The Myth of Ourself

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My Book, The Myth of Arden, features Ramoth: a powerful king given a prophesy he must choose to either accept or destroy.

This concept started a long time ago with my childhood musings. I spent a lot of time alone (as I am reasonably good company), but also because I wasn’t allowed to wander the streets. To this day I’m still convinced that stepping foot off my property will result in a white van pulling up to abduct me. I’m pretty sure at this point they’d immediately send me back, but you never know.

My imagination, therefore, became my best friend. I created a new back story for my life: one in which I wasn’t so dull, boring, or utterly unimportant. In this version of events, I was secretly a princess, hidden away for her safety.

In this way, I could feel cherished and valuable far beyond what I usually felt or perhaps deserved. I wasn’t nearly mature enough to see the value in the mundane or to appreciate that I was not the center of the universe.

Isn’t this something we all do though? Some of us tell stories about ourselves to pump ourselves up while others, sadly, use stories to push ourselves down. We retell the tale again and again until it has a life of its own.

What is your Myth? What is the secret that you could not bear to admit to yourself is not true?

What idea about yourself are you willing to protect at all costs from being challenged?

What would happen if you confronted it? Is it helping you, or holding you back? Is it something you plan on embracing or throwing away?

Is it even possible to trick fate?

You’ll have to read The Myth of Arden to discover what Ramoth chooses, but in your own life, you have a choice as well. For me, becoming a Christian meant beginning to understand who I was in God’s eyes. In the end, that is more important than anything I believe about myself, and hopefully, it frees me to identify the flaws within and try to correct them rather than running away from them.

After all, where truth ends and a Myth begins is often hard to discern, but if we are not willing to face the truth as it is, as ugly as it may be, then we will never grow beyond what we are right now.

The Critics Are Raving (Mad)!

The results are in and The Myth of Arden is this summer’s knockout hit! The critics told us in confidence but won’t mind us revealing:

“This is the greatest novel ever written! It truly blurs the line between awesome and really, really awesome!”

Me

“It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting!”

My mother

“Good job!”

My second grader

“It’s perfect for killing spiders! Aaaahhhhhhh! Never mind!”

My husband

“I’ll get to it eventually.”

My second cousin twice (???) removed

“It tastes good!”

My four year old

“Why are you giving this to me? No really I don’t want it.”

The bus driver

“This is perfect! Just the thing I need to keep that door wedged open!”

My uncle

“I can’t wait to regift this!”

Literally everyone

So there you have it folks! Be sure to get your copy today! The eBook version is free if you have Kindle Unlimited or just check your local Goodwill donation bin!

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Quotes from The Myth of Arden

With so many memorable moments, it can be hard to pick just one! Here is a small collection of some of the best quotes from “The Myth of Arden”. Have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Be sure to add it to the comments below!

Haven’t read the book yet? The Kindle eBook version is free for all Amazon Prime members! Check it out: The Myth of Arden

“I will not become what I hate. This all ends here.”

Anny, Chapter 5; The Myth of Arden by Susan Marie Strom


“Why not be brave in your final hour? Why not be true to your fate? Destiny is to be embraced, not run from.”

Speaker Unknown, Chapter 4; The Myth of Arden


“Hopeless, take your fated path. Love no more. Love your pain more and forget yourself.”

Anny, Chapter 4; The Myth of Arden

“Do you think you could ever love me or even like me? Even just tolerate me?”

Jax, Chapter 7

“Nothing can be all good or all bad.”

Jax, Chapter 7; The Myth of Arden

“Run! Run away as far as you can. Never return.”

Cailar, Chapter 7; The Myth of Arden

“Could there be a love so pure that it would overlook all those flaws?… One where it didn’t matter at all what the other did; so unconditional it bordered on unnatural.”

Anny, Chapter 9; The Myth of Arden

About the Author

I was raised in Upstate New York in the small town of Napanoch. When some people hear you are from New York they immediately have visions of sky scrapers or the Statue of Liberty, but Napanoch is a small town a few hours north of New York City with spectacular views of the Shawangunk Ridge. This landscape inspired most of the terrain found in my writing, where the forests are thick with winding trails.

We had a rather large family with me being somewhere in the middle of seven children, mostly daughters. Thus, when I was born my parents had unfortunately ran out of girl names. In what turned out to be a misunderstanding between my parents I was ultimately given the same name as my mother. For this reason, back home I am still often lovingly referred to as “Sue Jr” or “No, the other one”.

While attending Wawarsing Christian Academy and Ellenville Central Schools I would often lie that I was “from Ellenville” because Napanoch was virtually unknown. As it turns out Ellenville is equally obscure (a point lost on me in my youth), but it was here that I first became interested in writing as I had several remarkable and enthusiastic teachers.

The first great story teller in my life, however, was my father. He could command a room with humorous and disgusting tales of his life. I lament the fact that so many good memories were lost with his death as no one could retell the tales quite the same way he could. He showed me that the best stories are personal.

I considered writing my passion but took the advice that a degree in something else would afford me the luxury to write in my free time. So next I attended Ulster County Community College for my Associates Degree, followed by a bachelor’s in chemistry from the State University at New York at New Paltz, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Michigan State University. Along the way I met my husband and we started our family. The concept of not writing in order to be able to write more might sound counter intuitive, because it is! It turns out graduate school affords you little free time and motherhood, miraculously, even less.

However, after having shelved my writing aspirations for a couple of decades I suffered a terrible loss in the form if a miscarriage. It was a pain unmatched by any other loss I had endured up to that point, and in all the sorrow I made a promise to the little one I would never know that I would finish the work I had started years earlier. I channeled my grief into creating something new, hoping that in some small way something good might come from the unfathomable despair. I hope to continue in this promise with many more stories to come!

My writing has also been influenced by my hobbies, which include crochet and endlessly picking up my children’s toys off the floor. When I am not busy with the kids or writing I enjoy watching mysteries like Columbo and studying up on Calvinistic Apologetics.