Maggie Stiefvater's latest novel is The Raven Boys.
One exchange from her Q & A with Doug Stanton at The Daily Beast:
What is it about mythology in your novels that people respond to?Read the complete Q & A.
I think fiction has been around for so long—you can go back and back, and we’ve been telling stories not only about what happens in our day-to-day life, but we’ve been putting magic and folklore into them, even when we knew full well that these things weren’t true. We were telling stories through this lens of myth. And I think the thing about mythology is that it makes all of our problems universal. I remember being shocked that Shiver sold in 38 countries, because I thought it was such a particularly “me” story.
When I started Shiver, I wasn’t a big fan of the werewolf myth. I mean, I feel like werewolves and vampires were invented to talk about something that was frightening us as a culture. And werewolves were about losing yourself to your “beastly side,” which must have been terrifying if you were a Victorian. But I have to say, I don’t think we have a problem of losing ourselves to our beastly side. I mean, how much marketing do we have out there that says, “Embrace yourself! Embrace your inner animal,” and off you go? So for me, the werewolf myth was kind of useless. Then I started doing high-school visits as an author, and I was faced with all these kids who started out to be these interesting, quirky, cool, middle-schoolers, and they’d get into high school and try so hard to fit in, and come out kind of lock-step, trying to lose their rough edges so that they wouldn’t get picked on. And that really stuck with me. So I started writing this book where “werewolf-ism” was really a metaphor for losing your identity, the better bits of yourself.