{Guest Post} "Here's to Selkies and the Lives Lived Between Two Worlds" by Author Sarah McGuire

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Look for Sarah McGuire's
debut novel VALIANT
(Based on The Brave Little Tailor)
coming from Egmont USA
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"Beyond the Walls of the World!" 

Sarah McGuire loves fairy tales and considers them the best way of getting back to Narnia —at least until she finds a working wardrobe. 

She lives within sight of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where she teaches high school creative writing and math classes with interesting word problems. During the school year, she lives off coffee, chocolate, and afternoon naps that let her write into the night. During the summer, she loves having the extra time to travel and, of course, write.
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Visit Turbo Monkey Tales, the blog she co-hosts!

Here's to Selkies 

and the 
Lives Lived Between Two Worlds
by Sarah McGuire

I was young the first time I read about selkies. Perhaps that is why–for a long time– I thought of selkies as the ugly stepsisters of mermaids.

Mermaid stories I understood. Mermaids were beguiling haf-fish, half-human creatures. And there was the wonder of stepping into an undersea world. Even now, our technology can take us to the ocean floor, but it can't give us a home there, like the stories I read about mermaids. The selkie stories I originally read, however,  stayed firmly planted in the human world.  I could only guess at the world they left.

So selkies weren't my favorites. No wonder, no different world . . . and seals as the romantic interest.

No. Just no.

More than anything, though, I couldn't understand why selkie stories ended the way they did. Because the selkie who finds (or-ugh!- is forced to stay with) a husband and family on land always returns to the sea. Always.

So why did I change my mind?

I live in a town that hosts many refugee families. I hate to even define them that way, because they are so much MORE than refugees, and bring so much more to this country than just the stories of how they had to leave their homeland.

But leave they did, and the woman who became my dear friend didn't leave by choice. She left because she had to. Despite that upheaval, she made a home here, and my family was fortunate to be part of that. She ate turkey with us at Thanksgiving and became part of the chaos of Christmas Eve present-wrapping.

New Year's Eve, though, was hard for her. She knew–knew–how her family was celebrating. She'd been part of those celebrations for years–until she moved to the States.

She'd made a home here but couldn't–wouldn't– forget the one she'd left.

Years later, she was able to return to her homeland. Yet amid all the joy of finally going home, she missed the family she'd made here in the States. I remember talking to her on Christmas Day and realizing she missed us the way she'd missed her family.

One heart. Two homes.

Granted, my friend has transportation options that selkies never had, and she moves through an airport like a force of nature. But. Her family is happiest when she's there, when I miss her the most. And the roles reverse when she's here in the US.

Somewhere in that mess, I finally understood that selkie stories capture living between two worlds, two homes. It makes sense to me that people who lived by the sea, and who were sometimes forced to leave their homelands, would tell stories about selkies, creatures stretched between two homes, two loves.

Isn't that pull between two homes part of our lives in the first place? And isn't that a way that fairy tales enrich our lives, by making our own world more clear to us?

So here's to selkies, and to lives that are lived between two worlds.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Sarah McGuire
Release Date: June 9, 201
Publisher: Egmont USA

One brave girl must unravel the truth from centuries-old stories of distrust and fear. 

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father the Tailor loves; he’s always prized them over her. Yet, when he’s struck ill, she’ll do anything to survive, even if it means donning boys’ clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king. 

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an approaching army of giants, led by a man who cannot be defeated. Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal. 

Then she meets them face-to-face, two scouts as tall as trees. After she tricks them into leaving, tales of the Tailor of Reggen’s triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. But mere stories won’t deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army, or keep them from tearing down Reggen’s walls. 

Now, only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom. 

Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Gale Carson Levine, Valiant richly reimagines “The Brave Little Tailor,” transforming it into a story of understanding, identity, and fighting to protect those you love most.