new has to go beyond or transcend the opposites of bonding and breaking apart. This something new has to include both—sacrificing neither the bond nor the independence to the other. Expect a certain degree of backsliding in one or the other, however.
I don’t feel comfortable until I acknowledge that I can’t promise you’ll fall in love with The Secrets of the Flame: The Power to Protect.
Some people do love it—they’ve told me they read it in one sitting, couldn’t put it down, or it made them laugh and cry. After reading it, some people have purchased more copies for gifts.
Other people have said it’s well-written, but not their cup of tea.
Which will it be for you? Beats me.
So my hope is that the book will find its way to the right people. I hope some of you will try the book and then leave an Amazon review that will help others make a decision about it.