IN MY BOOKS, I LIGHT THE DARK PASSAGES OF LIFE WITH THE MAGIC OF MYTH.
Weaving real life with mythic stories, my books are a mix of fiction and non fiction. My fictional fables and stories explore real and relevant issues, and my non-fiction books bring a mythic dimension to the experience of illness and the search for meaningful work.
Whether the characters in my books are real or fictional, they have much to say to readers who are seeking the thread of their path, and changing their realities from the inside out.
The Tower Princess
In The Tower Princess, storyteller Michelle Tocher plunges into the heart of fairy tales on a quest to reclaim the lost archetype of the true princes. In the mid-1990s when she was struggling with chronic pain, Michelle discovered a feminine wisdom in fairy tales that ignited her imagination and altered her relationship with suffering. In this wise, humorous, and poignant memoir, the author seamlessly amalgamates her life and fairy tales, and show us what we have lost by banishing the fairy world.
With exquisite illustrations by Richard Row. Available for purchase on Amazon.
What Readers Say...
“Michelle Tocher takes us into the deep inner life of fairy tales, showing us how a true princess is not a passive girl in a prom dress, but a woman of courage whose love can restore the heart of the world.”
– Ellen Jaffe, Skinny-Dipping with the Muse
“Reader beware. This is no Disney-escape fairy fluff. Michelle Tocher’s marriage of personal and mythic storylines is tinder that sparks deep truths about our most basic human needs and fears. Through Tocher’s fertile imagination and her coterie of fairy godmothers, she brilliantly lays bare the inner treasure we can all claim, especially in hard times.”
– Jeannette Hanna, ikonica
“I feel such great wisdom in you, but coming from the inside, from experience, not from erudite studies. Reading this book, I felt as if you (and I) were getting to know your soul, and, by extension, the soul of the world.”
– Annie Jacobsen, novelist and Jungian psychotherapist
“The Tower Princess was a gift to me on many levels. I am certain that hordes of women will identify with the princess as I do. I found myself marking pages and putting little tiny post-its on the sides of the page, leaving bread crumbs to guide me back to a part of the story that touched me. At the same time I couldn’t wait to move forward to see what would happen next…. It’s so wonderful to know someone who is in touch with other worlds.”
– Susan Schroeer
“Thank you for sharing The Tower Princess with me. I find myself devouring it every stolen moment of quiet time. Your voice is honest, clear and courageous. Thank you for reminding me of the truth found in our imaginations.”
– Sareena Hopkins, Canadian Career Development Foundation
Brave Work draws upon the ancient wisdom of myth and the power of personal experience to map the quest for meaning in today’s changing world of work. It provides a timeless perspective and validation to those who are courageously pursuing meaningful ways to make a difference.
Inward Journey Workbook
The Inward Journey Workbook is a free offering for all readers of Brave Work. It allows you to take the concepts from Brave Work and apply them to your own work experience. Whether you’re exploring a career change or a transition from a career to retirement, the workbook will help you to harvest what you have learned and orient yourself on your current path.
What Readers Say...
“Opening this book is like meeting a guide who will take us through uncharted territory. Brave Work takes the wisdom of the mythic perspective—the power that Joseph Campbell championed—and applies it to the challenges of the workplace. The book shows us how to find the courage to claim our possible lives.”
— Jonathan Young, Ph.D., psychologist and Curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Founder of the Center for Story and Symbol, Santa Barbara, California
“This book is insightful, inspirational and a must-read for career practitioners and professionals in the counselling field today. It will also help any individual who may be on a personal journey towards spiritual renewal, higher meaning, or purposeful work. Anyone who has been downsized, displaced or replaced will find it not only a practical guide but emotionally therapeutic as well. To some this book might even be the “herald” they have been waiting for to propel them further along their path of self-discovery.”
— Grace Cirocco, author, Take the Step, The Bridge Will Be There
“Finally, a book that takes us beyond the traditional, and focuses on stories and imagination to capture important career counseling concepts.”
— Dr. Norm Amundson, author, Active Engagement
How to Ride a Dragon: Women with Breast Cancer Tell Their Stories
Ride the dragon on a profoundly healing journey with the extraordinary “women in pink” who are dragon boating after breast cancer.
How to Ride a Dragon has been described as a “beautifully crafted tapestry of mythology, fantasy, narrative and first-hand human experience.” It tells the stories of 22 women, their families and friends, and their epic struggles to come to terms with cancer.
This beloved book won #11 place on CBC’s Reader’s Choice list in 2001.
What Readers Say...
“I loved this book, consuming the 229 pages in one sitting. I was humbled by the experiences recounted. I found the book intellectually challenging, emotionally wrenching, and practice changing. After reading the stories and allowing the words to enter my person, I will be a better nurse and a more caring human being. Without having had breast cancer, I cannot truly know what the experience is like. However, How to Ride a Dragon brought me as close to understanding as is possible without firsthand experience. This I view as a literary success.”
— Beth Perry, RN, Ph.D., Canadian Nursing Oncology Journal
“This is not a book to take up lightly. Readers should be prepared to be moved deeply by the determination and resilience of these women to fight, come to terms, and ultimately live with their dragons. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks to learn and understand how their patients, friends, or family members learn to live with the daily challenge of life-threatening disease and find ways to live life to the fullest. It is an inspiring book and one I recommend all family doctors have on their bookshelves.”
— Marjorie Wood, MB, CHB, MCLSC, CCFP, Canadian Family Physician, November, 2004
“Riding the dragon is as empowering as it is horrifying. Why must we suffer and agonize before we recognize the abundance of our own untapped strength and our plenitude of spirit? The book offers hope and affirmation to those who are willing to take it. It affords us an opportunity to celebrate the triumphant and indomitable nature of the human spirit.”
— Mary Blackstock, cancer survivor, Talespin
The May Queen
Meet May Galloway. A 21st century fairy godmother who, as her niece says, “has more magic in her baby finger than Santa has in his whole big fat belly.”
She’s gorgeous. She’s glamorous. And her sister can’t stand to have her in the room.
May flies around the world, unable to settle anywhere. But the time has come to land. To tell the truth, and shatter lives.
What Readers Say About The May Queen...
“Well, at last, I delighted in concluding the journey with May et al this morning, sitting lakeside on a boathouse deck-chair with a thermos of freshly brewed coffee on the table… I had to resist the temptation of again reaching for yellow highlighters for every line that leapt off the page, for there were so many and transcribing them all would have been a nightmarish task.
What you really managed to do was humanize each of the main characters by exploring their many contradictory facets from so many perspectives. If a May were a crystal, we saw all of her, inside and out, and better yet, if the reader is open, we felt May, inside and out. So great to see those familiar stories like Goose Girl, Baba Yaga, Befana, etc. being referred to… it was cool to actually have a bit of an understanding of who these people are, and why these parallels were so intriguing.
Mostly, it was a true privilege to observe the miraculous inner workings of that hyper-fertile mind of yours. You have been an incredibly keen observer of human nature all these years, curiously digging up new ways to understand love, lust, envy, hate—to be able to imagine a mother as distant as Cora’s, to explain the impact that had on both her and May, two very different reactions to the same family upbringing. I loved May and Gerald’s complicated relationship, complicated by taboo, by marriage, by lust.
And of course, I am hopelessly in love with May—just say it, Frank, just say it.”
—Andy Frank, Broadcaster
“I’m going to say you’ve got to stop writing books because I started reading your book yesterday, even though I had my library books to finish up, and I guess I’m about half way through, and I don’t seem to be able to get anything else done in my life! But I’m really fascinated, longing to get back and find out what happens to these characters in the story. I just was drawn into it again, like your other one (The Tower Princess). So I thought I really must tell you, Michelle, not to write any other books until I get other things done first! I’m really enjoying it … I find it very moving too—very very moving …”
— Clare Boyle, member of the Jungian Foundation of Ontario
“I have read your book and I am very impressed. An incredible achievement. It is remarkable, the way you are able to get into the different people’s way of thinking and feeling, switching from one to the other and then the complex relationships they have to each other … the journey of consciousness and self discovery … thank you for your book!”
— Erika Baempfer Deery, Artist, website
“I so enjoyed reading The May Queen—I hope that many others do too—For me it took form subtly as the story unfolded. I didn’t realize how much I’d invested in its reading at first till I found I looked forward to returning to the last pages I’d read and felt like I was meeting my friends—the characters and the ideas. That to me is what a well-crafted piece of writing does for its readers.”
— Jennifer Butson, Author, Out of Paper blog
A. Seeker’s Storybook: Stories for the Working Soul
Albert Seeker thinks he’s just a regular working stiff trying to make ends meet. But when his job security is threatened, Albert is pitched out of complacency.
He starts asking himself serious questions about what who and why he is in the world. Albert has an artistic gift that he has shut down, but once he starts soul-searching, his vision and calling become clear.
A. Seeker’s Storybook is Albert’s fascinating journal, his drawings, and the stories he encounters as he undergoes a profound change of heart.
What Readers Say...
“I’m just in the process of reading Michelle Tocher’s A. Seeker’s Storybook and have been touched and inspired by the messages her stories deliver. Many thanks and congratulations to Michelle for sharing her very special vision and talent with us.”
— Rosemary Volpe, Counsellor, Ryerson Polytechnic University
“The weaving together of beautiful stories with the journal of A. Seeker has a very appealing touch, and I believe this whole manuscript is very usable. Students at various levels will be able to read, understand, appreciate, and apply many of life’s ‘lessons’ embodied in these stories. The truths conveyed regarding the current and future state of employment trends and the new career theories are very much in touch with what we are trying to convey to our students.”
— Counsellor, Halton-Peel Counselling Services
“I found the book very easy to read and was quite moved by the stories. I found A. Seeker’s story to be perhaps as important as the other stories in the book in that his process describes the career search in the new world. The book was inspiring and I’d love to be able to share it with others who are on their own journey.”
— Marilyn Burke, North York Counsellor
The Broad Mind
The Broad Mind is a picture book for anyone at any age who knows what it’s like to have their wings clipped and to grow them back again.
Powerfully illustrated by Richard Row, The Broad Mind is fun to read aloud and discuss in groups and classrooms.
The Broad Mind is $20 (CDN) per book (plus shipping).
To obtain one or more copies, please contact email@example.com
What Readers Say...
“Thank you for the gift of your story, The Broad Mind. I read it the night you gave it to me and will treasure it forever.”
– Eleanor Nielsen
“I enjoyed the Broad Mind immensely and know that the people for whom I have bought it as a gift will enjoy it also.”
– Elizabeth Parchment
“It broke my heart to see the little broad mind treated with such contempt; I realize what I have done to my own.”
– Peter P.
“I purchased your wonderful book The Broad Mind which I share with everyone and I would like to purchase it as a gift…. My best wishes for your wonderful and interesting work.”
– Linda Cone