Posts Tagged ‘Gayle C. Krause’




Guest Post–Gayle C. Krause and RATGIRL: Song of the Viper

Filed under: Check-it-out, Writing for Children, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Woo hoo!!! My lovely friend Gayle Krause has a book coming out. I can’t wait to read it! Because I love to share, I thought it would be wonderful fun to have Gayle hang out over here today and tell you a little bit about her book and give you some information on writing the hero’s journey.

photo RatGirlFinalMed

Kim has so graciously invited me to be a guest blogger today to help publicize my new YA novel, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper. So, I thought I’d break down Jax’s story and relate it to the classic Hero’s Journey. Hopefully, it will help those of you on a writing quest of your own. J


Jax’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey: Modified

by Gayle C. Krause

Myths are the oldest of all stories about gods, people, men and animals. They’re filled with fantasy and explain the world around us. Whether we read of Jason searching for the Golden Fleece in Greek myths, or Sigurd searching for Fafnir’s treasure in Norse myths, the heroes of every culture make a journey to secure the things they need.  The word “hero” is Greek in its root. It means to protect and serve. It refers to someone who is willing to sacrifice his or her own needs on behalf of others.


And that’s a perfect explanation of Jax Stone, heroine of RATGIRL: Song of the Viper.


In each mythical story the hero or heroine is presented with a summons notifying them they must deal with a problem or a challenge that will better the life of their family or community. He/she must leave his/her ordinary world to accomplish this goal.


Jax is faced with not only surviving in a harsh world overheated by a deadly sun, but she is confronted with the kidnapping of her five year old brother and she needs to face her fears and her enemies to get him back.


Yet, they face their fear and begin their adventure, meeting people who try to help them by either guiding them, or standing in their way. These people are called mentors. This person is usually a positive individual who aids or trains the hero in the specific skills he/she needs to be successful in his/her quest. This pairing is common in myths and it stands for the bonding of the hero with an older, wiser person.


Jax’s original mentor was her grandmother, a strong woman who tried to teach the population of Metro City to take care of the earth and it, in turn would take care of you. Because of Jax’s grandmother she has the knowledge needed to forage the woods and city parks for edible fruits and nuts to sustain her brother and friends in an otherwise dying city.


But Jax’s grandmother has been dead these past years, and unknown to Jax the Air Caravan pilot she dreams about, and the tyrannical mayor’s personal servant, are both part of the environmental organization her grandmother started. If she can find it in her heart to trust them, they will guide her attempt to outwit the diabolical mayor and save her brother.


Once the hero starts his journey he/she must meet powerful guardians posed to keep him/her from entering an unknown realm. These gateway keepers test the new skills of the hero before allowing him/her to seek entry into the next part of his journey into a new world.


The Megamark Guards, the mayor’s personal army try to thwart Jax at every turn, including arresting her and securing her to a die in the deadly daytime sun.

In each myth, the hero triumphs over the guardians that block their path only to find a challenge to their quest. The challenge is brought to them through a character known as a herald, proclaiming the specific details of the hero’s challenge.


One of these Guards is duplicitous, and his love for Jax’s sister-friend, and his childhood relationship with the man she loves allows him to conspire with her against the mayor.


The hero identifies his need to succeed at the challenges and works out ways to solve the trial of his skills. Once he decides on his plan of action he usually comes face to face with allies whose appearance and characteristics change unexpectedly. These shapeshifters are powerful foes and/or helpers. Some of them are tricksters, full of mischief, and a desire to make the hero change into a humble, but thankful character as he proceeds down his path to glory.


Once Jax has set her plan of action and she is helped by her ragtag band of friends, her grandmother’s allies and the man she loves, she is unexpectedly confronted by an ally, turned enemy, and must make a crucial decision to abandon some of her friends, or allow them to abandon her, in order to fully realize the escape attempt of her brother.


The hero/heroine must defeat an enemy, sometimes even surviving death to take possession of the desired treasure, or to claim the reward for his/her people. But, he/she still needs to make the return trip home dealing with actions and ordeals that block his/her way back. In classic myths he/she overcomes these obstacles and gains a new ability to understand the nature of the challenge allowing him/her to return to his/her people with the reward he/she so valiantly sought.


All of Jax’s sacrifices enable her to bring the children of Metro City into a world of light.


Hope I’ve helped you see the light, too. J. Please leave a comment for a chance to win some Ratgirl swag.


Hey–It’s Kim again. See, I told you this sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing, Gayle. But now I need to know. Who is your favorite story book hero? I have to say, I’m a huge fan of Percy Jackson. I just love that dyslexic boy. But Harry Potter! It’s probably a toss up between the two–until you start mentioning more heroes that I love and then I’ll be making a list and hugging it twice LOL!




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