Those of you who follow me @ajblackwriter on Twitter or via Facebook may already have seen this announcement, but I’m thrilled to finally reveal the title of my long-gestating non-fiction tome: Myth-Building in Modern Media: The Role of the Mytharc in Imagined Worlds, now available to pre-order from McFarland and due for release later in 2019.
Given I’ve discussed the book on the site before, I wanted to give you all a bit more detail than I’ve shared yet on social media about what the book is, what it contains and what you can expect, in advance of the official blurb.
Myth-Building, as I imagine I’ll shorten it too–or maybe the catchy acronym of MBMM:TRMIW… maybe not–is principally about the mythology of modern fiction, be that film, TV, books, and how the concept of the ‘Mytharc’ is presented.
My favourite TV shows, and often movies or book series, have some sense of world building behind them. They’re deep rooted in a level of mythology which underpins the narrative we experience as viewers. On TV from the 90’s onwards, this became known as a ‘Mytharc’, particularly via The X-Files as one of the first series to develop an ongoing mythological structure, but a broader sense of a developing world existed in the world of comic books and literature far earlier than the end of the 20th century – whether in the work of H. P. Lovecraft in the 20’s & 30’s, some of the kitsch and iconic genre shows of the 1960’s in both US and UK television, through to comic mythology of Marvel and DC.
This book will investigate where the Mytharc comes from, how it developed through these different mediums, and why it became entangled with broader narrative myth-making, particularly the ‘Monomyth’ as invented by Joseph Campbell in the late 1940’s – a heroes’ journey template which has influenced everything from Star Wars through to Lost and the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Myth-Building will draw on lots of these examples in order to go on a quest, essentially, to ‘find’ the Mytharc and explore what it means to our storytelling and culture today.
Though the structure of the book went through quite a few permutations over the year I spent writing it, Myth-Building is very much something I’ve wanted to write for years, even maybe when I didn’t realise it. Exploring what the Mytharc is and means led me down all kinds of rabbit holes that expanded my knowledge of half a dozen genres, and hopefully what I uncovered will be of interest to you as well. If you’re a fan in particular of The X-Files, Millennium, Lost, Star Trek (as a whole), Marvel, DC and Game of Thrones, you are going to find a lot to enjoy I suspect in this book.
That’s all I’ll say for now. There should be links to purchasing the book on Amazon soon and while it won’t be on shelves at Waterstones, Barnes & Noble etc… you should be able to order through those stores if you contact them, and of course you can easily buy directly from the publisher McFarland and their easy to navigate website.
Given it’s an academic text, it is naturally a bit more expensive than your typical paperback (or even hardback) so a good piece of advice a fellow author gave readers was to request your local library purchase the book, from where you can loan it and read for free. If you should pre-order or purchase the book at any point, I can’t thank you enough.
Should you have a website, blog or podcast and you’d be interested in interviewing me/discussing the book, I would be hugely interested. Do please drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
More details and links to come but hopefully this will give you a glimpse about the book to come and whet your appetite.