Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Willowy Whisper on The Letter

Willowy, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a seventeen year old homeschooler, saved by the grace of God. I am also a passionate writer, a pianist, guitarist, photographer, cover designer, and incurable romantic. Willowy Whisper is my pen name. I am the author of six novels, five of which are published, and numerous short stories.

Everyone’s homeschooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
Get up, eat, do the chores, then delve into school work. Nothing too unique about my homeschooling life, I'm afraid.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
I was taught grammar with an amazing curriculum (Analytical Grammar), and I'm quite positive I would never have survived the rules of writing had I not been taught so well. Also, having my teacher (my mother, of course) at home and available all the time helped immensely, because she was not only my cheerleader, but also my editor.

What caused you to start writing?
I had a cousin who decided to write a novel. After hearing about it, I was intrigued and decided to do it myself.

What inspired The Letter?
The Letter (Hills of Innocence #2) is my latest novel. I can't pin-point anything that really inspired me, however.

Here is a list of my other published work:
The Innocent
Whispering Leaves Saga
Here All the Time
Silly Feeling

Would you give us a synopsis?
At first it was just a letter, maybe a joke, a coincidence. Now it was a living nightmare, threatening everyone he loved, pulling his greatest fear into a reality…
As the letters keep coming, Brock Sumner watches his world shatter at his feet. Building a wall around his heart seemed like the only answer. Is there any other way to protect the woman he loves?
A drunk, with no incentive to change; a runaway, with a price on his back; a young child, afraid in the dark…
Will the letters, perhaps, pull their lives together? Or will the killer find a way to destroy them all?

Who will enjoy The Letter?
The Letter (as well as The Innocent) would be enjoyable to anyone who enjoys mystery, western, romance, suspense/thriller, Christian, redemption, and of course, fiction. It is intended for ages 13 and up, but appropriate for all ages, although there is some violence and kissing.

Do you plan to write more books?
The Lord willing, I will never stop writing books. I am currently writing The Pursued (Hills of Innocence Trilogy #3).

Where can people connect with you online?
My Blog: www.willowywhisper.com
My Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/WillowyWhisper
My Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6bzzNxZd5NqjV5FvX_9dbQ

Do you have any final thoughts?
It is so nice to see so many other homeschool, Christian authors. Thank you for the interview.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ethan Hill on MSPX

Ethan, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sallo! My name is E. Howard Hill. I've been homeschooled off and on since Kindergarten, and I love every second of it. I live in the middle of nowhere, and I enjoy this fact as well. I'm the oldest of four siblings, two brothers and two sisters.

I'm a truth-seeker, and that's, to be honest, the only title I'm proud of. When it comes to my other titles, however... I'm a writer, musician, fanboy, animator, artist, photographer, computer programmer, graphic designer, snow cone-maker, and a list finisher (like right now). For fun, I enjoy taking care of rabbits, writing, photographing food, more writing, taking apart computers, writing, playing guitar, and writing. Have I mentioned that I like writing? I've written one novel so far, previously operated two YouTube channels, earned a Photoshop certification, survived a year of public school, and have jumped on the same platform in Doodle Jump over two-hundred times. Additionally, I have completed all of the levels in Tetris for the original GameBoy.

As mentioned before, I'm a fanboy. I'm a fan of The Neverhood, Sonic the Hedgehog, Over the Garden Wall, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Microsoft, the Ender Series (especially 'Speaker for the Dead',) Portal, and almost any Pixar film (except for The Good Dinosaur, Brave, and Cars 2).

My favorite musical artists (alphabetically) are alt-J, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Beatles, The Black Keys, Buddy Holly, Club of the Sons, Coconut Records, Foster the People, Glenn Miller, Hot Chip, Jon Foreman, La Roux, Metronomy, MGMT, Miike Snow, Modest Mouse, Mutemath, Owl City, Passion Pit, Ratatat, The Shins, The Submarines, Switchfoot, Tame Impala, Two Door Cinema Club, and Wax Tailor.

Now to the next questions!

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
When I was very little, I loved words. In fact, when I was in kindergarten (I attended East Texas Christian School for half of the year), my teacher requested that I be homeschooled because I was already reading third grade readers. Ever since then, I've loved being homeschooled. Some of my very best friends are homeschooled, and I'm a proud member of CHEC. Not to say that I haven't tried other options, I attended Union Grove High School for my freshman year of high school, but I'm not intending on returning any time soon. So there, that's my story... so far.

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
As every writer knows, you write what you know. Because my field of view has been substantially broadened through my experience as a homeschooler, I believe that I've been able to experiment with incredibly diverse topics. Not only have I been given the opportunity to hone down on grammar, but I've been able to read and comprehend works from Homer's Odyssey to Homer Price. It's helped my life and assisted to my well-rounded-ness (if that isn't a word, I think it should be), and it's drastically made my writing less cookie-cutter.

What caused you to start writing?
Everyone has a story. Everyone, no matter who you are. It's not a fictional story, but everyone has been given a life thanks to the Lord complete with characters, setting, backstory, and his or her own personal role to play. In a way, we're all editors, as the Lord writes our lives and we're given our own parts to play inside of it. This realization made me want to write. Plus, it was more productive than photographing food and hacking into Linux.

What inspired MSPX?
It's a long and complicated story as to how I got the idea for MSPX, in fact, it's so long that I might even write a book on it. However, to summarize it for all of you awesome people, I'll just admit that, believe it or not, but it's an incredibly personal story. MSPX is loosely based, in the environment, off of a variety of ideas, included but not limited to Orson Scott Card's "Speaker for the Dead", Doctor Who, music from bands such as alt-J, MGMT, Owl City, Wax Tailor, and the Dire Straits, the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, Disney's "The Fox and the Hound", American politics, Lord of the Rings, Portal 2, a few really cool Windows 7 background pictures I found, the "Tarin Wanderer" series by Lloyd Alexander, Fantastic Mr. Fox (the movie), Over the Garden Wall (the television series), and people I know in real life.

Would you give us a synopsis?
It's the year 2237. In the twenty-first century, an epidemic hit known as the Zenith, a virus that affected humanity so badly that only a few thousand scientists and a race of genetic mutants, known as chimeras, managed to survive. However, it's been two-hundred years since then, and after two wars have been fought, we've finally come to the (relatively) stable Kingdom of Quercasia.

The first book, like the next two, is a snapshot of two weeks out of the lives of two people, Tod Washington and Sylvia LeBeouf. They're both chimeras, they're both aristocrats, and they're both fifteen. However, they're also very different. Tod is an orphaned red fox chimera and lives by himself in a ratty, old apartment complex that once was owned by his late godfather, Winsor "Seattle" Washington. As for Sylvia, she's currently an Artificial Intelligence and is trying to find a way to become a real girl again (think Pinocchio, but in this case, she used to be a real girl when she was young).

I won't spoil any more. No worries. Though it sounds kind of depressing, I've been told that it has its fun moments.

Who will enjoy MSPX?
The best answer to this question is... well... to be honest, I have no idea! I didn't exactly write this with any one specific audience member in mind. In fact, I've been told by a friend of my cousin, who is a lady in her sixties, that both she and her twelve-year-old grandson enjoyed the work. If you're a Science Fiction fan, you'll enjoy the realism I presented in every aspect of the book. If you're a fantasy fan, you'll enjoy all of the bizarre, rich landscapes and characters I've painted. If you're a fan of romance, you'll probably enjoy the clean, wholesome (but still adorable, I've been told by friends) self-sacrifice I've turned into a plot. If you like action or mystery, I've included that too. This work, no joke, was as hard to label as it was to name.

Do you plan to write more books?
Without a shadow of a doubt, yes! The second book, which I believe is better than the first, will be released sometime in late 2016. And then, who knows? Maybe after my trilogy is uploaded, I'll go back to photographing food.

Where can people connect with you online?
You can find me on Wattpad, my website, my Amazon author page, and on Blurb.

Do you have any final thoughts?
In case you're wondering, yes. Tod is based off of me, like, heavily, and I am an enormous Microsoft fan. Oh! Also, I don't care what people say, Yellow is a good color... and stuff. Just saying. As for an inspirational message, it has come to my knowledge that, perhaps, people will be checking this section to learn how to not repeat the mistakes I made. Here is my advice to aspiring authors:

- Lather, rinse, repeat.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
- Make sure to keep your mouth closed when you're underwater.
- Sleep is important, make sure to do it for at least ten minutes everyday.
- Take frequent breaks from having to take breaks.
- When driving, make sure that you're facing the windshield.
- It's easier to walk on your feet instead of your hands.
- Teeth only come out once. If a permanent tooth is loose, that's not good.
- Never go to Disney.com without your parent's permission.
- Microwaves and eggs don't go together.
- Do not be a tree-hugger during a lightning storm.
- Even if it's organic, food that is several years old is probably bad.
- Squirrels and cigarettes are alike in one way: bad things happen when you light them and put them in your mouth.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Tricia Mingerink on Defy

Tricia, welcome to Homeschool Authors! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Michigan a short drive away from the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, though I'm not a big fan of beaches, swimming, or sand. I enjoy camping, hiking, and road trips. So far, I've been to 47 of the 50 states, missing only California, Alaska, and Hawaii. I've been writing since I learned how to write, and I was drawing picture books before that. I currently have three published books, including Defy.

Everyone’s homeshooling experience is different. What do you think made yours unique?
I tend to think of my schooling experience as “hybrid.” My mom homeschooled me through fifth grade and during those years, she really pushed me academically, especially when it came to reading and writing. By 4th grade, I was reading at a high school comprehension level. Funny thing is, I didn’t really realize that wasn’t normal. At the time, it was just what my mom expected out of me, so I did it. 

In 6th grade, I went into a private Christian school. It was a good experience, and I’m still friends with the group that formed through junior high and high school. It was an adjustment from the very independent form of learning I had as a homeschooler to the teacher-guided learning. Let’s just say, I did a lot of doodling and story-writing in the back of my notebook. 

How did being homeschooled prepare you to write?
My mom saw my potential at a very early age, so she really encouraged me in my writing. I also think learning to be independently disciplined while young also helped. My mom would prepare our coursework each weekend and give us a schedule of what we had to complete each day. We each had a stack of books about a foot tall with all our courses. Some days, my brothers and I would have everything done by noon. Other days, we’d dilly-dally until it was supper time. 

What caused you to start writing?
I started drawing picture books when I was two years old and telling the stories behind the pictures to my parents, so I honestly don’t have any memories of a time when I wasn’t writing or telling stories. 

When I was really little, my dad read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to my brothers and me. When I was 6, we visited Mansfield, MO where she wrote the Little House Books. I have a distinct memory of standing in front of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s desk and deciding right then and there that I was going to be a published author someday. Nineteen years later, I returned to the site a few weeks after my first book released. 

What inspired Defy?
The year before I began writing The Blades of Acktar series, I had done a lot of research into Dutch history for a family history project I did for college. Several eras in Dutch history, especially the Dutch Revolution in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s and the experience of the Dutch Resistance in WWII had a huge impact on the series. 

Defy is the third book in The Blades of Acktar and it wraps up the main conflict. 

Would you give us a synopsis?

The war for Acktar has begun. 

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades. 

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected. 

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands. 

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope: 
The Leader is ready. 

Who will enjoy Defy?
Young adults and adults who love books with lots of action, adventure, tension, and deep, impactful faith. In my books, I don’t shy away from the darkness and violence in the world because it pushes the characters to reach for the Light found in Christ even in the hardest situations. 

Do you plan to write more books?
Of course! Currently, I’m working on Book 4 in The Blades of Acktar. This book is a sequel/continuation that deals with the aftermath of Defy. Even victory can get a little messy, especially with the amount of bitterness that lingers in Acktar. 

Where can people connect with you online?
You can connect with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and my blog.

Do you have any final thoughts?
Thanks so much for having me! 

Thursday, September 1, 2016


And the Winners are:

Symona ~ The Amazon gift card!
Connor ~ Six signed books
Bethany ~ One signed book and three ebooks
Bria ~ Three ebooks

Thank you to each person who took part!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Top 5 HA books: Part 3

Sarah Holman ~ I have been very busy reading this summer, and I read a lot of great HA books and short stories. Here are my top five picks:
1. Grace Triumphant by Alicia A. Willis
2.  Abaddon's Eve by Rachel Starr Thomson
3. Samara's Peril by Jaye L. Knight
4. Hebbros by Nicole Sager
5. Out of Time by C.J. Darlington

Sarah Brazytis ~ Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to read new books this summer! We did read War Memorial by Elisabeth Grace Foley out loud, which was a nice flashback to one of my favorite places, Gettysburg National Battlefield. I also took advantage of Amanda Tero’s sale on her orphan train books; and in spite of only being able to give them a brief overview, found them a clean, although a very sober, read. You can tell she puts a lot of spiritual thought into her writing, and Marie’s Journey To Love is an in-depth account of a soul finding its way to Christ. I found Edward’s story a bit disappointing, being a ‘triumphant ending’ reader, but it was also very realistic.
Otherwise, there’s been a lot of cookin’, cleanin’ sewin’… and surviving one of the hottest Ohio summers I can remember (please pass the iced spearmint tea!)!

Claire Banschbach ~ I haven't been able to do a lot of reading this summer or this year because of school, so I'll cheat on this one and list five of the top HA books I've ever read and are on my shelf. 
Defy - Tricia Mingerink (actually read this summer and I love the series)
Jupiter Winds - C.J. Darlington (who else is excited about the sequel?!)
From the Dark to the Dawn - Alicia A. Willis (I wasn't really expecting to enjoy this one, but it definitely made me cry at the end which doesn't happen very often).
Behold the Dawn - K.M. Weiland (this one started a little slow and I almost didn't finish it, but I was completely glued to the couch once I gave it "another few pages". It's now one of my favorite books.)
Wren - Rachel Rossano (I really enjoyed this book and loved the character of Wren! I want to read more of the Romany Epistles!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top 5 HA books : Part 2

Kyleigh Dunn ~ Top 5 HA Books I read this summer:
Heart of Arcrea
Forged Steel
Rose of Prophecy
A Knight on the Old North Shore
Gift from the Storm

To be honest, I started the summer only planning to read 5! But as I started reading them found that 1, I had more time to read on my phone than I thought I did (and it keeps me from wasting time on Facebook!), and 2, reading “peer” books was something I hadn’t done much before but I found that it’s a really good thing to do as well as being very enjoyable.

Nicole Sager ~ Reading & writing usually slow down for me this time of year, so I'm not sure I got 5 books total read this summer! I have, however, read some HA works this year, and you can read my reviews by clicking the titles below. Some of these are fairly new, so if you've never heard of them, do these authors a favor and check them out!

Honor, Rachel Rossano
The Making of A Man, Rachel Rossano
Waltz Into the Waves, Sarah Holman
Rainland, Sarah Allerding

Happy reading!

Kate Willis ~ My favorite HA books this summer have been...
Song of the Sword by Hope Ann
Water Princess, Fire Prince by Kendra Ardnek
A Different Kind of Courage by Sarah Holman
You'll Be Like Faye by J.C. Buchanan
Implant by J. Grace Pennington

Jenelle Schmidt ~ However... I do have favorite HA authors, whose books I own and have read. My favorites are: Kaycee Browning, author of Ember Flame and Esprit de la Rose (the first story in Five Enchanted Roses) I love this author not only because she writes exceptionally well, but also because she is a dear friend. Kendra E. Ardnek and her Bookania series - I really need to read her other books, too, because I really enjoy her style.  Anne Elisabeth Stengl - became a fan a few years back when I met her at her book signing for Dragonwitch and have enjoyed everything she's written so far. Gillian Adams - I have only read Orphan's Song so far, but I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the further adventures of Birdie and company.

And there are various others on the list whose blogs I read and love, and their books are most decidedly on my list of books to buy and read!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Top 5 HA Books of the Summer: Part 1

Morgan Huneke ~ Unfortunately, I haven’t read 5 Homeschooled Author books this summer. Adulting takes away from reading time, and my friends like to distract me with books I can get from the library or cheap on Kindle. ;) But I did read two fantastic books by homeschooled authors this summer. Both are highly recommended.
Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek
Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally

Kendra Ardnek ~ 1. Crannig Castle by Morgan Elizabeth Huneke. The last book of her Time Captives trilogy, I read it for betaing purposes, and it's not out yet ... but it's awesome. Tore out my heart.
2. Song of the Sword by Hope Ann. An allegorical retelling of Rapunzel focusing on Joy. It was amazing.
3. Twinpathy by C.B. Cook. A superhero novel about telepathic twins. There were some moments where the main character bugged me, but I loved the book nonetheless.
4. The Rose and the Baloon by Kirsten Fichter. A Beauty and the Beast story. I don't love it as much as I love her Cinderella retelling, but it was a lovely story that I do recommend.
If we want to round it off and make it an even five, I have been neck-deep in edits for Lady Dragon, Tela Du...

Rebekah Morris ~ My top 5 favorite HA books that I read this summer were pretty easy to choose since I really haven't had much time to read and only read 6 authors. The first two were my favorites while the last three all tie for the same place.
The Old River Road by Ivy Rose (Loved this book! It made me cry and that doesn't happen often!)
Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine (Yes, she was homeschooled.)
The Treasure Hunt by Kate Willis
Journey to Love by Amanda Tero
The Silent Blade by Jesseca Wheaton
And I feel that I should go ahead and mention the 6th HA book too.
Adventures and Adversities by Sarah Holman

Sarah Brown ~ The top 5 Homeschooled Authors books I read this summer are as follows (in no particular order): 1) Gift from the Storm by Rebekah Morris: This book was extremely unique in storyline, and, while not a masterpiece, I was very impressed with the author's ability to so vividly portray the main character's amnesia and distress.  2) The Master's Calling by Amber Schamel: If you want to taken back into Bible times and practically live out the experiences of the followers of Christ after His resurrection--so vividly told that you feel like you're there with them--then this is the book for you! 3) Ante Up by Chautona Havig: (I hope this counts as an HA book--Chautona is a homeschool mom, and this series is about a homeschooling family. This last book of the Aggie's Inheritance series--if you haven't read the first 4(?) books, do that before reading this one. Your faith will be challenged and strengthened! 4) Pajama School by Natalie Wickham: Wow! Want to be inspired to get out and use your talents for the Lord? Natalie's book will do that for you! 5) Past Forward, Volumes 1-3, by Chautona Havig: The best that Chautona has to offer, IMO!! I don't care as much for the later books in the series, though they're still good, but nothing can beat volumes 1-3--volume 1 is even available as an audiobook! Willow & Chad's story is... well, there's no way to even describe it--just read (or listen to) it!!!