Okay, I know it’s in German. Being from a German-American family from Iowa in a mostly Germanic/Scandinavian little Midwestern town, everything I write is in German, even though it’s written in English. So let me explain my square-headed German logic here. Here is a quote from Wikipedia to define it; “In literary criticism, a Bildungsroman (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪldʊŋs.ʁoˌmaːn]; German: “novel of formation/education/culture”), novel of formation, novel of education, or coming-of-age story (though it may also be known as a subset of the coming-of-age story) is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood (coming of age), and in which, therefore, character change is extremely important.” I wrote one of these previously. My episodic tale of a young boy who is the new kid in the small Iowa town and through experience learns to become one of the gang, is called Superchicken. It is an example of the coming-of-age tale that closely follows the pattern. Edward Campbell has to learn the hard way that being mature both physically and emotionally is really hard work, and you can fall short of your goal without even meaning to. But his opposition to his parents’ rules and sense of propriety eventually leads to acceptance.
Miss Morgan, however, follows a slightly skewed version of the pattern. In the novel, Francis Morgan is a good teacher and mature woman at the very start. She has convictions about teaching and how to handle students that she is willing to fight for. And society around her seems to want to break her of her habits and convictions. Principals and school boards can bring enormous pressure on a teacher, and they generally don’t want to hear you’ve been teaching magic in the classroom. She is going to learn lessons the hard way, whether she wants to or not. But it is entirely possible that she will not change, not give in to society’s demands. I don’t think, however, that it means that she won’t mature and change in some very important ways.
I am working on this novel, The Magical Miss Morgan, this month. It fills me up and then exhausts me. It uses up most of my hard-won wisdom from my years as a teacher, and I am hoping it will turn out to be the best thing I have ever written.