Fairytale “Valiant” Comes to Life

Ms. McGuire announces arrival of her new book


While all of the students were dreading that first day of school after a relaxing summer, Western teacher Sarah McGuire was excitedly preparing for her book to be sold.

Her book, “Valiant,” is a retelling of the Grimm’s fairy tale “The Brave Little Tailor” which is about a young boy’s adventures after killing “7 in one blow.” Everyone who hears of the Brave Little Tailor’s story is terrified because they believe he killed 7 humans in one blow, when in reality he only killed 7 flies in one blow. The tale goes on to talk about all the feats the boy slyly completes that lead to him becoming king over the town.

Reading fairy tales throughout her childhood, Ms. McGuire decided to “fix” “The Brave Little Tailor” by changing the character to a girl that outwits two giants. “There were parts of the original story that really irked me…It felt natural to change the tailor to a girl,” McGuire said.

She started this exciting yet nerve-racking journey April of 2012 and finished the rough draft that August. “I wanted to sell a book…perhaps it was because there’s something about holding a book you’ve written,” McGuire said after asked why she wrote a book. “Valiant” was revised until February and with the help of her agent, Tracey Adams, of Adams Literature, the book was sold to Egmont USA.  Now that Egmont USA has bought “Valiant” they have the right of refusal, meaning they can decide whether they want to buy the book once it’s finished being edited. In the mean time, Ms. McGuire is focusing on revising “Valiant” and getting it ready for publication.

Ms. McGuire was previously a nanny, waitress and business owner before becoming a teacher at Western. Raised in South Atlanta, Ms. McGuire was homeschooled throughout high school, and worked nine years before deciding to attend UVA. During her high school years, Ms. McGuire discovered she wanted to be a teacher, and now teaches math and creative writing at Western.

Because of Ms. McGuire’s interest in satire and fantasy books, her inspiration to write a book while being a full-time teacher derives from Tolkien, author of “The Lord of the Rings,” and C.S Lewis, author of “The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.” These fun-filled fantasies encouraged Ms. McGuire to write her book. “I needed a story that I loved, and I needed to write it so that a reader could step into my story and want to stay there,” said McGuire.

“Valiant” is targeted to elementary-school children and young adults that would like a retelling of an exciting fairy tale. For Ms. McGuire several months of endless writing paid off in the release of her new book, which will officially be published in 2015.