Guest Blog Post with Author Sharon M. Hart
My guest blogger this week is author Sharon M. Hart. Like many of the authors who have been guests on my blog, I "met" Sharon through social media. Sharon is also an active participant in Writerly Wednesday. Her flash fiction posts are always unique and fascinating and you can read them on her blog at http://curioushart.blogspot.ca/
Welcome, Sharon, and thank you for being my guest blogger for August.
Sharon M. Hart studied mathematics and humanities at university. She earned a degree in mathematics and for over twenty years, taught algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus to teenagers. The teaching experience gave her insight into the human condition and interpersonal relationships, which is reflected in her writing. It also allowed her to practice the art of storytelling and it exercised her sense of humor. Ms. Hart is originally from Durango, Colorado and now lives in Central California with her husband.
"People who wish to live in a civilized society need a social compact that all agree to uphold for the good of the community. Such a compact derives its validity and merit from its birth from within the community, not from being imposed upon the community by outside authorities." The Book of Rhino ~ The Revelation
It took me two years to write the first Book of Rhino. I have been working on the second one for over a year. I think the reason I am so slow is because I do not tell a story - I allow the story to tell itself. It takes time, patience, and perseverance to wait for the universe to reveal its truths. I think The Book of Rhino came to life because his story needed to be told.
I wrote the book because I wanted to read about a community whose members live by a social compact based on equity and justice, where the rich and powerful are servant leaders. I wanted to explore what it would be like to live in a world in which each person sought and promoted the welfare of others above self. That concept alone is what makes my story a fantasy.
My inspiration for the social compact came from my experience as a high school teacher. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote that complicated rules to adjust behavior are a weak substitute for simple principles. With my students, I did not depend on a list of rules for classroom management; instead, we all agreed to abide by a social compact for the good of the learning community.
I also drew inspiration from Taliesin by Stephen Lawhead.
“I have seen a land shining with goodness where each man protects his brother’s dignity as readily as his own, where war and want have ceased and all races live under the same law of love and honor.” This is the underlying theme of The Book of Rhino. However, high ideals are not reached without cost.
Prince Rhino is destined to rule the kingdom of 10th century Albion. He will share power with four other boys, inducted as Rhino’s brothers on his twelfth birthday. During their years of training, Rhino and his new brothers must forge the bonds of fellowship in order to best serve and protect the kingdom. Rhino is determined to win his brothers’ love and loyalty so that he may rule over them. Therefore, Rhino is shocked and dismayed to learn that his brothers will be punished for any mistakes that he makes. How can he command their respect if the fear of failure hangs over his head?
“There is always a choice – either the possible or the impossible one.”
In The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”, a girl named Lucy peruses a book of magic spells. She encounters A Spell for the Refreshment of the Spirit. She says the magic words and enters into a beautiful story that leaves her feeling good inside. When she tries to reread the story, she discovers that the pages of the book will not turn backward. The story is gone. The other reason I wrote The Book of Rhino is because I wanted to read Lucy’s story. My favorite stories are what I call the “E” ticket: entertaining, enlightening, encouraging, endearing, and edifying – Lucy’s magic story. I wanted to write my own magic story.
You can contact Sharon and the following links: