Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth MacDonald, Author of Tideon: A New Myth.
Hi Elizabeth, Great to have you with us today! For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book Tideon, where should they start?
I work with the Beautiful Lives Project. It’s a nonprofit that helps physically and mentally challenged children get self-esteem. It helps them feel good about themselves by letting them play on the fields or courts with professional sports teams, like baseball or basketball. It was founded by Bryce Weiler; he’s a blind sports caster who found that he has phenomenal talent, an eidetic mind that can quote sports stats like an encyclopedia. So I wanted to help children who feel differently from others that they are totally fine and should be happy and comfortable and feel safe and secure with themselves because they have gifts that will make them shine. We’re working now on a regular T.V. show on Facebook that will spotlight children with Downs Syndrome and their successes, also their families and communities. It’s that spirit that’s behind Tideon.
How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book, Tideon?
Ok, I guess I always felt different and awkward as a kid; I didn’t talk until I was five years old. I guess I was overwhelmed, growing up in a very large family. But I loved to read and write; I’ve always wanted to be a reporter since age 10. When I was in 6th grade, a class assignment was to write your own myth, like a Roman or Greek myth. That’s when I wrote Tideon; it always stayed with me, the story of a little boy who doesn’t fit in and how his father and his neighbors think he’s a misfit. I felt like I just needed to get this story out there.
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals and intentions were to help children feel better about themselves, that they don’t ever need to feel upset with themselves because inside, they are little miracles.
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I’m really just so thankful if they read Tideon. My illustrator Bron Williams did a phenomenal job capturing the magic of ocean life and the world around us; her artwork really pulls you in. Bron also told me she likes how the writing doesn’t talk down to children; I really wanted to get children to ask questions and to learn even more.
What did you enjoy most about writing Tideon?
Well, I really like exploring the idea that there’s a much bigger world and universe out there beyond our five senses. I’ve always been taken with the fact that the animal kingdom is experiencing the world around us much differently than human beings are. Bird and arctic reindeer, for example, can see much more colors than human beings can. Human beings are trichromats; we can see about 1 million different shades and levels of colors, but birds and arctic reindeers are tetrachromats; they may be able to see an incredible 100 million colors. Plus, animals, including dogs and others, can hear a much wider range of sounds than we can. So there’s a gentle peace in that knowledge, there’s a peace in the humility of that knowledge, and kindness, that I think children can connect to.
Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?
I’m thinking of writing a sequel to Tideon. I have the ideas in my head now for it.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was ten years old. I wrote a book called Skirting Heresy: The Life & Times of Margery Kempe, and a play off my book that debuted in England two years ago. It’s a historical fiction book based on the true story of Margery Kempe, considered the first autobiographer in the English language. She was put on trial and almost put to death multiple times for her beliefs and because she preached about the Gospels on the streets of England when that was against the law. The monarchy of Henry V repeatedly tried to capture her. This is Catholic England before Joan of Arc was executed, my favorite period in history.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Tideon?
Well, Tideon is a little boy who is in love with the ocean, his mother Marina desperately loves him; he’s a misfit. Marina is upset because her husband mistreats his son because he’s different and so do the neighbors. But Tideon has a powerful gift, a miracle that was given to him that makes him ocean royalty. Also, I like how Tideon is always forgiving because he just wants to run away and play in the ocean, which his mother Marina soon sees and recognizes. With the help of the Goddess of the Moon and her royal captain Ayalon, they see who Tideon really is; they know his true destiny.
If you could spend the day with one of the characters from Tideon, who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go, and what you would do.
I love Tideon, and his mom. We would be in the ocean all day. And, I love the Moon and her captain, the royal stag Ayalon. We’d probably wander through the forests at night. Yes, I would love to do that, sleep outside under the Moon at night. So long as it’s safe!
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!